Sara Rutter

Academic Chief Information Officers and OER

A new 2015 survey from  Campus Computing  reveals that 81 percent of the survey participants (417 2- and 4- year campuses) agree that “Open Source textbooks/Open Education Resource (OER) content “will be an important source for instructional resources in five years.”  The data reported that 38 percent of survey respondents reported that their institutions encourage faculty to use OER–an increase from 33 percent in 2014.

There is also a report in Inside HigherEd (October 29, 2015) at
Something Old, Something New by Carl Straumsheim.

The executive summary and graphics are are

Posted by Sara Rutter in Faculty Leaders, OER, Open Education

Ka Lā: Honolulu Community College student newspaper and OER

Ka Lā of Honolulu Community College, the student newspaper ran an article in August in support of OER as a solution to student textbook cost woes. The article, Textbook costs frustrate students, but relief could be around the corner, by Jason Mar and Jackie Liu (August 2015) quotes UH OER librarian Carol Hasegawa, “Student support is needed to show administration that this matters so that they’ll put more effort and funding into the program.” See the full article on page 5 at .

Student advocacy for their own education at UH campuses is the key to improving the student experience and to supporting faculty to change their course materials to more affordable options.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Proposed U.S. legislation to support open textbook creation

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced legislation October 8, 2015, the Affordable Textbook Grant, to support the creation of shareable textbooks for higher education. In the House of Representatives, U.S. Representatives Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation in the House.  A post  on Senator Durbin’s blog at provides more information about the proposed legislation. 

The book noted by Senator Durbin in the post as an exemplar of open textbooks is Sustainability: a comprehensive foundation by Tom Theis and Jonathan Tomkin of the University of Illinois. The book has been used by more than 60,000 students in MOOCs and in traditionally delivered courses. The legislation proposes competitive grants to support faculty in creating open educational resources.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

U.S. Department of Education proposed OER policy

There are a couple of blog announcements about the forward movement of a open licensing policy for projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education. See the Creative Commons post by Cable Green at and the post by the Association of Research Libraries Open Education Director, Nicole Allen, at .  The policy discussion has centered around K-12 education but should also affect grant funding in higher education.  Creative Commons will lead training workshops on licensing material for re-use thus increasing the overall awareness of CC licensing.


Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Article highlighting U Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library

An article in the Minneapolis based Star Tribune provides a description of the Open Textbook Library, which provides peer reviewed textbooks for introductory university courses, hosted and curated by the University of Minnesota Library. One of the big changes in textbook publishing according to a source from the American Association of Publishers is the move to reformat textbook material into computer interactive course management packages that students purchase. This is creating a major challenge to OER initiatives in that it may not be sufficient to replace a print textbook with a free text; OER also needs to address the learning tools that provide students and instructors with immediate feedback in problem solving.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Open Access Week presentations about OA journals

Kathleen Luschek, a technical writer with a great deal of knowledge and experience working with the Public Library of Science journals teamed with Pam Wilson, journals manager for the University of Hawaii Press to talk about Open Access and journal publishing on Wednesday Oct. 21.  Their slides are available together at .

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Cal State Fullerton textbook controversy

The Chronicle of Higher Education picked up an article in the Orange County Register describing the trouble a faculty member ran into when he decided to assign  less expensive ($76 and free) textbooks for a mathematics class that traditionally used a text co-authored by the department chair ($180).  Conflict of interest, tradition, and lack of awareness of the financial impact on students , are all presented in this story.  The faculty member is grieving the reprimand he received.  It is hoped that this will be a win for putting the student first when making textbook choices.


Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

New study on the impact of Open Textbook adoption on student success in higher ed

Lane Fischer, John Hilton, Jared Robinson, and David Wiley,  have a recently published and much anticipated paper that reports on the impact of OER on student success in higher education courses.  See the open access article at:

Fischer, Lane, et al. “A Multi-Institutional Study of the Impact of Open Textbook Adoption on the Learning Outcomes of Post-Secondary Students.” Journal of Computing in Higher Education (2015): 1-14. .

The study compares student success in courses that used no-cost open digital textbooks with student success in courses with traditional textbooks based on three criteria, 1) student completion of courses, 2) grades, and 3) number of classes taken during and after semesters in which OER were used. The results indicate favorable outcomes for  students who had OER assigned.  Students in courses that used OER  performed as well as students in courses with traditional textbooks on comparable exams.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Open Access events at UH Manoa Oct 19-23

The UHM Library and the Office of Faculty Development and Academic Support present Open Access Week at UHM from October 19-23, 2015.Screen Shot 2015-10-09 at 9.49.46 AM

Learn about and share your experiences with open access — the free,
immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and reuse those results as you need. Join us for presentations on Creative Commons licensing, open government resources, author rights and more.

