Rice University recently received 12.5 million in new grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Stand Together community. OpenStax aims to improve access to high-quality education by “deepening [their] impact and increasing its share of the textbook market.” With this grant from like-minded donors, OpenStax will be able to achieve the dream of increasing educational access to millions of students.
Unsub is a tool that forecasts the value and costs of individual journals to specific institutions. This data dashboard will “help academic libraries cut their subscriptions to expensive bundles of toll-access journals.” Often libraries are locked into Big Deal subscriptions where prices steadily increase but the subscription package is not being used due to the growth of Open Access journals. “Everyone needs to be more efficient with their money right now, and Unsub provides the data to help you do that.”
For the third year, the theme for Open Access Week will focus on the need for action on equity and inclusion issues in open education. While open educational resources make access to resources easier, everyone does not benefit from these open resources. Issues of structural racism and exclusion persist in the open community. Organizers hope to move from talking about the issues of exclusion to making concrete commitments for action.
Higher education has consistently been challenged with the task of lowering textbook costs. While demand is not directly linked to price, textbook prices continue to rise due to “publishers maximizing profits and reducing the resale value of textbooks.” This article reviews a number of possible solutions to the textbook crisis prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Creative Commons collaborated with researchers, scientists, and lawyers in hopes of expediting “the development of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and medical equipment” to fight COVID-19. This effort led to the creation of the Open COVID Pledge. The pledge “offers a simple way for universities, companies, and others to make their patents and copyrights available to the public to be utilized in the current health crisis.”
Here, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board announces the launch of OERTX, the state’s OER digital repository. The repository will contain “faculty-created, high-quality digital resources that align with Texas Core Curriculum courses.” Initial funding for the repository was made possible through House Bill 3652, which provided $250,000 to support Texas students’ access to OER materials. All content in the repository is CC licensed or in the public domain. Further, all OERTX materials are free to any student and to “any user who can become a part of the community by authoring material within the site, providing reviews of materials, or joining an OER group.”
Two English professors at the University of New Haven received a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation. The grant will support their new initiative, “Transforming Course Through Open Pedagogy,” designed to support faculty collaboration with students as they work to design courses and online learning curriculum.
Neeru Khosla is the founder and CEO of CK-12, a nonprofit that delivers free digital books on math and science to K-12 students. CK-12’s mission is to provide free resources to students and teachers for their learning needs. By using digital textbooks that CK-12 calls “Flexbooks,” learners are able to have an interactive learning experience.
This brief article discusses challenges in the learning technologies field. Learning technologies should be incorporated with the challenge or problem the technology is trying to solve. Instead of “I study iPads,” why not suggest “I study how to help young women maintain their interest in science and math…by using iPads.”
Here, several links to articles that highlight recent federal policy issues are provided for review. Some of the issues include what is on the horizon for remote learning and how some states are rushing to utilize money allotted for broadband projects.
Open access is “a publishing model aimed at making academic and scientific research outputs openly accessible.” This article suggests that academic publishing needs an upgrade to a model that “favors access, collaboration, and fairness.”
This article summarizes a survey of faculty perceptions of the textbook affordability program at Rutgers University. In addition, the Open and Affordable Textbooks (OAT) program also “provides incentive awards to faculty who choose to make their courses more affordable by using open educational resources.” The survey indicated that faculty knowledge varies in the use of OER and in faculty interest in authoring open textbooks. While more than half of the participants reported that they already used OER, many participants had never used OER or were altogether unfamiliar with OER.
The pandemic and the recession have shined a light on open educational resources. OERs have always been touted because they are affordable and largely available to anyone who has access to a computer. In a recent survey published by Bay View Analytics, it was noted that if faculty are aware of OER initiatives, they are “much more aware of OER in general” and “much more likely to adopt” OER in their courses. This article reviews the survey and faculty perceptions of OERs.
This blog post examines some fundamental copyright rules while trying to determine if works generated by artificial intelligence should be copyright protected. The Berne Convention states that “protection shall operate for the benefit of the author.” For works to be registered with copyright, the work must be authored by a human. In a five-day Twitter poll, “almost 70% of a total of 3338 respondents indicated that novel outputs from an AI system belong in the public domain, while 20% weren’t sure.”
In this blog post, David Wiley revisits the relationship between modularization and integration in the context of open source software. Wiley suggests that higher ed has the same challenges as K-12 when dealing with integration of modules.
