New partnership between SUNY and Lumen aims to take open educational resources to scale

The State University of New York system has, with its sister City University of New York, become in many ways the center of the open educational resources universe, thanks in part to its size and in (larger) part to the state Legislature’s recent multimillion-dollar investments in OER.

On Wednesday SUNY took another step toward solidifying that role with an agreement extending and expanding its current relationship with Lumen Learning, one of the companies that has embedded itself in the open educational resources space to try to improve the quality and increase the usage of OER-based digital courseware.

Under the terms of the three-year agreement, SUNY will cover the costs for all students to use content provided through Lumen at no charge. (OER content itself is typically free, but platforms like Lumen typically charge a per-student, per-course fee to use the platform through which the content is delivered, which often includes homework and feedback tools and other services that textbook publishers have increasingly wrapped around their textbooks.) …”

BNED and OpenStax Partner to Expand OpenStax Catalogue of Open Educational Resources | Business Wire

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), a leading provider of educational products and services solutions for higher education and K-12 institutions, today announced a deeper partnership with OpenStax™, the Rice University-based publisher of open educational resources (“OER”). Beginning Fall 2019, OpenStax will include the Business Law textbook from BNC OER+ (formerly known as LoudCloud Courseware) in its catalog of open educational resources, which are available to all educators at no cost. The expanded partnership between the companies for such content collaboration will further drive affordability and accessibility for students nationwide….”

Open Science: An Academic Librarian’s Perspective – Open @ CUNY

Open Science is a multifaceted notion encompassing open access to publications, open research data, open source software, open collaboration, open peer review, open notebooks, open educational resources, open monographs, citizen science, or research crowdfunding in order to remove barriers in the sharing of scientific research output and raw data (FOSTER). In other words, the goal of the Open Science movement is to make scientific data a public good in contrast to the expansion of intellectual property rights over knowledge propagated by the paywalled dissemination model. Therefore, Open Science is more of a social and cultural phenomenon aiming to recover the founding principles of scientific research rather than an alternative form of knowledge exchange. It is important to emphasize that despite the fact that Open Science is currently most visible in the area of “hard sciences” (due to large data sets generated by high-throughput experiments and simulations), it is not limited to only the STEM fields — it is also applicable to other types of scientific research….

In order to support open data-driven research, academic librarians have to expand traditional library services and adopt new data-related roles, which will require expanding their qualifications beyond library science and subject degrees toward information technologies, data science, data curation, and e-science. This will lead to a deep transformation in librarians themselves….”

Open enough? Eight factors to consider when transitioning from closed to open resources and courses: A conceptual framework | McNally | First Monday

Abstract:  Transitioning from closed courses and educational resources to open educational resources (OER) and open courseware (OCW) requires considerations of many factors beyond simply the use of an open licence. This paper examines the pedagogical choices and trade-offs involved in creating OER and OCW. Eight factors are identified that influence openness (open licensing, accessibility and usability standards, language, cultural considerations, support costs, digital distribution, and file formats). These factors are examined under closed, mixed and most open scenarios to relatively compare the amount of effort, willingness, skill and knowledge required. The paper concludes by suggesting that maximizing openness is not practical and argues that open educators should strive for ‘open enough’ rather than maximal openness.


Open Web annotation as collaborative learning | Kalir | First Monday

Abstract:  This paper describes the use of open Web annotation (OWA) for collaborative learning among online communities. OWA is defined by the open standards, principles, and practices associated with the open Web. Specifically, this case study examines collaborative learning mediated by the OWA technology Hypothesis, a standards-compliant and open-source technology that situates collaboration in texts-as-contexts. Hypothesis OWA supports a repertoire of six collaborative learning practices: Affording multimodal expression, establishing connections across contexts, archiving activity, visualizing expertise and cognition, contributing to open educational resources, and fostering open educational practices. The use of Hypothesis OWA is then described in three online communities associated with scientific research and communication, educator professional development, and Web literacy and fact-checking. The article concludes by advancing three broad questions and related research agendas regarding how OWA as collaborative learning attends to linkages among formal and informal learning environments, the growth of both open educational resources and practices, and the use of open data as learning analytics.