Sara Lee, manager of UH Manoa’s ScholarSpace, has created an exciting schedule of events that highlights the range of scholarly endeavors that flourish in an  Open Access environment.

Register for events at

 Check out the open access news and events in our Scholarly Communications LibGuide.

Creative Commons Licensing | Monday, October 19, 12:30-1:45pm – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Join our panel to get an overview of Creative Commons, using CC licenses in OER, and walk through an example of a CC licensed product that incorporates other CC licensed materials.
With: Billy Meinke (College of Education), Sara Rutter (Outreach College), Richard Rath (English and Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative)

Make Your Work Open in ScholarSpace | Tuesday, October 20, 11:00am-12:00pm – Hamilton Library 306 | Register now >

Learn how to submit your work to ScholarSpace. Participants are encouraged to bring in digital copies of author manuscripts, accepted for publication, that have been peer-reviewed and are ready for final submission to the publisher.
With: Daniel Ishimitsu (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library)

Open Government Resources and Government Funded Open Mandates | Tuesday, October 20, 1:30-2:45pm – Hamilton Library 301 | Register now >

Learn about open access government created resources and efforts requiring the results of government funded research to be made open access.
With: Gwen Sinclair (University of Hawaii at Manoa Library)

Launching an Open Access Journal | Wednesday, October 21, 9:30-10:45am – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Hear perspectives on developing and distributing an open access journal.
With: Pam Wilson (University of Hawaii Press), Kathleen Luschek (former Senior Production Coordinator, PLoS)

Open Collaboration with GitHub | Wednesday, October 21, 12:30-1:45pm – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Learn how the Digital Arts & Humanities Initiative at UH is using GitHub as a tool for collaboration.
With: Richard Rath (English and Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative)

Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Author Rights | Thursday, October 22, 9:30-10:45am – Kuykendall 106 | Register now >

Learn about managing author and co-author rights, reusing copyrighted materials, reading and negotiating publishing agreements, and reusing your own content.
With: Debora Halbert (Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs)

Learn How to Contribute to Wikipedia | Thursday, October 22, drop-in 12:00-4:00pm, Hamilton Library, Room 306

Join us for a workshop on contributing to Wikipedia–getting an account, adding pages, and editing pages.
With: Thumy Webb (Library and Information Science)

Learn more about open access at

Posted by Sara Rutter in Creative Commons, Faculty Leaders, Humanities, OER, Open Access, Open Access Week, UH Manoa

Andrew Marcinek appointed as open education advisor in the U.S. Dept of Ed Office of Education Technology

The position as first OER advisor for the U.S. Department of Education will be filled by Andrew Marcinek, a founder of EducatorU  and a blogger on educational matters  at . Check out the article in Campus Technology at

Our previous post on this position from SPARC is here,

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Redesigning a course in electronics for physics–a case study

There is an interesting paper posted in the famous Arxiv hosted by Cornell University Library, “Redesigning a junior-level electronics course to support engagement in scientific practices,” by H.J. Lewandowski and Noah Finkelstein of the University of Colorado Boulder.  See

The course syllabus is at and demonstrates a successful course in measurable outcomes of student engagement and retention of the concepts.  The course  does not require a textbook.

This is another example of a course redesigned to be more effective and became more affordable for students because of faculty who wanted to give their students hands-on practice in doing science.


Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

U.S. Department of Education to hire Open Education Advisor for K-12

Check out the post at about OER getting major support from the U.S. Department of Education.

Open Educational Resources also have an important role to play in higher education.  Open resources used  with a more integrative use of online library resources, the Zero Textbook courses  can transform classes taught at UH.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

“Why You Ought to Think Twice Before Assigning a Pricey Textbook” Chronicle of Higher Education commentary

Doug Ward of the University of Kansas in a commentary in today’s CHE [Sept 8, 2015]  argues that open source or library sources not only save students money  but can offer a better way to teach.  Ward  suggests alternatives to going with a pricey textbook, such as,

“Scour the web and enlist your college’s librarians to find articles and posts that provide the same — or even better — information as in the textbook.” [bolding is mine]

See the article at




Posted by Sara Rutter in OER