FREE UKSG webinar – Back to the Future: Lessons learned from the Jisc OA Textbook project | UKSG

“With eTextbooks high on library and publisher agendas and the controversy over costs and access raging, OA textbooks could be a solution. What are the considerations for initiating, and sustaining an open access textbook directly linked to teaching at one institution, but open to all? The 2014-2018 Jisc Institution as eTextbook Publisher project funded OA textbook pilots and created a toolkit. Liverpool published 2 titles, in a partnership with the Library and Liverpool University Press. In this webinar we will revisit the project and look forward, considering resource and expertise requirements for a sustainable OA textbook model….”

OERs: the future of education? | Research Information

“When University College London launched UCL Press, in 2015, the library services team wanted the open access university press to become the OA publisher of choice for authors, editors and readers around the world. Six years, 180 research monographs and more than four million downloads later, the press has, without a doubt, been embraced by many.

Paul Ayris, pro-vice provost and director of UCL Library Services, tells Research Information: ‘With only 180 books, we’ve reached more than 240 countries and territories across the world… as the UK’s first fully open access university press, we’ve seen the impact the press has had.’

Over this time, one of the top ten downloads has been an e-textbook on burns and plastic surgery produced by Deepak Kalaskar from Medical Sciences at UCL and director of the  MSc course in burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery. According to Ayris, the book’s 70,000 downloads are proof that e-textbooks and open educational resources have a clear future at UCL, a point that’s only been underlined by the current pandemic.

‘UCL has now given us funding to produce an e-textbook service,’ he says. ‘We have 45,000 students at UCL and when the libraries physically closed and students couldn’t get access to physical copies… we saw that digital education and providing open educational materials was the way to go.’

‘I wouldn’t have said that 12 months ago, but I’m saying it now,’ he adds….”

Open education resources to shape post-pandemic world

“For the past two decades, the world has been building open knowledge on a massive scale, with open educational resources as a cornerstone. The 2001 launches of MIT OpenCourseWare and Creative Commons formed a solid foundation of this global open educational resource movement, which now supports many millions of learners from all walks of life.

Now, as we begin to grapple with the long-term impacts and changes in education brought on by the pandemic year, it’s crucial to assess how open educational resource (OER) tools and resources are reaching those who need and use them most. In this article, we’ll focus on students in Africa….

Beyond its role in sustaining education through the pandemic, OER like MIT OpenCourseWare has several qualities that will be essential in the rebuilding and progress to come, supporting efforts to increase equity and live more sustainably as framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

• OER is inclusive, because it’s open for all to adapt for diverse needs and have all voices reflected.

• OER is resilient, always there when you need it, free to use in classrooms and carry with you through any future disruptions.

• OER is iterative, a collective work in progress that admits the latest insights into what’s working, and what’s not working, as knowledge is created and applied.

• OER is scalable, enabling hyper-local knowledge and lived experiences to be shared and built into a global pool of knowledge….”

Automatic Textbook Billing Contract Library – SPARC

“SPARC created the Automatic Textbook Billing Contract Library as a resource for advocates and institutions to understand the legal agreements behind automatic textbook billing. Known by brand names like “Inclusive Access” and “First Day,” these programs charge the cost of digital course materials directly to each student’s tuition and fee bill, often without confirming their consent. While vendors say this model provides access, many students think it limits their options. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of students—not vendors—and that starts with reading the fine print….”

Affordable Accessibility – UTC Magazine

“Fleming, scholarly communications librarian and coordinator of the UTC Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative, says those thoughts and actions evolved beyond ensuring internet access. A growing number of faculty were committed to making class resources and necessities more accessible to all students. 

She says faculty are now more committed to finding ways to get students the best, most affordable resources. “We had a huge increase in interest that’s persisted about creating affordable materials for students,” Fleming adds. …”

Webinar: How Can We Successfully Collaborate to Advance National Capacity for OER in Canada? – YouTube

“In this webinar, held April 22, 2021, panelists discuss strategies and opportunities for advancing Canada’s national OER capacity, whether through funding, training, infrastructure, or advocacy. SPARC’s experience with obtaining funding commitments at the federal level and with a variety of state-level policy strategies in the US is also be presented to help inform the discussion.”

How Can We Successfully Collaborate to Advance National Capacity for OER in Canada?

“So how can we strengthen OER adoption further, better ensuring that all post-secondary students have opportunities to benefit from regionally relevant OER, and that faculty and instructors who wish to incorporate open education in their teaching have the supports and incentives to allow them to do so?…”

It’s Time for Open Educational Resources

“Yet, in far too many cases, we are still requiring very expensive textbooks in our classes. Over the degree program, students are expending thousands of dollars for texts that many sell back to the bookstore for less than half of their original value. Much of the material embedded in the texts is either already available freely online or could be assembled by the instructor from open-access sources. At the same time, many instructors still complain that the text does not precisely fit their needs; they skip chapters and assign additional readings to update the material in the text that is already one or two years out of date before the book hits the students’ desks. Why not just create your own texts and update them as often as is needed?

During the first three semesters in COVID times, awareness of open educational resources (OER) has surged among faculty members. Faculty members who put their classes online through remote learning discovered more fully the range and timeliness of relevant materials that are available online. In a study by Bay View Analytics, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewitt Foundation, it was found that faculty who adopted OER rated their materials superior to the commercial alternatives, and while the percentage of required OER materials did not increase, the percentage of supplemental OER materials did….”

Where is the ‘Justice’ in Open Education?

“In a third and final webinar in its series on exploring aspects of Open Pedagogy, the New England Board of Higher Education is honored to welcome Jasmine Roberts as she leads us in a discussion on the importance of centering social justice in this work.

Open education frameworks address high-cost course materials, but with an increase in the adoption of open educational materials, conversations about inclusive teaching, social justice, and anti-racism pedagogical practices need to be at the center of open practices. Roberts’ talk will address the urgency of adopting social justice practices in open education and strategies on how to do this….”