Category: Affordable Education

Librarians as Open Education Leaders: Responsibilities and Possibilities | TU Delft Repositories

From the proceedings of the Open Education Global Conference 2018:

A common claim in open education is that librarians are effective supporters in open education work because their talents for research, organization, and working with students make them natural supporters of faculty designing OER courses. This study seeks to understand how librarians and faculty interacted with one another in an deliberate cooperation in course design. Seventeen faculty-librarian partnerships were awarded $3000 stipends to cooperate in designing open courses. Each participant kept a weekly journal describing current contributions to the course project. Early findings from analysis of the journals shows that librarians are effective supporters, but careful planning and organization of the projects was very necessary for the collaborations to be successful.

Read more  here:

Source: Librarians as Open Education Leaders: Responsibilities and Possibilities | TU Delft Repositories

A New Study Found OER to Match and Even Outperform a Commercial Textbook | eLearningInside News

From Henry Kronk writing for eLearningInside News:

A new study conducted by researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada examines the performance of students using open education resources (OER) in both print and digital formats compared to a traditional textbook from a commercial publisher. The study found that students using OER spent less time overall studying for the class while scoring comparably with those who used a commercially published textbook.

Read more here:
Source: A New Study Found OER to Match and Even Outperform a Commercial Textbook | eLearningInside News

PALNI Launches Affordable Education Initiative LibGuide as Part of New Collaborative Strategy

In an effort to reduce the cost of Higher Education to students in Indiana and increase collaboration among institutions, PALNI is launching an Affordable Education Initiative (AEI) LibGuide. This AEI guide was developed by the PALNI AEI Task Force to help promote ideas, tools, and partnerships surrounding affordable education and open resources across the state of Indiana.

Please feel free to remix and reuse any part of this guide in your own Library site, point your faculty directly to the site, or use it as a tool for finding and distributing resources to your faculty. We welcome suggestions on how we can improve this guide in any way and look forward to collaborating with you!

Affordable Education @ PALNI

Here are some of the recent impactful activities of the PALNI Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force:

Today we hosted an extremely interesting webinar from Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director of Institutional Relations for Rice University/OpenStax. She covered practical and effective direct tactics for Effectively Encouraging the Use of OER on Your Campus.  Recording is available to everyone at PALNI-supported institutions. Email for the link if you are not already on the PALNI Team Drive.

Plans are also moving forward on a potential membership with Open Textbook Network, an organization that helps higher education institutions and systems advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses.

Finally, drawing on successful initiatives of our consortial peers, the AEI Task Force has begun drafting a preliminary multi-component affordable education program that we plan to begin implementing this year.

We are working on direct communication strategies to best share this information out to relevant campus stakeholders. Stay tuned!

Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bill – SPARC

From Nicole Allen at SPARC:

“In a landmark victory for the Open Education movement, the U.S. Congress has included funding for a $5 million open textbook grant program in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill unveiled today. This marks the first major investment by Congress explicitly in open educational resources (OER) as a solution to the high cost of college textbooks, and underscores that course materials are a significant factor in making higher education affordable. The FY18 omnibus is expected to proceed swiftly to votes in the House and Senate and get signed into law this week.”

Read more here:

Source: Congress Funds $5 Million Open Textbook Grant Program in 2018 Spending Bill – SPARC

Affordable Textbooks Symposium | IUPUI University Library

From IUPUI’s University Library, a symposium on March 9, 2018:

With sponsorship from the Indiana University Office of Scholarly Publishing and UITS, IUPUI University Library is hosting a half-day symposium on affordable course materials. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that IUPUI undergraduates paid $1,204.00 on books and supplies in the 2016/2017 academic year. The high cost of textbooks contributes to student debt, low retention rates, and negatively impacts the quality of student life. This expense adds to the many barriers to success faced by lower income and food-insecure students.

Read more and register here:

Source: Affordable Textbooks Symposium | University Library

Open Education Symposium | Florida State University Libraries

From the Florida State University Libraries:

“FSU Libraries are excited to host a one-day Open Education Symposium on March 8th, 2018. The purpose of the symposium will be to raise awareness about Open Educational Resources (OER) and their potential to support student success by reducing textbook costs and creating opportunities for open, learner-centered pedagogy.
David Wiley, Chief Academic Officer of Lumen Learning, will deliver the opening keynote presentation, which will be followed by invited presentations from FSU faculty and students in addition to collaborative breakout sessions.
Registration is free and participants are welcome to attend the entire event or individual sessions in person or remotely through our live webcast.”

Read more and register here:

Source: Open Education Symposium | Florida State University Libraries

Upcoming Affordable Education Initiatives Webinars

Interested in exploring Open Educational Resources at a PALNI-supported campus?  Attend an upcoming webinar to learn more about statewide efforts and effective strategies from experts in this field, presented by the PALNI Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force.

Open to everyone at PALNI-supported institutions.

Tuesday, 2/27, 11am

Scaling Up OERs in Louisiana: A Statewide Plan for Building a Sustainable Library Effort

Teri Oaks Gallaway, Emily Frank


In Louisiana, OERs have recently become a strategy used by the state legislature to address the rising cost of higher education. This process began with advocacy work led by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, the statewide consortium, and directed at the Board of Regents, the governmental body charged with planning, coordinating, and budgeting public higher education in the state. The Regents provided funds to LOUIS that have allowed the consortium to build capacity and infrastructure needed to support the development of OERs in the state. LOUIS used funds to launch scalable programs and easily adaptable solutions. Using a train-the-trainer model, they quickly built capacity at universities and colleges in the state. Then, they created a structure to provide funds and support for individual academic libraries to begin developing the OER culture locally. Local institutions were able to apply this model to the degree to which they had the capacity and interest to support it. We will review this approach and discuss how this model has allowed multiple stakeholders take ownership of an element of the project and apply leadership at their level while working towards a shared success in the state.

Teri Oaks Gallaway, Associate Commissioner of LOUIS, serves in the capacity of Executive Director for the statewide consortium as well as the project lead for the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative. Emily Frank is the Coordinator of Scholarship and Open Access for Louisiana State University Libraries. She leads the library’s affordable course materials projects, including coordinating local projects under the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative spearheaded by LOUIS.

Tuesday, 3/27, 11am

Effectively Encouraging the Use of OER on Your Campus

Nicole Finkbeiner, OpenStax


Nicole Finkbeiner of Rice University’s OpenStax draws on her experiences working with faculty and schools across the U.S. to highlight the most effective strategies that encourage faculty to adopt, adapt, and create OER while protecting academic freedom. She also walks through a strategic planning model to plan, track, and produce effective and measurable results for our OER initiatives.

Nicole is the Associate Director of Institutional Relations for Rice University’s free textbook initiative, OpenStax, where she focuses on coaching colleges and universities through the process of developing an OER initiative. She is also the founder of the national Institutional Partner Program, a network of institutions who work together to increase OER use on their campuses while protecting academic freedom. A graduate of Kellogg Community College, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State University, she worked in college relations for community colleges prior to joining OpenStax. When not promoting Open Educational Resources, Nicole fills her time reading, working out, and attending cultural events.

OER State Policy Tracker – SPARC

From the SPARC website:

Open educational resources (OER) has increasingly become a go-to strategy for legislators seeking to make college education more affordable and effective. Nearly half of all U.S. states have considered OER legislation in past years, and the trend is likely to continue. Given the increasing activity at the state level, SPARC is expanding the support we provide to our members in this arena.

Read more here:
Source: OER State Policy Tracker – SPARC