Sprinting for a Textbook

Physiology 141 Team

It all sounded so good. Like summer camp. We would all be together, yes, working hard, 9am-9pm, but we’d have good food, take walks together, keep each other going. In the spring of 2020, at the end of five days, the ten of us would have written a textbook for PHYL 141, the highly enrolled human anatomy and physiology course at University of Hawaiʻi four-year universities and community colleges. Best of all, instead of the textbook costing students over $100, it would be free. Zero-cost textbook, indigenized, localized, with the exact content desired by the 39 faculty representing all the campuses in this systemwide project. When published, every instructor is also able to modify the content in whatever way they like. But what happened? You know what happened. The pandemic.

We could not let go of this dream. I kept thinking about my wild-mind concept maps, taped to the wall beside our surfboards. Then with an adventurous group of colleagues who are endlessly inspiring, caring deeply about students, we took steps toward making the sprint happen…online. We knew a lot would have to change. Even the company, Book Sprints, with their years of experience, were navigating new waters. How can we do this online? How do you keep ten instructors, each with their full-time teaching load, engaged with a zoom session for all the hours it would take to write a book? And what about that good food and those walks to keep up our morale? To this day, it is still hard to believe we did it. In the spring of 2021. It truly took a village to make it happen. I am so grateful for everyone involved. That is a story for another day. In the meantime, if you are interested in a systemwide project to create an open educational resource for a class, count on me; let’s talk story.

Dr. Sheryl Shook  shooks@hawaii.edu

Originally posted at openkapiolani.wordpress.com, May 6, 2021

Posted by Sunny Pai in OER
Our New Hub on OER Commons

Our New Hub on OER Commons

As we wade into the summer season, we’re sharing news about our recently-finished Hub on OER Commons. This Hub will serve as a platform for collaboration and resource sharing, with a focus on both private co-authoring inside working groups and outward-facing collections that demonstrate some of the OER energy flowing throughout the University of Hawaiʻi system.

Our hub consists of several distinct parts:

Are you a UH instructor or faculty and would like access to our member or working groups? Sign up for an OER Commons account and then hit the “Request to join” button where you would like to take part. Over the next year we will be transitioning prior work done in our OER sprints into working groups, better capturing the in-progress work and supporting collaborative discussions that had no central home before.

Earlier this year the fine folx at ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education) conducted a set of trainings that explain the ins and outs of our Hub, including collections and features we are just beginning to build out. One of the single most powerful features of our Hub is that we can not only upload our own OER into specific collections and groups, but can also draw on the thousands of resources already on the OER Commons platform. We first found inspiration for our Hub by browsing the Network Hubs already in existence OER Commons, getting an idea of how other higher education institutions and networks have organized themselves and worked together around shared content and ideas.

There will be more to share as the Fall semester approaches and we look to support the dozens of OER projects currently in the works at the University of Hawaiʻi. Aloha!

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Online Education, Training
February OER Commons Hub Virtual Training: Curation and Creation

February OER Commons Hub Virtual Training: Curation and Creation

Join us next week for a series of training workshops hosted by the folx at OER Commons! UH is nearing the launch of our own Hub on OER Commons, a place for curating useful OER and collaborating across the system. Trainings will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday February 9-11th at 12noon, run for one hour, and will be recorded for those who are unable to join synchronously. The OER curation session will be held a second time at 12noon on Wednesday, February 17th.

UH campus icons

Session 1: Introduction to Open Educational Resources and Practices
When: Feb 9, 2021 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Get to know our recently launched University of Hawai’i OER Project Hub. This informative session will provide participants with an opportunity to explore, contribute, and collaborate with our dynamic OER community, which is dedicated to improving teaching and learning throughout Hawai’i.

Register in advance for this training: https://iskme.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwodO2uqjkjHNRAvn2Hs4A6_Lmpb5kA4Mji

Session 2: Curating Open Educational Resources to Improve Teaching and Learning

When: Feb 10, 2021 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join us for a deep dive into OER curation and exploration of best practices for identifying, evaluating, organizing, and sharing high-quality course materials. We will discuss and practice how to effectively leverage collaborative tools and curation workflows to improve teaching and learning.

