Textbooks could be free if universities rewarded professors for writing them – Academic Matters

“eCampusOntario commissioned me to produce a report on how institutions of higher learning could support the implementation of open educational resources. I worked with the centre for a year as an Open Education Fellow, one of six who were selected because of our own involvement in producing open educational resources at our colleges and universities….

We only found two institutions in Canada, the University of British Columbia and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where explicit mention of open education had been made in performance and tenure policies.

 

We recommended that Ontario’s colleges and universities recognize creating open resources in policies governing tenure and promotion. Doing so would change the culture of these institutions and be a more effective incentive than course buy-outs or small grants. It would communicate clearly that institutions of higher education take seriously the responsibility to tailor knowledge to students and to reduce barriers….”

On ZTC, OER, and a More Expansive View

“Regardless of whether you feel a stronger affinity with the ZTC [zero textbook cost] camp or the OER camp, there is something we should all strive to remember. Our primary priority should neither be minimizing cost nor maximizing pedagogical flexibility. Our primary priority should be increasing student learning, and our efforts to reduce costs and increase pedagogical flexibility must always be subservient to that end. When we fail to put student learning first, we can become zealots who confuse the means with the ends. This makes it possible for us to pursue cost reduction at any price to student learning. It also makes it possible for us to pursue pedagogical flexibility regardless of the cost to student learning….”

What Exactly Is a ‘Free’ Textbook, and Other Questions About Open Resources – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“A few months ago, we asked you to tell us about some of the teaching experiments taking place on your campuses, so that we could share the lessons you’ve learned. One popular project, we found, is to switch from traditional textbooks to open educational resources, or OER.

While those experiments are just beginning, I decided to get an early take on how things are going. Are people excited? Frustrated? Confused? Who is doing the work, and how will you know if you succeeded? I reached out to a number of the readers who wrote in about OER. Here are their initial takeaways….”

The Library’s Role in Supporting Open Educational Resources | Amigos Library Services

“As the cost of textbooks and other educational materials are exponentially increasing, many institutions of higher education and PK-12 schools are adopting open educational resources (OER) as alternatives for their students. Libraries are starting to see OER as part of a trickle-down effect. More and more librarians are now being tasked with supporting faculty, students, and other members of their communities with the adoption of OER.

Join us on December 4, 2019 for an Amigos Library Services online conference, The Library’s Role in Supporting Open Educational Resources, where we will explore the roles libraries of all types play in supporting open educational resources….”

OpenSciEd – Free High-quality Science Instructional Materials

“The OpenSciEd materials include Teacher and Student materials for each instructional unit in addition to the corresponding professional learning materials designed to support the use of the units. Each unit fits within a Scope and Sequence that provides coherence within and across years….

OpenSciEd units and professional learning materials are being field tested by 200+ teachers, with over 5000 students, in 100 districts across 10 states and revised based on their feedback. Learn more about this process and how teacher and student voices have informed the materials….

OpenSciEd classroom materials are developed, field-tested, and revised in tandem with professional learning materials to support teachers in the enactment of high quality science learning for all students.”

How a University Took on the Textbook Industry | EdSurge News

“This kind of free online textbook was novel in 1999 when Rice professor Richard Baraniuk started gathering them online for students and faculty around the world to use. As demand for low-cost, high-quality materials increased during the Great Recession, the nonprofit project shifted from curation to creation, publishing its first five free textbooks in 2012.

Today, OpenStax—part tech startup, part publishing house, part cognitive science research lab—has a library of three dozen titles. By the nonprofit’s estimates, more than half of U.S. colleges use at least one. And some credit it for helping kick-start a trend—now known as open educational resources, or OER—that has sent shockwaves through the traditional publishing industry….”

A Conference on Open Education Invited For-Profit Publishers to a Keynote. Then the Objections Began. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Less than two weeks before its 16th annual meeting, the Open Education Conference has canceled one of its keynote panels — “The Future of Learning Materials” — after facing a backlash on social media.