The digitization of photography has highlighted open licensing and “free” photo-sharing. This article explores the benefits and negatives of open licensing and the platforms used to share creative content.
Per a recent survey of more than 2,100 educators, teachers like their subject curriculum more when they receive adequate training about the curriculum. Three key takeaways from the survey were: 1) there is a “strong relationship” between professional development leading to high quality curriculum; 2) OER quality is just as good as commercial textbooks; and 3) math is one of the top OER curriculums. Bay View Analytics, who conducted the survey, plans to collect more data on this topic in the fall as new trends and challenges emerge in education.
This article explores how open education can benefit college students of color who experience inequities in life and education. “Faculty might have worried about how students would fare with complicated content delivered over Zoom, but students were worried that they would starve, become homeless or have to witness their families fall into even more dire poverty.” Further, the article provides a perspective on the impact the Black Lives Matter movement has exerted beyond policing and surveillance.
The University of Edinburgh approved their OER Policy in 2016. Some of the highlights of the June 2020 Online Learning and Teaching Conference included Wikimedia in the Curriculum and Geoscience Outreach. The full transcript, provided here, goes on to share details of the OER experience at University of Edinburgh.
This article notes how the K-12 textbook adoption process has become as much about politics as about actual history, and for this reason a number of educators and pundits have argued that it’s time for states and school districts to stop using commercial textbooks and instead employ primary texts and secondary materials that are organized around the themes that each course must cover.
Jonathan Poritz, Associate Professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo, recently made all CC Certificate training modules available as audio files under a CC BY 4.0 license. “OER gives teachers and learners real agency because of the open licensing,” says Poritz. While the audio recording is a step in the right direction, Creative Commons should have an accessibility expert look over the materials and periodically review and improve CC Certificate course materials.
Textbook cost have skyrocketed in recent years. Here, a survey of nearly 4,000 students indicates that textbook costs prevent access to higher education opportunities for students “despite publishers’ talking points that access codes and other digital materials have answered student cries for help over costs.” Further, the survey found that students continue to skip buying assigned textbooks and worry that not having the textbook will impact their grade.
In this blog post, David Wiley introduces a new unified framework for measuring the impact of OER use. His new method, S3 Framework, uses three components to measure impact: success, scale, and savings. Success measures student performance via their final grade. Scale measures “the portion of students being reached,” meaning the number of students in different sections of a course using OER. Savings, the final component, measures the average amount of money spent by OER users and the average amount of money spent by control students on learning materials. Wiley notes that success is the most important component in the framework but “affordability is one of the characteristics of a scalable innovation, as students can’t benefit from something they can’t afford.”
Melissa Hardy, a biology laboratory instructor, was motivated to create her own OER textbook after teaching with an expensive, out-of-date, lab workbook for one semester. After collaborating with a colleague, Hardy was able to create an open resource that is adaptable and customizable to student needs.
University of California and Springer Nature have reached an agreement that “will give UC access to read 1000 more journals than its current contract with springer Nature currently allows.” This deal is a huge milestone because Nature is “one of the world’s most prominent journals” and can serve as a blueprint for deals with other North American institutions.
Lumen Learning will begin offering professional development opportunities for faculty that will be included with some of its titles. The professional development resources are the result of Lumen’s acquisition of Faculty Guild, a coaching company for instructors. The service will be called Lumen Circles and will provide coaching on how to use OER, foundations in online learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion in teaching.
“Posting content on Wikipedia requires a CC BY or CC BY SA license for public service media and can increase the size of the audience and the media’s research.” Recently, German public broadcaster ZDF (aka Second German Television) “launched a platform with 50 explainer videos and promised to add three additional videos each week” with CC BY or CC BY-SA licenses, making the content compatible with Wikipedia. The response to the German documentary series Terra X was remarkable and hopefully indicates that there will be “productive competition between ARD ( the first German public-service broadcaster) and ZDF.”
MIT has set the standard in the OER community for sharing its research and teaching with the world. In 2009, the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy was one of the first and most far-reaching initiatives of its kind in the United States.” To continue its commitment “to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract.” MIT hopes to revisit contract negotiations when Elsevier can adapt its contract terms to align more closely with MIT’s mission.
The pandemic has forced many traditional education systems to work with open educational resources. OER have allowed educators to revise their learning resources to meet the needs of varying populations of online learners. Schools in Poland, Slovakia and Norway have used open educational resources and digital infrastructure to support online learning efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many other countries continue to support the intersection between OER and open government partnership goals of transparency, accountability, public participation and inclusion in their education systems.