Register in advance for this training: https://iskme.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrcuyppjsoHtxnLso9fRlbp8qxgVA0cPmt

Registration 2: When: Feb 17, 2021 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this training: https://iskme.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlf–urjgpH9FTRDCsVVVr-QOZh2PRTjwB

Session 3: Creating Open Educational Resources for Courseware Improvement
When: Feb 11, 2021 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

This engaging webinar will provide faculty, librarians, and instructional designers with an opportunity to discover how to best utilize OER tools for courseware improvement, including design, authoring, and remixing. We will also explore exemplar resources and use cases from Universities and Colleges, and discuss workflows for peer review, reflection, and refinement of resources.

Register in advance for this training: https://iskme.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sc-qpqjMqG9P0OfPvVEvfeDIKdkeYNp9n

Icons for Working Groups on OER Commons

These sessions aim to familiarize instructor and librarians with Open Educational Resources, focusing on the OER Commons platform and our own customized Hub. The UH OER Hub hosts subject collections, helps organized group activities, and makes it easy for anyone to create bite-sized lessons from existing OER or from scratch.

Be sure to create an OER Commons login if you plan to attend!

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Training
UH at the OpenEd20 Virtual Conference

UH at the OpenEd20 Virtual Conference

The OpenEd Conference of 2020 will serve as a reminder that community is stronger than corporations, and that it is shared values and goals which bring together practitioners and researchers in the open education space. Stewardship of the OpenEd conference was left open after the 2019 conference, and it has been encouraging and inspiring to see many in the community prioritize and support the continuation of the event. Several members of our UH community offered synchronous and asynchronous sessions at the 2020 Open Education Conference, held virtually due to the COVID19 pandemic. From UH Mānoa, sessions included and English Department PhD candidates Māhealani Ahia and LynleyShimat Lys, OER GA, presenting a social justice themed session, “OER and Open Pedagogy in a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning,” and OER Technologist Billy Meinke-Lau presenting a lightning talk, “Open at the Edges, or the Edges of Open: Futures in Scholarly Collaboration.”

Presentation slide from “OER and Open Pedagogy in a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning”.

The session “OER and Open Pedagogy in a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning” focused on ongoing ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian), Pacific Islander, and Indigenous-centered OER and Open Pedagogy projects at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, as a university invested in Open and OER and a system designated as a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning. Māhealani and Lynley discussed their work as members of the editorial board of Hawaiʻi Review arts journal, a Native Hawaiian-led journal at UH Mānoa. Hawaiʻi Review engages in multiple ʻŌiwi-centered OER and Open Pedagogy projects, including the Mauna Kea Syllabus Project, inspired by the Standing Rock Syllabus and the BLM syllabus. The editorial board of Hawaiʻi Review comprises ʻŌiwi, Pacific Islander, and Indigenous women, men, and queer people who recognize the politics of publishing and have intentionally created outreach projects to encourage ʻŌiwi scholarship: creative writing residencies, and an OER textbook for English Studies and Humanities.

Māhealani spoke about ʻŌiwi education and the Mauna Kea Syllabus, which contributes to the growing body of scholarship produced around the efforts of Kanaka Maoli to protect their mountain Mauna a Wākea from continued desecration. In Native Hawaiian epistemology and ontology, Mauna Kea is the piko (umbilical connection and center of Hawaiian worldview). The most recent proposal of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) desires to build a 4.1 billion dollar observatory eighteen stories high in a designated conservation zone ignoring numerous environmental concerns; the mauna is part of the national Hawaiian lands set aside for Kanaka Maoli, exacerbating unresolved land and sovereignty claims.

Māhealani and Lynley also spoke about a Hawaiʻi Review project to create an OER Textbook grounded in Hawaiʻi-based pedagogies and community-centered forms of scholarship and research. The Hawaiʻi Review OER textbook will promote Hawaiian epistemologies through several important components: 1) introduction to teaching writing here in Hawaiʻi, 2) selection of teaching curriculum and literary materials that will come from Hawaiian writers, be situated in Hawaiʻi, and/or contain Hawaiian themes; 3) lesson plans to showcase possibilities for ʻŌiwi to share their curriculum to a wider audience, thus ensuring a Hawaiian Place of Teaching.

Title slide from “Open at the Edges, or the Edges of Open: Futures in Scholarly Collaboration”.

Billy’s lightning talk titled, “Open at the Edges, or the Edges of Open: Futures in Scholarly Collaboration,” focused on the future of “open” in the context of contemporary issues of politics and technology. Beginning with provocations meant to challenge the notions of “neutral technology,” the 10-minute prerecorded session, the larger message was for all folx participating either directly or tangentially in the open education movement to question their relationship to technology, and from there question their relationship to “open”.

