The Learning, Business, and Moral Case for Open Educational Resources and Open Policies

Inside Higher Education and Creative Commons are hosting a webinar presentation by Cable Green giving an overview of a changing policy landscape regarding OER.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:00:00 AM HST – 9:00:00 AM HST
The Internet, increasingly affordable computing and bandwidth, open licensing, open access journals and open educational resources (OER) provide the foundation for a world in which a higher education can be a basic human right. Governments and foundations are supporting this shift with a move to open policies: requiring public access to publicly (and foundation) funded resources.Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons, will provide an overview of open licensing and OER, and discuss specific examples where institution, provinces / states, nations and foundations have moved the default on funding from “closed” to “open.” He will also explore new OER projects that are pushing open education further into the mainstream.

Posted by Sunny Pai in Creative Commons, OER

NSF will require grantees to make published results freely available within 12 months

More research publications will be made freely available to the public as the National Science Foundation adopts a policy similar to that of the National Institutes of Health. See a report from Science, at . Students will have free access to current research at no cost. Instructors will have fewer hurdles in incorporating research publications into their reading lists.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER, Open Access, Open Education

Students and textbook expenditures

An interesting post at e-literate by Phil Hill analyzes data showing increased costs of textbooks but relatively level spending by students–in short, students are choosing to forgo purchasing required textbooks.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Faculty Leaders: P. Jayne Bopp, Instructor in Sociology at Leeward CC

jayne_screenJayne Bopp has been teaching SOC 100, Survey of Sociology at Leeward CC with an Open Educational Textbook for the last two years.

This video highlights how Jayne got started using OER and the results she has experienced since she has adopted OER in her classroom. She also shares how students are grateful and appreciative at not having to spend so much money on a textbook.

The following is a special guest blog post by P. Jayne Bopp.

I’ve always been interested in making books affordable and accessible for my students.  However even when I worked with publishers to customize books the costs never seemed reasonable and students usually couldn’t sell them back.  Today publishers constantly update editions and the bookstore can only order the newest versions.  I didn’t like being forced to order a new version, especially when it hadn’t even been published yet. When I tried sticking with older editions it became apparent that not all students have access to Amazon and shipping for low costs books can often take several weeks.

The homogenization of information started to put me off as well.  I couldn’t help noticing that the introductory textbooks in my field, regardless of the publisher were virtually identical, even down to the chapter topics. I started to feel as if the textbook was a necessary evil.  Having a book was required to legitimize the class and a starting point for learning but I always made the information my own by adapting it to my teaching style and using examples from Hawaii.  I am also not interested in having publishing companies design, implement and grade my students’ assignments; I prefer a more hands on approach.

In the midst of experiencing these frustrations I remembered an email I had gotten a year earlier about free open source textbooks.  I dug it out and lo and behold Open Stax College had, among other things an excellent peer reviewed Introduction to Sociology textbook.  All I had to do was paste the URL into my syllabus and students could view the book online, download it and even print it for free.   I tested the book with online students over the summer and it was it hit.

Like any time we use a new textbook or redesign a course there is a lot of initial work however, its well worth it.  Students have access to the required course materials from day one and are enormously grateful for the free textbook.  There is a lot more accountability because students have no excuses for not having a book.  So far, with the help our Librarians I’ve managed to make four of my classes completely OER.   Now I don’t have to fill out those pesky book order forms each semester!

Posted by Leanne in Faculty Leaders, OER, Zero Textbook Cost

Ensuring the Quality of Digital Content for Learning

Though focused on K12 Education this policy brief from State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) outlines recommendations for school systems to systematically evaluate OER digital objects. The recommendations are applicable to university systems as well. See the PDF document. A webinar provides more details on how organizations are evaluating OER.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

What can you do with $1,440,000,000?

A short video from Affordable Learning Georgia, a GALILEO and University System of Georgia initiative, asks how money spent by students for textbooks might benefit the people of Georgia.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Panel discussion about OER experiences from Virginia Tech

A panel of four instructional faculty describe their experiences with creating open educational resources. All have interesting stories of their OER paths. See Course releases and tenure/promotion support for creating instructional materials were essential incentives for these works. WebWork and APEX Calculus are two important resources highlighted in this session. This is part of Virginia Tech’s Open Education Week events.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Infographic of online learning in higher education

An interesting infographic from Pearson based on the Babson Survey Research Group survey report for the Online Learning Consortium ( provides compelling images of the importance of online education in highered. Interestingly the charts showing awareness of OER among academics reveals that administrators are much more aware of OER than faculty. Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 10.51.12 AM .

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER, Online Education

Biosensors: Fundamentals and Applications, Textbook now OA

A textbook published in 1987 and cited more than 2000 times (Web of Knowledge data) since then (>140 times since 2010) is now open access. The copyright from Oxford University Press to the authors. The entire book, can be accessed at urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-92007 in the repository DiVA of the Linkoepings universitet, Sweden. The PDF direct link is

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER, Open Access

National Research Council: Reaching Students… STEM education

A report from the NRC presents brief profiles of innovative instructors in 4- and 2- year colleges. These instructors eschew traditional textbooks and integrate investigative and reflective learning into their courses. The book can be downloaded as a PDF or read online as an e-book for free. See REACHING_STUDENTSReaching Students.

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER

Washington Post “Why digital natives prefer reading in print…”

A Washington Post article posted 2015 Feb 22, presents evidence that young adults, 20-somethings, prefer print when needing to follow text closely. Online reading is reserved for skimming or cursory reading.The article brings to light the tension between using online course material to provide less expensive options and greater access and the educational needs of students who find online reading less satisfying. See the article at .

Posted by Sara Rutter in OER