UK Open Textbooks Report 2019

The UK Open Textbook Project has released the UK Open Textbooks Report 2019.

Here's an excerpt:

The UK Open Textbooks project was conducted in several stages over the period of March 2017 to May 2019. The project tested two highly successful approaches to increasing engagement with, and use of, open textbooks. . . .

In the report we conclude that the awareness of OER and open textbooks is typically very low in the UK HE sector. However, awareness of open access publications is high, supported by the Finch Report and REF policy on open access deposition. Although existing knowledge of open textbooks was low, once educators were made aware of them, they expressed significant interest in their adoption. This provides an existing conceptual model and set of practices on which to build.

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Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018

Ithaka S+R has released the Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey 2018.

Here's an excerpt:

In this seventh triennial cycle, we surveyed a random sample of faculty within the United States on topics from previous cycles, including information discovery and access, data management, research dissemination, perceptions of student research skills, and the value of the library. We also added new questions on emerging topics of interest, including open educational resources, learning analytics, and evolving scholarly communication models.

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"Do Open Educational Resources Improve Student Learning? Implications of the Access Hypothesis"

Phillip J. Grimaldi et al. have published "Do Open Educational Resources Improve Student Learning? Implications of the Access Hypothesis" in PLoS ONE.

Here's an excerpt:

Open Educational Resources (OER) have been lauded for their ability to reduce student costs and improve equity in higher education. Research examining whether OER provides learning benefits have produced mixed results, with most studies showing null effects. We argue that the common methods used to examine OER efficacy are unlikely to detect positive effects based on predictions of the access hypothesis. The access hypothesis states that OER benefits learning by providing access to critical course materials, and therefore predicts that OER should only benefit students who would not otherwise have access to the materials. Through the use of simulation analysis, we demonstrate that even if there is a learning benefit of OER, standard research methods are unlikely to detect it.

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"How to Fight Fair Use Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: The Experience of One Open Educational Resource"

Lindsey Weeramuni has published "How to Fight Fair Use Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt: The Experience of One Open Educational Resource" in The Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship.

Here's an excerpt:

At the launch of one of the early online open educational resources (OER) in 2002, the approach to addressing copyright was uncertain. Did the university or the faculty own their material? How would the third-party material be handled? Was all of its use considered fair use under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) because of its educational purpose? Or was permission-seeking necessary for this project to succeed and protect the integrity of faculty and university? For many years, this OER was conservative in its approach to third-party material, avoiding making fair use claims on the theory that it was too risky and difficult to prove in the face of an infringement claim. Additionally, being one of the early projects of its kind, there was fear of becoming a target for ambitious copyright holders wanting to make headlines (and perhaps win lawsuits). It was not until 2009 that the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare was written by a community of practitioners who believed that if fair use worked for documentary film makers, video creators, and others (including big media), it worked in open education as well. Once this Code was adopted, universities and institutions were able to offer more rich and complete course content to their users than before. This paper explains how it happened at this early open educational resource offering.

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"Strategies for Supporting OER Adoption through Faculty and Instructor Use of a Federated Search Tool"

Talea Anderson and Chelsea Leachman have published "Strategies for Supporting OER Adoption through Faculty and Instructor Use of a Federated Search Tool" in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.

Here's an excerpt:

INTRODUCTION Open educational resources (OER) are gaining traction in higher education and becoming accepted by academics as a viable means for delivering course content. However, these resources can be difficult to find and use, both due to low visibility and confusion about licensing. This article describes one university’s work with faculty members to identify barriers in their search process when they are looking to adopt OER. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM A scholarly communication librarian and science librarian partnered to collect faculty and instructor reactions to a particular OER search tool, with the intention of better understanding the difficulties encountered during the search process. Eight interviews were conducted as participants were asked about their preferences when it comes to locating OER, understanding licensing information, and adopting materials for class. NEXT STEPS From these interviews, the librarians identified practical recommendations for instruction/liaison librarians and technical services/systems librarians as they continue working to support faculty and instructors through the OER discovery and selection process. These recommendations relate to four themes uncovered in interviews with faculty and instructors: the need for increased transparency in search tools, the importance of intuitive narrowing and broadening features in search tools, the need for detailed and consistent metadata in OER records, and the need for clarity in intellectual property statements. The librarians note that these recommendations might best be pursued through wide-scale collaboration across library units and, more generally, between libraries, consortia, and institutions.

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"OER Cost Assessment Strategies"

Nichole Karpel and Bruce Schneider have published "OER Cost Assessment Strategies" in EDUCAUSE Review.

Here's an excerpt:

Open educational resources can provide access to high-quality resources while offsetting the costs of traditional textbooks. An array of costs are associated with the "free" approach, however, and institutions that are successful with OER understand that moving to open resources requires extensive planning, selection, management, and maintenance.

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"Barriers, Incentives, and Benefits of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: An Exploration into Instructor Perspectives"

Serena Henderson and Nathaniel Ostashewski have published "Barriers, Incentives, and Benefits of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: An Exploration into Instructor Perspectives" in First Monday.

Here's an excerpt:

The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend Kursun, Cagiltay, and Can's (2014) Turkish study to include international participants. Kursun, et al. surveyed OpenCourseWare (OCW) faculty on their perceptions of OER barriers, incentives, and benefits. Through replication, these findings provide a glimpse into the reality of the international educators' perceptions of barriers, incentives, and benefits of OER use to assist in the creation of practical solutions and actions for both policy makers and educators alike. The results of this replication study indicate that barriers to OER include institutional policy, lack of incentives, and a need for more support and education in the creating, using, and sharing of instructional materials. A major benefit to OER identified by educators is the continued collegial atmosphere of sharing and lifelong learning.

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Using Open Educational Resources, UGA Saves Students $2 Million

From 2013-2016, the University of Georgia estimates that it has saved students $2 million .

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The University of Georgia is actively engaging in the promotion and adoption of OERs by providing faculty members, especially those who teach large enrollment courses, such as those included on the University System of Georgia Top-100 Undergraduate Enrollment list, with resources and assistance to transition away from expensive textbooks to open education resources. Since the OER initiative began in 2013, OERs will have saved UGA student $2 million in textbook costs by the end of 2015-2016.

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