All content and session recordings are being shared through the OpenEd20 YouTube Channel, and we encourage all stakeholders in the UH community to peruse them as they find useful. The vibrancy of the open education community (or communities!) has never been brighter, and the ability of the community and its leaders to maintain the momentum we have been gathering for years, is inspirational.

The University of Hawaiʻi OER program wishes to not only provide cost-savings and accessible learning for students, but also support work towards equity and social justice, creating space for discussion of complex issues that may not be a part of the dialogue in all places. With gratitude for the work that has been done, we look forward to OpenEd21.

This post was co-authored by LynleyShimat Lys and Billy Meinke-Lau.

Posted by Billy Meinke in Conference, Open Education, UH Manoa
Human Nutrition 2020 Edition is Live!

Human Nutrition 2020 Edition is Live!

Guest post by the UHM Food Science and Human Nutrition Program.

The team behind the Human Nutrition OER textbook at UHM is thrilled to announce that the latest edition is now available! Mahalo to the UHM Outreach College and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources for their support. In our last blog post about the project, we announced a call for photo submissions to be used as our new cover. And thank you to Dr. Noa Lincoln (TPSS) for submitting the winning photo!

This new version of the textbook adds an interactive layer across the comprehensive book, now including 176 embedded learning activities created with the open source quiz tool H5P. Over one hundred flashcards were added at the end of relevant sections to help students review definitions of important terms, and more than fifty drag and drop activities were added to reinforce the learning objectives outlined at the beginning of each chapter. These activities provide valuable engagement with the textbook content, supporting student learning through formative practice and immediate feedback.

Animated image showing H5P interactions inside the book

In addition to the new embedded learning activities, the content of the textbook has been updated and revised since the 2018 edition. Content updates include:

  • “Health at Every Size” (new section in the Nutritional Issues chapter)
  • Nutritional Label Facts section updated to reflect the new guidelines
  • Major and Trace Minerals, Pregnancy and Infancy sections expanded

In celebration of open education and sharing resources, we are proud to unveil the Human Nutrition OER Textbook Instructor Resource Website.  Access to this website is free and available to interested faculty that are interested in using the text in their courses. The site features lecture slides, quiz and exam question banks, assignments, and other resources. To gain access to the instructor site, please complete this form.

Landing page of OER course on human nutrition
Screenshot of OER website for human nutrition
Screenshot of instructor website with guidance for new adoptions
Screenshot of teaching materials website
Screenshot of Instructor Website links to lecture slides and quiz banks

UHM’s Food Science and Human Nutrition department will begin adopting version 2 this Fall. It will also be conducting a study on student perceptions towards embedded learning activities in OER textbooks and whether embedded learning activities in OER textbooks impact student learning.  We look forward to sharing our findings and future OER projects in future posts.

Zoom meeting screenshot of the development team

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Noemi Caacbay (Project GRA), Kellie Taguchi (Distance Ed. Coor.), Gemady Langfelder (UG Student), Dr. Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla (PI), Ya-Yun Yang (Distance Ed. GA), Ty Lim (Instructional Designer), Jennifer Draper (Instructor), Christina Young (UG Student), Chynna Chun (UG Student), Skylar Hara (UG Student)

The 2018 version of our text is listed in the Open Education Network’s Open Textbook Library, and we encourage interested faculty to consider adopting this text and set of instructor resources as a cost-free and flexible option to better serve students. Enjoy!

Posted by Billy Meinke in Grant Projects, OER, Open Textbooks, UH Manoa
Curated List: College Success OER

Curated List: College Success OER

We are already mid way through summer 2020. Many faculty are running full steam to prepare for an unpredictable fall term. In full appreciation of the shifting and re-working that college and university instructors have done to set the stage for success, we should also consider how the first-year experience is changing during this heightened moment in history. In an effort to support the reuse and remixing of OER, we offer a curated list of courses and textbooks on college success and the first-year experience that you might find useful.

Each of these resources has strengths in content or form that are worth borrowing or building from, and many are published using Pressbooks, which makes it easy to copy and adapt them in whole or in part. If you are a UH instructor and want to find out more about starting up a Pressbook for OER, please drop us a line.

OpenSem: A Student-Generated Handbook for the First Year of College

Rebus Community: Robin DeRosa https://press.rebus.community/opensem/

Veteran Open Pedagogy educator Robin DeRosa engaged students in creating this textbook through an OpenSem, an open seminar using principles of open pedagogy. This meant the learning process and outcomes were driven and owned by the students. The content covers tips for students orienting themselves to the college experience, and student-written articles about issues for students in higher education.

