The Modern Language Association recently announced an exciting open-access project, Humanities Core, funded by the NEH. The project is very ambitious and promises to be a valuable asset for researchers, particularly those without access to the expensive databases of large universities. The announcement explains the project:
Many studies show that open access (OA) articles—articles from scholarly journals made freely available to readers without requiring subscription fees—are downloaded, and presumably read, more often than closed access/subscription-only articles. Assertions that OA articles are also cited more often generate more controversy. Confounding factors (authors may self-select only the best articles to make OA; absence of an appropriate control group of non-OA articles with which to compare citation figures; conflation of pre-publication vs. published/publisher versions of articles, etc.) make demonstrating a real citation difference difficult. This study addresses those factors and shows that an open access citation advantage as high as 19% exists, even when articles are embargoed during some or all of their prime citation years. Not surprisingly, better (defined as above median) articles gain more when made OA.
A non-profit organization with technology that brings digital content to "offline" populations around the world for the purposes of education will be paying more attention to a U.S. population that's also unable to access the Internet: those in prisons and jails.
Only 6.6 percent of faculty members are "very aware" of open educational resources, a survey found, and many say they can’t find such materials, although their use in introductory courses is ticking up.
A number of higher education–focused sessions at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference touched on issues surrounding student retention and completion—and with the costs of tuition, housing, and materials constantly rising, saving students money is a major consideration. When the conversation includes state and community colleges, and a student body that may have less access to financial resources, finding strategies to cut costs becomes more important than ever. Open educational resources (OER)—freely accessible texts and media that faculty can assemble, repurpose, and package under open access agreements for teaching and research—are a rapidly growing option.
Teachers and students at one district are replacing print with digital. By and large, it’s working For students at Central Valley middle and high schools, accessing classroom lessons rarely involves opening a book. Instead, they power up glowing iPad screens and swipe and tap their way through math problems, the day’s reading or interactive content.
A community college reform group has selected a handful of schools in Virginia and Maryland to develop degree programs using open-source materials in place of textbooks, an initiative that could save students as much as $1,300 a year.
Such open educational resources — created using open licenses that let students download or print materials for free — have gained popularity as the price of print textbooks have skyrocketed, but courses that use the materials remain a novelty in higher education. Achieving the Dream, an education advocacy groups based in Silver Spring, Md., aims to change that by offering $9.8 million in grants to support the development of open-source degree programs at 38 colleges in 13 states.
Supporting effective OER adoption at scale has its problems. Many of these problems have openly licensed solutions. Sometimes it makes sense to deploy these solutions yourself; sometimes it makes more sense to work with a partner.
The launch of SUNY OER Services should make high-quality educational resources more accessible and affordable to more students in the New York state higher education system.
The State University of New York (SUNY) has launched a new initiative designed to make open educational resources (OER) more readily available to its faculty and students, thereby lowering the cost of textbooks and improving access to educational materials.
The system's Open SUNY Textbook Project (OST), begun in 2012, has created SUNY OER Services in conjunction with the private-sector Lumen Learning. The project will:
- Help SUNY faculty find, curate and design OER content that can be used in their courses and research;
- Encourage support for using OER among faculty and students;
- Work to integrate open content into SUNY classrooms; and
- Help faculty develop and share new open learning materials.
By Curt Bonk in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the process and effectiveness of Open Educational Resources (OER) based flipped classroom practice in an undergraduate course named
... OERs not only get you added information but makes learning better by introducing better resources on concepts. Students, teachers and institutions; all get choices from various resources and can use the ones that are apt for their learning and teaching method.
Few benefits of OERs for faculty and students: ...
Free or open educational resources (OER) appear to have increased in popularity over the last few years, as more state universities and community colleges carry out initiatives to replace traditional textbooks with OER. While institutions are adopting OER, however, the majority of professors and other teaching faculty in higher education are still not aware of OER, according to new report from Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG) at Babson College.
The report “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2015-16” incorporates survey results of more than 3,000 teaching faculty and examines attitudes, opinions and use of OER. Overall, the survey paints a mixed picture for OER, where faculty members’ awareness of OER is low but improving.
By Phil HillMore Posts (417) In 2012 the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG) put out a new report on usage and perceptions of open educational resources (OER) usage in higher education. Covered in this blog post, the 2012 report was really … Continue reading →
Education institutions world over have turned to the Internet and other digital technologies to develop and enhance teaching and learning. Recently, Open Educational Resources (OER) has gained accelerated focus for their potential to transcend geographic, socio-cultural, economic and educational boundaries and to promote life-long learning. The rapid expansion of OER provides new and great opportunities, but at the same time, they challenge existing views on teaching and learning practices.
Illume Learning is introducing a free course creation tool designed to help professors save time on looking for course resources.
Illume provides end-to-end resources for professors to access materials, including:
25 million text, trade and scholarly books; Tens of thousands of case studies; Articles from 12,645 academic journals; Millions of articles from 65 leading newspapers and 140 magazines; Hundreds of thousands of syllabi, reading lists and lecture slide presentations; and Tens of thousands of tutorials from Khan Academy, simulations, problem sets, videos and course notes.
Sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), this one-of-a-kind book demonstrates the best tools, resources, and techniques for discovering, selecting, and integrating interactive open educational resources (OERs) into the teaching and learning process. The author examines many of the best repositories and digital library websites for finding high quality materials, explaining in depth the best practices for effectively searching these repositories and the various methods for evaluating, selecting, and integrating the resources into the instructor’s curriculum and course assignments, as well as the institution’s learning management system.
The OER Degree Initiative will create degree programs that utilize openly licensed learning materials, eliminating the purchase of expensive textbooks and saving community college students thousands of dollars.
In response to the growing impact of Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption across SUNY, the Open SUNY Textbook (OST) project is offering services to support wide faculty adoption of OER that can be effectively sustained, improved and shared, as well as delivered to students to give them the day-one access to course materials they need for academic success. Our OER services will continue to include supporting the development of new, original low-cost learning materials for SUNY students, using a financial model that any SUNY campus can easily join. These new and continuing services provide faculty with a common platform to remix, revise, reuse, redistribute, and retain openly-licensed content from any source, including their own original works. SUNY OER Services is a scaled-up, networked, and sustainable approach to digital learning and publishing within the SUNY system, using curated OER content, faculty course supports, and instructional technology development and design.
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