Six faculty proposals for OERs have been funded by the University of Wyoming Libraries, according to CampusTechnology.com. "With the Alt-Textbook Grant Program, [UW] Libraries not only hope to encourage the creativity and innovation that we have seen in past applicants but also, In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide an affordable and accessible alternative to a traditional textbook as students continue to rely on online resources," said Hilary Baribeau, digital scholarship librarian at the university, in a news release. It's expected that students will save over $24,000 per semester as a result of the program.
A blog post from David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, applies the so-called revisability paradox from learning theory to OERs. Like simple "learning objects" that are easy to revise and reuse, and like "complex" learning objects that don't lend themselves as well to revision and reuse, Wiley writes that OERs can be created with either the former or the latter in mind. As Wiley notes, simple OERs can more easily be adapted and reused but they lack the pedagogical impact of more complex OERs.
NASA has long been committed to sharing its work with the public, and this blog post from Creative Commons.org discusses how the government agency goes about doing that. Author Victoria Heath notes that "openness is ... linked to the agency's mission, one that requires transparency to generate public support." According to Brian Dunbar, from the NASA Office of Communications: "As a government agency, NASA wants to tell taxpayers what we're doing with their money and why we think it's important." Still, with this level of openness, NASA has to be vigilant about copyright issues that accompany the open sharing of NASA-produced images, research and publications.
The COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a free resource with 59,000 articles related to the virus, provides important information to ongoing research. The dataset will "enable researchers to apply novel artificial intelligence and machine learning strategies to identify new knowledge to help end the pandemic," the article states, noting the value of content "that is easily discoverable, text mineable, and in a consistent, standardized, machine-readable format."
Small liberal arts colleges (LACs) in recent years have launched OER initiatives like many larger, public research universities, according to this research journal article. LACs are under pressure to eliminate obstacles to student success. This article provides strategies for librarians to develop sustainable and successful OER initiatives. The first step is justifying spending of "the library's limited human and financial resources on increasing employee familiarity and facility with OERs in order to determine the best ways to advocate and support their use in the classroom," according to the article.
The coronavirus pandemic forced educators, students and institutions of higher learning to find a way to continue the educational experience without face-to-face interaction. The OER initiative was in place before the virus interrupted daily lives. BCcampus, which sponsors the use of open resources, has been able to offer "practical, accessible and affordable solutions" through the use of OERs, according to a post on its website. The article notes that commercial educational vendors offered COVID discounts to lure educators to try their tools, and there is a question whether the discounts will endure beyond the pandemic.
Since 2011, stakeholders from colleges to student-led groups in Massachusetts have worked collaboratively toward implementing open education at all levels. The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education gave two direct OER Initiative Fund Grants to the Massachusetts OER Collaborative, which includes community colleges and universities. In fall 2019, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education accepted recommendations made by the OER Working Group and a permanent statewide OER Advisory Council has been established.
This journal article examines the development of open resources for teaching Spanish as a second language. A group of graduate students worked in pairs to evaluate the "creation of activities that required the incorporation of the tenets of the dual pedagogical frameworks of performance-and literacy-based instruction," according to the abstract. The graduate students concluded that while the book sprint was beneficial on both a professional and personal level, "the products analyzed pointed to a lack of connection" between the materials and what was required pedagogically.
The Hewlett Foundation has supported OERs and their dissemination since 2002, and this report from the foundation contains highlights of some of the "fundamental lessons about what is needed to support and sustain effective teaching and learning with open educational resources." It also discusses new steps and initiatives the foundation is adopting to increase the use of OERs in educational settings around the world.
The issue of textbook affordability and accessibility persists as the years go by, according to this opinion piece by Michael Katz published on the Daily Campus website. Katz notes that a typical four-year college student should expect to pay between $1,200-$1,300 for books and supplies. Students are also faced with accessibility issues stemming from access codes that are tied to printed textbooks. While it seems like the access code would make online material readily available, Katz says that codes put some less tech-savvy students at a disadvantage. In addition, access codes are expensive, sold only at campus bookstores, and expire at the end of the semester. This results in expensive textbooks on the front end that are useless without the access code by semester's end.