Screenshot of Opensem OER textbook

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

UH Mānoa: Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams http://pressbooks.oer.hawaii.edu/englishcomposition/ 

This book was written at UH Mānoa by educators from across the UH system during one of our May 2019 OER sprints. In situating its focus on first year student writing, this book opens with a chapter on student success. The authorship represents five campuses in the UH system, bringing together a passionate group of instructors who have worked with thousands of students.

Screenshot of English Composition OER textbook

Strategies for Academic Success

University of Saskatchewan: Liv Marken https://openpress.usask.ca/strategiesforacademicsuccess/ 

This textbook is an adaptation of a previous College Success title, reworked for the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Science to support their first year course. The chapters are constructed around themes that address the transition to college, social skills and communication, healthy lifestyle choices and more.

Screenshot of Strategies for Academic Success OER textbook

Blueprint for Success in College and Career: v 1.3

Rebus Community: Dave Dillon https://press.rebus.community/blueprint2/ 

This book is the recipient of a Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association, and is one of the more comprehensive resources in this list. The early chapters are dedicated to preparing for launch, and then branch out into an array of topics around college success.

Screenshot of Blueprint for College Success in College and Career OER textbook

University 101: Study, Strategize and Succeed

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/studystrategizesucceed/ 

This textbook was published by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres and focuses on the skills and habits associated with student success. The chapters are organized similarly to other books but are titled assertively as learning outcomes. This book is also meant to be useful to returning students and international students, and includes downloadable worksheets at the end of the book.

Screenshot of University 101 OER textbook

College Success

OpenStax: Multiple Authors: Amy Baldwin, University of Central Arkansas et al  https://openstax.org/details/books/college-success 

This book is published by OpenStax, and includes work from a team of authors focusing on student success and wellness. The text can be read online and downloaded for free, and a low cost print order option is available. The text is available with accompanying instructor and student resources, and has an attached OER Hub on OER Commons.

Screenshot of College Success OER textbook on OpenStax

Before You Go

This is only a handful of the OER available for college success. The great thing about the open license on each of them is that they can be used and remixed immediately. We can even make a customized version of any or all of them for you to use with your students. Have fun exploring and let us know if we can assist you in any way. Also let us know if you decide to use or remix these resources or have other resources to share. With new challenges come new opportunities for learning, and we wish you the best as the semester begins!

Featured image/header photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Online Education, Open Textbooks
UH Pressbooks Support Resources Now Available

UH Pressbooks Support Resources Now Available

New UH OER learning resources are now available!

These link-rich slides include Introduction to Pressbooks, Interactive OER, and Collaborative OER Strategies for OER development, and were used during widely-attended OER trainings held in April. Having been scheduled for in-person delivery prior to COVID restrictions, the presentations were modified with questions and prompts to encourage virtual participation. More than a dozen new Pressbook sites were recently opened for instructors, pointing to greater interest and continued growth of OER use.

The slides include much of what we have learned over the last three years piloting the use of Pressbooks to support OER at UH. Much more than just flat textbooks, faculty and instructors across the UH system are making engaging, tech-forward textbooks that cost students nothing and are endlessly customizable. Several projects discussed in the workshops have entered second development phases of their content, putting H5P and other embedded media to use for students.

Mahalo to everyone that joined us!

The slides decks are linked below:

UH OER Pressbooks Intro

Screenshot of UH OER Pressbooks Intro presentation slides

Interactive OER Pressbooks

Interactive OER Pressbooks slide deck cover

Collaborative OER Strategies

Screenshot of Collaborative OER Strategies slide deck

Having trouble accessing the slides? Send an email to oer@hawaii.edu and we’ll take care of you.

Posted by Billy Meinke in Open Textbooks, Training, UH Manoa
2020 UH Manoa Call for OER Grant Proposals + Spring OER Trainings

2020 UH Manoa Call for OER Grant Proposals + Spring OER Trainings

Support for OER adoptions and creations at UH Mānoa continues with this year’s UHM Outreach College call for OER grant proposals and a series of workshops held with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Entering its fourth round, the OER grant program offered by the UHM Outreach College has yielded more than a $1.2M in student savings and effected more than 12,000 student enrollments during the first two years alone. Projects funded by the program represent the passionate work of instructors, faculty, and academic departments across campus. Funding of up to $5,000 to offset faculty curriculum development time, or to bring student assistants into the work, are awarded to projects that make meaningful improvement to the student experience through the use of OER.

