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.

For This Campus, Choosing Textbooks Has Gotten a Lot More Complicated – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Meanwhile, the traditional textbook market is shifting under [the] feet [of professors]. Digital-first approaches now include flat rates for unlimited digital access. Open-educational resources, or OER, are gaining traction, offering ever-more alternatives. And newer players, such as Amazon and Chegg, are changing the market through the textbook rental business.

Some of those changes are shifting decision-making authority from individual professors up the chain to administrators, particularly when colleges pursue partnerships with nonprofits disrupting traditional textbook models. In other instances, statewide or campuswide pushes toward zero-cost degrees are pressuring professors to comply.

How this all plays out varies by college. Brown University is buying textbooks for some low-income students. Textbook-exchange programs started by students have helped lower costs on some campuses. Deals between the University of California at Davis and publishers promote “equitable access” — in which all students pay the same book fee every term, no matter the course. California and New York have begun statewide initiatives to encourage colleges to increase the use of OER….”

Open Education – Office of Educational Technology

“We believe that educational opportunities should be available to all learners. Creating an open education ecosystem involves making learning materials, data, and educational opportunities available without restrictions imposed by copyright laws, access barriers, or exclusive proprietary systems that lack interoperability and limit the free exchange of information….

In the 2017 National Education Technology Plan, the Department defines openly licensed educational resources as teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items….”

Connecticut One of 20 States Leading the Charge on Creating Open Education Resources That Stretch From K-12 to College | The 74

“As states across the country look for ways to provide more high-quality resources to classroom teachers, universities have been experimenting with materials that reduce the crushing cost of college textbooks.

In Connecticut, one state commission is looking to unite the two and share open educational resources at all levels, from local school districts through state universities and colleges….”

Renew the Open Textbook Pilot Grant Program – SPARC

“The Open Textbook Pilot is a federal grant program that supports projects at institutions of higher educations that create or expand the use of open textbooks to achieve savings for students. First funded by Congress in the bipartisan fiscal year 2018 budget bill then renewed for a second year, the program has awarded $10 million in grants through the U.S. Department of Education.

SPARC and U.S. PIRG co-lead a national campaign to secure this first-ever federal funding, and we are now working to renew and strengthen the funding for a third year….

SPARC is working to renew and strengthen the Open Textbook Pilot funding in the FY20 budget. We are calling on Congress to increase the amount of funding, increase the number of grants available, and require the Department of Education to run a new competition.

While the timeline of the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations process is still unclear, the House and the Senate have taken steps toward renewing the Open Textbook Pilot. In June 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740 which includes a $5 million appropriation. On September 18, 2019, the Senate released bill language and the accompanying report for the relevant budget bill, which includes a $6 million appropriation—a $1 million increase—along with instructions for the Department of Education to run a new competition….”

It’s time to get serious about open educational resources | Times Higher Education (THE)

“For universities, the business case is compelling. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey indicates that a $32,000 (£26,000) investment saved its students $1.6 million over two years. At Ontario Tech, we had a professor receive a standing ovation from his students when he announced that a certain expensive astronomy textbook was to be replaced by open educational resources.

At their best, OERs allow faculty and students to build course material in much the same way as developers build open code or open software. Everything is shared. Collective insights can be captured for future students in a virtuous cycle of learning and improvement….

But there are four primary challenges that need to be overcome before the movement can really take off….”

UC Davis Experiments with a New Textbook Model: An Interview with Jason Lorgan – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Beginning in fall of 2020, students will receive an email with links to the digital content and information on what print content they may need and guidance on where to get it. Each email will be personalized based on that student’s schedule. When students add or drop, the University will turn off access to the online content in the courses they have dropped and send them links to access the content for the courses they added. The burden will be on the University to make it easier for the student in Fall of 2020….

The fundamental difference between IA [inclusive access] and EA [equitable access] is that IA is organized at the course level, while EA is at the campus level. IA has variable pricing for each course and EA offers a fixed price per term regardless of what course you are taking….”