Climate change is a trigger for the "loss and possible destruction of cultural treasures," writes author Brigitte Vézina. To mitigate the risk of loss, efforts to preserve GLAMs (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) are on the rise, according to this blog post at CreativeCommons.org. The best way to preserve GLAMs is by digitization, which is an act of reproduction. By nature, digitization requires action by the copyright owner. Exceptions to who can digitize GLAMs are unclear and rare. Creative Commons hopes to bridge the gap for GLAMs by " helping cultural heritage institutions achieve their public interest mission by releasing their content through standard open licenses and tools and offering training through the Creative Commons Certificate," according to the blog post.
In this blog post, David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, writes that portions of the Department of Education's proposed Open Textbook Pilot Program should be clarified, particularly "regarding whether or not the tools that provide adaptive support, the tools that provide assessment capabilities, and any other tools that might be used to store, manage, deliver, augment, or support 'open textbooks' must also be openly licensed." The Department of Education also doesn't state whether these tools will be free to students. Wiley suggests that the answer to all of these questions must be "no."
In this blog post on CreativeCommons.org, Larry Kramer, the president of The Hewlett Foundation, shares his perspective on the value of Creative Commons in the foundation's work. "We believe in openness and the benefits it produces, and it seemed straightforward to apply that principle to things produced with our funding," he says in a question-and-answer session. Per Kramer, "There is a lack of understanding about open licensing" among philanthropic organizations and "hesitation to impose a new priority of this sort onto the culture of an organization or its grantees."
California State University is using its Affordable Learning Solutions program to help faculty members to provide educational content across the 23 CSU campuses impacted by the coronavirus. Shelli Wynants, director of Online Education at CSU, stated in a news release that since she was using OERs prior to March 2020, "it was one less thing she needed to worry about to support student success during the transition to remote instruction."
Daren Tang was recently nominated for director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This blog/opinion post on CreativeCommons.org notes that Creative Commons hopes that Tang's leadership will provide an opportunity to "fix an unbalanced copyright system, embrace on equal terms the views and opinions of civil society organizations, and create new order where rules are fit for the digital environment in which we all learn, share, and create." Some of the matters the organization hopes Tang will address are protection of broadcasting organizations, exceptions and limitations in CC licensing, and copyright and the digital environment.
The post by Lindsey Gumb of Roger Williams University notes that universities and residential college campuses abruptly closed with the outbreak of the coronavirus, and some students who returned home to complete the semester lacked access learning materials and resources. The option to borrow books and materials from classmates "became obsolete overnight when campuses closed and we entered this new world of social distancing and online learning and course delivery," Gumb writes. The pandemic is revealing, according to Gumb "why true OERs have significant value in ensuring students have access to their learning materials because they are free and have licenses that allow for reuse and retention without limitation."
This review by Stephen Downes explores whether MOOCs should be considered OERs. According to the abstract: "From an OER perspective, MOOCs as a product can be called OERs" but from an open education perspective, MOOCs "are going beyond" OERs as "enablers of open education and are understood as an innovative way of changing education."
The University of California at Berkeley reported on the results from a research team about online learning platforms. Students at three Russian universities were divided into three control groups to gather data. The students received identical lessons delivered in three different ways: in-person lectures and discussion sessions, a blend of online and in-person instruction, and all-online instruction. Participants had similar scores on final exams across the three groups even though students generally found online learning "less satisfying."
Four organizations have joined forces to establish the National Council for Online Education. The Online Learning Consortium, Quality Matters, University Professional and Continuing Education Association and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies are collaborating to define, according to an article in EdSurge, "the regular and substantive interaction that must take place between students and instructors in online classes in order for them to qualify for federal financial aid." While they agree over what higher education has been forced to do during the pandemic, "it's still not online education," says Deb Adair, executive director of Quality Matters.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought more attention to disparities in education. Because many institutions were forced to shift to online learning, there is a focus, according to an advocacy blog post on Creative Commons.org, on "the essential need for both broad access to OER and broad limitations and exception for educators and learners to freely and legally use copyright works for educational purposes." The post provides a list of OERs to learn about and increase access to effective learning resources.
The University of California announced that theses and dissertations "must be 1) deposited into an open access repository and 2) freely and openly available to the public, subject to a requested delay of access ('embargo') obtained by the student." Each campus retains authority to determine local filing procedures.
This article by EdSurge's Jeffrey Young is part of "Sustaining Higher Education in the Coronavirus Crisis" by EdSurge. It notes that MOOCs were created to provide low-cost education options for those who did not have access to traditional educational settings. Duke University's China campus immediately began using MOOCs in response to the virus outbreak, and Duke had used MOOCs with Coursera before the outbreak as "a way of repurposing and mashing up available materials with what we had already," according to Duke Associate Provost Noah Pickus. As more colleges and universities sent students home, Coursera expanded its free access to hundreds of colleges around the world.