More information about the grant program and the application form can be found on the 2020 UHM Call for OER Proposals page. Applications are due March 20th, 2020.

Additionally, a series of OER workshops are being offered through the CTE. This semester’s offerings extend beyond the basics of OER, copyright, and adaptation to approach the topics of Pressbooks publishing software, interactive elements, and collaborative strategies for content development.

Intro to Open Educational Resources –> February 20 (completed)

What are Open Educational Resources? How do they fit into textbook affordability at UH Manoa? Which exciting projects are already in the works? This introductory session will answer these questions and more, showcasing major adoptions and innovative OER publishing happening at UHM and across the UH system. Come find out why so many courses are switching to OER, and how faculty and instructors can get support adopting and customizing OER for their courses.

Copyright & Creative Commons licensing –> March 5

Copyright and intellectual property in the digital age can seem complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. This workshop will cover copyright and intellectual property related to OER publishing and reuse, with a focus on Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

OER Creation and Adaptation –> March 12

Like most learning content, OER are created and adapted with software tools, usually guided by instructional design frameworks or theories. This workshop will provide an overview of the instructional design processes that guide current UH OER projects.

Intro to Pressbooks Publishing Software –> April 2

The UH OER initiative uses free and open source software to publish an impressive range of textbooks. From Human Nutrition to Atmospheric Science, come see working examples of OER textbooks in use, and find out how to get your own Pressbook site to experiment with.

Building Interactive Pressbooks –> April 9

The textbook is dead. Long live the textbook! From embedded assessments to group annotations, this workshop will highlight ways OER textbooks made in Pressbooks software are being designed to facilitate learner engagement.

Strategies for Collaborative OER Projects –> April 16

Three years into the UH OER pilot program to develop collaborative OER textbooks, this workshop will focus on what works in terms of team organization, editing and review, and new methods for rapid development of content.

More information and sign ups can be found on the CTE events calendar.

Posted by Billy Meinke in Grant Projects, Open Textbooks, Training, UH Manoa
Human Nutrition 2.0!

Human Nutrition 2.0!

This is a guest blog post by a team from the Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences.

Mahalo to the University of Hawai‘i Outreach College OER grant and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) for supporting our efforts to create Human Nutrition 2.0 this Fall! Kellie Taguchi, Distance Education Coordinator, and Ya-Yun Yang, Graduate Assistant, from CTAHR are collaborating with a team from the Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Sciences including faculty member, Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla, graduate student Noemi Caacbay, and undergraduate students Gemady Langfelder and Christina Gar Lai Young. Version 2.0 will be expanded to include additional interactive study activities for students to reinforce the concepts they have learned in the OER textbook as well as to provide accompanying resources for instructors wishing to adapt the OER textbook to their courses.

Call for Cover Image Submissions

In anticipation of our release of Version 2.0 in time for the Spring 2020 semester, we are putting a call out for submissions for a new cover image! Cover image submissions should reflect food, nutrition, and our beautiful Hawaiian community. Images should be submitted by 12/1/2019 to Noemi at caacbayn@hawaii.edu.   

Human Nutrition Textbook Cover

Posted by llys in Faculty Leaders, Grant Projects, OER, Open Textbooks, UH Manoa
September 2019 OER Sprint Releases – English Composition and UH Microeconomics

September 2019 OER Sprint Releases – English Composition and UH Microeconomics

With the semester getting into full swing, we are proud to share the outputs of the OER sprints conducted in May of this year. During two sprint events, faculty and instructors from throughout the University of Hawaii system focused their energy and expertise to produce two OERs.

Likened to a coding hackathon, book sprints involve rapid planning, writing, revising, and more writing. Book Sprints champions the notion of going “zero to book in five days” but due to time constraints, three-day sprints were planned and focused on content for English 100 and Economic 131 (Microeconomics). Our teams gathered at the Information Technology Center (ITC) at UH Manoa to take part in this experimental approach to curriculum development, spending 11-to-12-hour days giving their all to the project. From roughly 9:00am to 9:00pm, these subject matter experts sought out existing content, drafted entire chapters from scratch, and edited each others’ work.