Job Description – OPEN EDUCATION COORDINATOR (191054)

OU Libraries seeks an innovative, collaborative, and highly motivated individual to serve as the Open Education Coordinator. Successful candidates will have a strong understanding of open educational resources (OER), open licensing, open pedagogy, and the landscape in which these open-enabled domains reside. This position develops strategies for increasing the use of OER and alternative textbook and course material solutions at the University of Oklahoma by leading, planning, implementing, and assessing OU’s Open Education programs and services in support of OU’s goal to reduce the cost of attendance for its students. Reporting to the Head of Open Initiatives and Scholarly Communication within the University Libraries, the Open Education Coordinator manages the Alternative Textbook Grant and otherwise works to increase students’ access to educational resources via creative and inclusive strategies….”

Navigating 21st-Century Digital Scholarship: Open Educational Resources (OERs), Creative Commons, Copyright, and Library Vendor Licenses: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  Digital scholarship issues are increasingly prevalent in today’s environment. We are faced with questions of how to protect our own works as well as others’ with responsible attribution and usage, sometimes involving a formal agreement. These may come in the form of Creative Commons Licensing, provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act, or terms of use outlined by contractual agreements with library vendors. Librarians at Eastern Carolina University and Kansas State University (K-State) are among several university libraries now providing services to assist with navigating these sometimes legalistic frameworks. East Carolina University Libraries are taking initiatives to familiarize faculty, researchers, and students with Open Educational Resources and Creative Commons Licensing. At K-State, librarians in digital scholarship and electronic resources identified the overlap of their subject matters through their correspondence regarding users’ copyright and licensing questions; a partnership formed, and they implemented a proactive and public-facing approach to better meet user needs and liability concerns at a major research university.

Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

“While faculty are increasingly interested in an open access publication model, traditional scholarly incentives continue to motivate their decision-making. Approximately two-thirds of respondents in this survey cycle indicated they would be happy to see the traditional subscription-based publication model replaced entirely by an open access system, which represents a greater share of respondents compared to the previous survey cycle. However, only four in ten faculty indicate open access characteristics of journals as highly influential in publication decisions.

There is substantial interest in use of open educational resources for instructional practices, particularly from younger faculty members. About six in ten respondents are very interested in using open educational resources (OER), and roughly half strongly agreed that they would like to adopt new instructional approaches with OER….”

Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges – UNESCO IITE

The publication “Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges” is the result of partnership between the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and OER Africa, an initiative established by Saide.

It critically reviews the growth of open educational resources (OER) and its potential impact on education systems around the world; and points at some significant achievements as well as key challenges hindering the growth and potential of OER that need to be addressed.

The publication summarizes the conclusions of a series of country case studies conducted by experts from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Slovenia, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom. It seeks to shed light on such important issues as the economic and pedagogical value of investing in OER; the role of OER in fostering diversity, inclusion, and in purposively pursuing quality improvement and innovation; and, finally, the extent to which these important issues are being researched.

The publication is addressed to decision-makers, educators and innovators, and is aimed to stimulate the debate about the impact of OER and encourage governments to engage with OER in ways that drive defined pedagogical improvements, while encouraging equity and diversity in global knowledge networks….”

Exploring factors impacting student engagement in open access courses: Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning: Vol 34, No 2

Abstract:  Studies on student engagement in learning have mainly focused on undergraduate degree courses. Limited attempts have been made to examine student engagement on open access enabling courses, which is targeted to underrepresented students in higher education. Students on open access enabling courses are at high risk due to a low academic achievement in high school, the gap between schooling, work and post-secondary education, and different kinds of personal and academic barriers. This paper reports on a pilot quantitative study using a survey method undertaken at an Australian university. The study examined a range of issues related to student engagement, including learning barriers, engagement and experience in learning, skills attained, motivation to complete study, career pathway, and key reasons for selecting a particular pathway. The study found that online students are less engaged in learning and, therefore, efforts need to be made to improve their sense of belonging to the university. The findings of the study are critical due to high attrition on open access enabling courses and it argues the need to improve the engagement, retention, and success of students on such courses.