In the final post of a three-part series, David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, provides perspective on "how it appears that many in the OER community have taken their eye off the ball of student learning." The search for a reliable OER sustainability model has been ongoing for over 20 years. Three organizations, Wiley says, consistently work toward OER sustainability: OpenStax, Open Learning Initiative, and Lumen Learning. The organizations use a hybrid OER sustainability model: using a grant or some type of one-time funding to create an online textbook or some type of OER; and using revenue from product sales to pay for ongoing costs like salaries of staff, content improvement, and technology.
In a post on Creative Commons.org, Creative Commons outlines how the Hewlett Foundation is using Images of Empowerment, a CC-licensed stock photography collection, to share women's stories. The foundation approached Getty images in 2015 to illustrate lives of African women through positive, powerful images. Photographs of women from other countries have been added by other women's organizations. "Images quickly connect to our emotion and leave a lasting impression," according to the foundation. The images have been used for conference material and research and policy briefs.
This article reviews the key findings from last year's Bay View Analytics report examining the impact of OERs on colleges where textbooks are standard. Generally, the findings indicate that faculty awareness and adopting of OERs continue to grow. More than half of faculty members have some level of OER awareness, while 26 percent reported that they have adopted OERs at least once. Those surveyed acknowledged the cost of course materials as a problem for students, and over half of those surveyed ranked cost as the primary reason for lack of access.
This journal article explores how two librarians encouraged first-year composition students to use OERs to "empower their creative rights." Librarians teach students about copyright and intellectual property; hence, using OERs for their assignments should not present any barrier to the learning process, the article maintains.
This EdSurge article on the Educause Horizon Report explains how OERs are becoming more widely acceptable in higher education. Susan Grajek, vice president of communities and research for Educause, stated: "It is no longer a niche solution that people are dabbling in, and it's really moving from being something that people are piloting and experimenting to something people are hoping and expecting to be able to use as a mainstream technology." At the fall UNESCO General Conference, governments agreed to adopt higher standards for OERs to enable easier sharing. Currently, Canada, Western Europe, parts of South Africa and the Middle East lead the international effort to create and disseminate OERs.
The Smithsonian released 2.8 million high-resolution images onto an online open access platform. The images include data and material from all 19 Smithsonian museums, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. Simon Tanner, an expert in digital cultural heritage at King's College in London, described the move in Smithsonian Magazine as "a staggering contribution to human knowledge." The hope is that the benefits from this contribution will outweigh any potential pitfalls.
This article from Creative Commons.org celebrates the second year of the reopening of the public domain. The year 2019 was the first year that works once again began entering the public domain in the United States since the passage in 1998 of the Copyright Term Extension Act, which lengthened the term of copyright for both individually owned and corporate-owned works and, as a result, kept numerous works from entering the public domain for 20 years. Despite this positive news, Julia Reda, fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, stated: "We have to be constantly vigilant. Settled expectations can be disrupted, and thus need to be defended."
This EdSurge article reports on the results of the Achieving the Dream OER Degree Initiative that provided grant money to 38 community colleges. The study revealed that students who took classes with OERs earned more credits than students who took traditional courses. In addition, the study noted that students saved approximately $65 per OER course. However, designing courses to incorporate OER materials requires a large investment of time and money from institutions and faculty. Not surprisingly, the largest expense is from developing courses.
In this blog post, David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, disagrees with a premise given by Doc Searls at a lecture for the Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University. Wiley states that Searls incorrectly argued that the internet is an excludable, nonrivalrous, common pool resource. According to Wiley, the internet is not a common pool resource. He added, "The choice to use the wrong language causes us to also use the wrong mental frameworks, which leads us to try to solve problems that don't actually exist instead of the very real problems that do."
This article provides links to OERs for those interested in learning Spanish. Available OER resources include flash cards and audiobooks, as well as traditional reading materials and online Spanish textbooks. Resources from Project Gutenberg and Wikibooks, popular OER providers, are included in the available online open Spanish resource materials.
This blog post by David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, outlines steps to make adoption of OERs easier for faculty. He notes that while there were early faculty adopters of OERs who wanted to try something new, most teachers at colleges and universities have been slow to shift from traditional copyrighted materials. Wiley says that many in the education community feel that OERs should not be embedded into courseware because it makes engaging with students more difficult. Wiley argues instead that if all OERs, homework, tests, and supplemental materials are incorporated and aligned in a learning-optimized platform, "OER courseware is significantly easier to adopt than a PDF."