Professors and a facilitator in front of a white board

The first sprint team members had already adopted the widely-used Openstax Principles of Microeconomics in their courses, which provided an excellent base of content. As many instructors do in the classroom, each instructor brought with them extensive notes about how they might change or augment the curriculum if given the opportunity. While it can be a slow process to make substantive changes to a textbook over a semester, the sprint offered the chance to make changes immediately and receive expert feedback from others who work with the same content, resulting in a book that better supports the needs of the instructors. Changes from the off-the-shelf Openstax version to the UH version include a Use of Mathematics appendix as part of the first chapter, the combining of multiple chapters and updates to examples, tables, and data throughout.

After major combinations or eliminations of chapters and sections were decided, a checklist of tasks was established for each chapter and work was divided among the participants. For the Microeconomics book, each of the seventeen chapters went through phases of text revision, figure/table updating, checking links to external content, knowledge check revision, alignment with learning objectives, and final in-house copyediting. Each night while the subject matter experts rested, Book Sprints staff in South Africa and Germany copyedited the day’s work and made suggestions to align the content with a style guide established at the beginning of the sprint. This process repeated for each of the chapters, and each day the group began by reviewing the copyediting notes and making plans for the next full day of work. As a final step, figures and equations throughout the book were formatted in LaTeX.

Screenshot of UH Microeconomics OER textbook

Click the above image to visit the book.

The second sprint group focused on the creation of a writing and rhetoric guide that is commonly assigned alongside a set of readings and contemporary literature. English 100 is taken by as many as 10,000 UH students each year across all campuses, representing one of the highest enrollment courses in the entire system. Several similar OER guides in various website and course formats had been produced at the time of this sprint, but the end goal was to create a guide that would take book form.

As with many courses, the approaches and objectives for English 100 vary somewhat from campus to campus and between instructors. The Book Sprints team guided the team of subject matter experts through a process of harmonizing the variations of learning outcomes associated with sections of the course, clarifying the goals for the project. In what can be described as a semi-chaotic post-it note session, the instructors were tasked with curating all the ideas and goals for the book into buckets representing chapters. Many ideas and goals overlapped, and some were discarded if they did not fit within the scope of the book or were a better fit for an individual instructor’s edition of the book — which was promised from the beginning. Having a shared collaborative version was foundational, and the open licensing and simple cloning in Pressbooks meant that each instructor now has their own version to use with their students and continually edit during the pilot period.

Organizing ideas on post-it notes on a white board

As it turned out, three days of sprinting was barely enough time to yield the first draft of the text, now titled English Composition. Finishing touches on this initial version of the text were made in the weeks following the sprint, ensuring each instructor could confidently move forward with the text. The book begins with a chapter on student success, which gives helpful tips for communicating with professors and other students, and for understanding standards of quality for writing. The following chapters then explain the writing process and distinguish between types of essays that students are likely to write during their college experience. A final chapter on research skills rounds out the core content of the book, which is supplemented by appendices that recommend place-based and culture-based readings, videos and sample assignments.

Screenshot of English Composition OER textbook

Click the above image to visit the book.

Both books are now available on the UH Pressbooks site, to be viewed and used and downloaded under the terms of the CC BY license attached to it. Print on demand for both books is being finalized, which will allow students to access low-cost print copies. Overall, the sprint approach to OER development holds real value for those interested in OER but who, like many, haven’t moved to the adaptation and creation phases of OER beyond off-the-shelf adoption.

A huge thanks to Barbara and Karina from Book Sprints for their master facilitation skills, and to the eight authors across both sprints who shared their expertise and collaborative energies with us. Big thanks as well to Davilla Gose and Laura Chuang for helping make the logistics and operational side of the sprints smooth.

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Sprints
Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Award Winners 2019

Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Award Winners 2019

Open Educator Award

Michael Cawdery
Michael Cawdery

Michael has designated two (2) of his classes as TXT0 (Textbook Cost: $0). He has reached more than 500 students, saving them over $50,000.

As part of his dissertation and a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant with Leeward CC’s Associates in Arts in Teach (AAT) program, Michael facilitated the creation an OER website: Highlighting Effective Teaching Strategies Video Library (http://hets.leeward.hawaii.edu/).  With permission of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, the project visited over 30 classrooms and recorded more than 55 lessons in public and public charter schools over an 18-month period.  The website was a collaborative project between Michael, local education agencies, and David Fry who helped with the video and technical aspects of the project. The video library is designed to bring real-world examples and models of effective teaching practice to pre-service and in-service teachers.
The Leeward Open Educator Award is an annual award which seeks to recognize faculty who promote or contribute to a culture of utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) in the classroom.