The panel, which had been scheduled for November 1, was slated to include representatives from Cengage, McGraw-Hill, Lumen Learning, and Macmillan, all for-profit publishing companies, as well as the managing director of OpenStax, a nonprofit. It was supposed to explore the potential role of traditional commercial entities in the future of open education resources.

“That role could be anything from ‘no role’ to ‘deeply committed participant,’” David Wiley, a member of the program committee and a co-founder of Lumen Learning, said in an email. Of the more than two dozen speakers and panels nominated for keynotes, the future panel was one of the top vote-getters on the program committee, he added.

But the reaction to the panel highlighted the often contentious relationship between advocates for open education resources and commercial publishers, as open resources expand in the learning-materials market. …”

A Conference on Open Education Invited For-Profit Publishers to a Keynote. Then the Objections Began. – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Less than two weeks before its 16th annual meeting, the Open Education Conference has canceled one of its keynote panels — “The Future of Learning Materials” — after facing a backlash on social media.

The panel, which had been scheduled for November 1, was slated to include representatives from Cengage, McGraw-Hill, Lumen Learning, and Macmillan, all for-profit publishing companies, as well as the managing director of OpenStax, a nonprofit. It was supposed to explore the potential role of traditional commercial entities in the future of open education resources.

“That role could be anything from ‘no role’ to ‘deeply committed participant,’” David Wiley, a member of the program committee and a co-founder of Lumen Learning, said in an email. Of the more than two dozen speakers and panels nominated for keynotes, the future panel was one of the top vote-getters on the program committee, he added.

But the reaction to the panel highlighted the often contentious relationship between advocates for open education resources and commercial publishers, as open resources expand in the learning-materials market. …”

An inclusionary open access textbook for Portuguese

Abstract:  This case study describes the development of an e-textbook for first-year Portuguese classes. This pedagogical initiative strives to provide an inclusionary and open textbook for Portuguese, including the collaboration and feedback from Portuguese speakers of several economic and cultural backgrounds. In this context, ‘openness’ means listening to the language of a given community and the commitment to reproduce it in a textbook format. Inclusion of minority groups in the textbook is perceived not as ‘curiosities’, but as an integral part of the cultures being represented so that a wider range of communities and language registers (from formal to informal) is portrayed. In addition, openness applies to the articulation of gender narratives in an inclusionary format. For instance, the masculine gender is supplemented with female and other non-binary genders. Above all, this textbook is adaptive and open to all, regardless of economic background. By promoting language teaching and quality free education to all, it is our intention to contribute to a better understanding of each other and to the reduction of the divisions among communities. In this project, the authors decided to create materials in an open platform (Creative Commons CC BY), available to any student with access to the Internet. In order to be inclusive, the authors worked in partnership with language professionals and students from several institutions in the US and in Brazil. Through a collaborative effort, the authors produced an inclusive e-textbook created from the bottom up.

An inclusionary open access textbook for Portuguese

Abstract:  This case study describes the development of an e-textbook for first-year Portuguese classes. This pedagogical initiative strives to provide an inclusionary and open textbook for Portuguese, including the collaboration and feedback from Portuguese speakers of several economic and cultural backgrounds. In this context, ‘openness’ means listening to the language of a given community and the commitment to reproduce it in a textbook format. Inclusion of minority groups in the textbook is perceived not as ‘curiosities’, but as an integral part of the cultures being represented so that a wider range of communities and language registers (from formal to informal) is portrayed. In addition, openness applies to the articulation of gender narratives in an inclusionary format. For instance, the masculine gender is supplemented with female and other non-binary genders. Above all, this textbook is adaptive and open to all, regardless of economic background. By promoting language teaching and quality free education to all, it is our intention to contribute to a better understanding of each other and to the reduction of the divisions among communities. In this project, the authors decided to create materials in an open platform (Creative Commons CC BY), available to any student with access to the Internet. In order to be inclusive, the authors worked in partnership with language professionals and students from several institutions in the US and in Brazil. Through a collaborative effort, the authors produced an inclusive e-textbook created from the bottom up.