Award Amount: $500

Leeward Designing OER Renewable Assignments

Tasha Willimas
Tasha Williams
Rachael Inake

Tasha and Rachael will be working together to create a renewable assignment for ENG 100.

The renewable assignment will have students contribute to a chapter in an existing OER College Success textbook plus create ancillary materials for that chapter.

The goal of the LDORA is to create renewable assignments based on the principles of OER-Enabled Pedagogy which are designed to be used with specific open educational resources.

Incentive Award: $250 each

Leeward OER Creation Award

Leeward OER Creation Award
I-Chia Shih

I-Chia Shih will be creating OER lab manuals for Leeward Anatomy and Physiology students (PHYL 141L and 142L).

This project has the potential impact to save our students at least $16,662 within an academic year. While I-Chia will be building upon and remixing existing content, about 70% of the content will be originally created, peer-reviewed, and copyedited. I-Chia has established a collaboration with other Anatomy and Physiology faculty within the UH System and they plan to help each other with the development of OER resources across campuses. 

The goal of the LOERCA is to develop original OER materials where none exists or revise and remix existing OER with the addition of original content.

Incentive Award: $3000

More information on Leeward CC OER Site

Funds for these program have been provided by the Office of the Vice President for Community Colleges at the University of Hawai’i. 

Posted by Leanne in OER
Happening this May: UH OER Sprints!

Happening this May: UH OER Sprints!

Over the last several years, instructors and faculty from across the UH system have joined the movement in adopting OER in place of textbooks and other costly resources in their classes. A subset within this wave of adoptions includes content that has been adapted or customized to better suit the teaching style of the instructor and needs of the students, something that can only be accomplished with OER — which carry copyright licenses that allow such modification. These customized OER projects have typically followed the OER Production Workflow we published just over two years ago. Even with project milestones and sufficient assistance in place, the single largest barrier to meeting projects goals has been time. It can take months or even years to produce a single OER textbook.

Recognizing this barrier, we have begun to wonder how the processes of adaptation and creation of new content can be invigorated, and how the energy and enthusiasm of our faculty could be focused in way that would allow us to reach a pilot-ready OER in less time. To that end, we’ve made plans to employ sprint-based textbook development methods this year to build customized UH OER. Using existing OER content as a base, our motivated faculty and instructors will have the opportunity to build curricular materials that demonstrate their expertise in a given subject area. Beyond simply replacing costly materials, there will be opportunities to explore innovative pedagogical approaches that might be done during course refreshes.

But what the heck is an OER sprint?

When introducing the concept of a sprint, we often compare it to a “hackathon” like is done for code, but instead to build a book. Putting the rather important nuances on hold for a moment, sprint methods usually involve a small group of subject matter experts who are guided through the ideation, writing, and revision phases of writing a book over the course of a few days. A facilitator and handful of support staff assist with each step in the process, and some post-production in done after the writing and revisions have ended, polishing up the content and forming in into a useful package. Sprint methods have been used for more than a decade to create documentation very quickly, and have now expanded to include textbooks and even ancillary materials like assessment banks.

In our case, we will be sprinting to build OER books to address needs within some of our highest enrollment courses in the UH system. This May our first sprints will take place between May 15 and May 22, in three-day all-day sessions of curating, writing, and revising content for Introductory Microeconomics and Macroeconomics (ECON 130/131) and English Composition (ENG 100). In some cases, faculty who teach these courses have already begun to gather and adapt OER for their specific course at their campus, and now we are moving to create foundational OER available to all UH campuses where these courses are delivered — even the online ones!

What if I’m interested in being a part of this but haven’t yet had the chance to chime in?

We are still gathering instructors and faculty to from all campuses to take part in the May sprints. Please reach out to Davilla Gose (drgose@hawaii.edu) or Billy Meinke-Lau (wmeinke@hawaii.edu) ASAP if you would like to get more information or sign up for participation.

What if I think this sounds *awesome* but I am not available in May during the above window of time?

The response to our call for interest in OER sprints has been overwhelming, and for this first set of sprints we are going to focus on these few courses. Instructors from a range of fields including history, physiology and anatomy, chemistry and more have reached out, and so we are already making plans to host more sprint-style events in the coming Fall semester. These will likely be single-day events to address lighter revisions/remixing and the development of shared ancillary resources like quiz banks and lecture slides decks.

If you are interested in future activities like OER sprints and training or workshops around customizing OER, be sure to sign up for the UH system-wide listserv by making a request via email to oer@hawaii.edu.

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Sprints
Textbook Cost Zero Marking Coming to UH Course Listings

Textbook Cost Zero Marking Coming to UH Course Listings

Students at all ten campuses of the University of Hawaii system will soon be able to make more informed decisions about the courses they take than ever before. Beginning in Spring 2019 semester for some campuses, and Fall 2019 for all campuses, instructors will now easily be able to give their courses a “TXT0” attribute to indicate that the course has adopted an Open Educational Resource textbook or moved to using only free resources. Marking of courses to indicate their being textbook-free or OER based has been an ad-hoc effort at various campuses for the last couple of years, but now a standardized technical implementation will be available to all instructors in all sections of a course.

In an age where OER textbooks are available for most high-enrollment undergraduate courses, students will now be able to identify the instructors and departments shifting toward cost-free resources. A 2017 survey on the impact of textbook costs for students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) campus was consistent with the findings of similar regional and national surveys: students make poor academic decisions based on the cost of textbooks. According to the survey, more than eighty percent of students have skipped buying a required textbook for a course, with nearly two thirds of those students acknowledging it would affect their performance in the course. Additionally, nearly seventy percent of students indicated that the cost of textbooks for a course would determine their taking that course, with more than twenty percent of students reporting having withdrawn from a course due to the cost of textbooks and materials. Both on its face and in the long-term, this new ability to mark courses as having no textbook cost will surely allow students to make better decisions about the courses they take.

Class Availability with TXT0 marking at Honolulu Community College / Carol Hasegawa

Hawaii joins Texas, Washington, and a growing list of states that have enabled zero-textbook cost marking in course listings, many of them having done so in a response to legislation that required such action.

This move will also enable institutional research to understand how lowering barriers to instructional materials affects student success more broadly. A growing body of research is seeking to answer this question, and early signals suggest that student success is generally noted to be at same level or higher level when OER and/or zero-cost materials are used in instruction as opposed to traditional costly materials. How this shift towards students making enrollment decisions based on marking for OER and zero textbook-cost courses is yet to be seen, but we are optimistic about students making better-informed enrollment decisions.


Contact oer@hawaii.edu with questions.

Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Student, Zero Textbook Cost
September 2018 UH OER Releases – Communicology, Building Maintenance, and OER Training Pressbooks

September 2018 UH OER Releases – Communicology, Building Maintenance, and OER Training Pressbooks

As we slide into the Fall 2018 semester, more of the Open Educational Resources (OER) developed at UH are ready for sharing out. Each of these OER have been developed on the UH Pressbooks platform and are available in a wide range of file formats for reuse, under an open license that allows you to borrow and adapt to suit your needs.


Building Maintenance and Construction: Tools and Maintenance Tasks

Clifford Rutherford, University of Hawaiʻi Maui College

Written by the Program Coordinator of the Construction Technology Program at UH Maui College, this book serves as a foundation for students seeking entry-level careers in the building trades and facilities management fields. Covering a range of introductory topics, the text touches on proper use of common tools, preventive and reactive maintenance procedures, mechanical systems, and much more. An augmented version of this text is being piloted at this time, with interactive practices and assessment items built in. Please get in touch with the author to learn more.

Textbook cover for Building Maintenance


Message Processing: The Science of Creating Understanding

Jessica Gasiorek and R. Kelly Aune, Department of Communicology (UHM)

This text provides an upper-level undergraduate introduction and explanation of the social and cognitive processes involved in human communication, focusing on how people create understanding. Written by faculty in the Communicology Department, the book delves into human processing of sounds and physical behaviors, and the biological, cognitive and social processes that are at work.

Textbook cover for Message Processing


UH OER Training

William (Billy) Meinke, Outreach College (UHM)

This is a three-part workbook that guides the OER training workshops delivered to faculty through the Center for Teaching Excellence at UH Mānoa. The book has been piloted and refined into a resource that can support OER training in the areas of 1) Basic OER knowledge, 2) Copyright and Creative Commons, and 3) Skills for authoring OER. The book is intended to be a quick-start guide for higher education instructors who wish to jump in and get their hands dirty with OER quickly using best practices for adaptation and creation.

UH OER Training workbook cover


Interested in reusing any of these texts? Contact information for the authors is available in the front matter of each book, and you can always drop us a line at oer@hawaii.edu.

Mahalo and enjoy!


Posted by Billy Meinke in OER, Open Textbooks, Training