Open Oregon, which tracks the use of OERs in Oregon, reported that over 112,000 students in the highest-enrollment classes have saved an estimated $1.1 million in 2019. The article also notes that Oregon students now have the flexibility of choosing courses based on cost of materials alone. In an article on the Campus Technology website, researchers noted that the "lowest-cost pathway was a reminder of the impact of faculty choices and the importance of prominently designating courses in the class schedule to make savings information readily available to students."
Professor Brandon English and some of his colleagues at Red Rocks Community College in Colorado have begun to move away from traditional textbooks and started curating their own learning materials. According to the Associated Press, after English's move to reduce expenses for course materials, students were able to complete an associate's degree with 95 percent of their classes using free resources.
Author Dan McDowell, a director of learning and innovation at a school district in San Diego County, California, notes that the transition to "1:1 technology" in districts across the country, including his own, has sparked a movement away from commercial textbooks to teacher-curated open educational resources. He then outlines three factors that school district leaders should take note of to facilitate the adoption of OER at their schools.
An article by InsideHigherEd reports on a recent lawsuit brought by a group of independent campus bookstores against prominent textbook publishers, as well as Barnes and Noble Education and Follett. The article reports that according to court documents, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants' "inclusive access" programs are a "conspiracy" designed to put the independent bookstores out of business, and an unfair monopoly.
Virginia recently launched a website that will allow educators to share OERs. The content includes material submitted by Virginia teachers as well as content hosted by national OER websites. To support this initiative, the Virginia Department of Education is offering $10,000 grants to teachers. In a news release, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane hopes this platform will "engage students and encourage deeper learning."
While open access business models promote communication and access, the Article Processing Charge (APC) typically associated with these models inhibits communication in the science field by charging a fee to authors to access findings, says author David Mellor. Given this situation, Mellor emphasizes the benefits of preprinting models of journal publishing, claiming that preprinting "creates a marketplace that aligns the key goals and cultural incentives for open access and open science—rewarding authors and journals for the quality of their research and evaluation processes." The article also argues that preprinting models will hasten the death of so-called predatory journals.
This article argues that the entire copyright system is in "crisis" as the benefits of copyright protection continue to be consolidated by large media conglomerates, tech companies, and the entertainment industry at the expense of individual artists and creators. According to the author, "a system that is often promoted as protecting the interests of artists has increasingly sidelined creators' interests even as big media companies merge with one another," leaving a market dominated by just a few companies.
This blog post discusses the possibility of having a national OER repository. The author says that a research paper noted that Ireland had a National Digital Learning Resource Service that "provided a platform for creating OERs, produced from funded digital projects available nationally and internationally." Supporters of this school of thought feel that such policies in place at the national level could "promote the curation and dissemination of OERs beyond the individual responsibility of academics," according to the research paper.
In this blog post, David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, reflects on the definition of the 5Rs from the UNESCO OER Recommendation: "There is no change to the 5R's themselves —they're still retain, revise, remix, reuse, and redistribute." Wiley offers, however, a different order for the 5Rs and clarifies their meaning. The updated language can be found here: https://openeducationalresources.org.
In this blog post, David Wiley, the chief academic officer at Lumen Learning, shares his Creative Commons License/5Rs and OER slide deck. His aim in creating the slide deck was to provide a simple way to understand the licenses and to allow people to reuse the slide deck as they wished.
This research article explores whether OERs improve access to education for students that have historically been marginalized, reporting on the results of a test involving an introductory psychological class at a major university. Half of the class used OERs while the other half used a commercial textbook. While there were no significant differences in performance of the two groups, the study indicated that first-generation students and ethnic minority students were more likely to become disengaged or drop out as a result of textbook costs, and thus OERs had a positive impact for this cohort of students.
For the second time, the US Appellate Court for the Ninth Circuit agreed with Creative Commons on its interpretation of the noncommercial provision of CC licenses, especially as the provision applies to for-profit businesses—such as FedEx and Office Depot—that are used by public or nonprofit institutions. As reported by CreativeCommons.org: "Under the license, a noncommercial licensee may hire a third-party contractor including those working for commercial gain, to help implement the license at the direction of the licensee and in furtherance of the licensee's own licensed rights. The license extends to all employees of the schools and school districts and shelters Office Depot's commercial copying of Eureka Math on their behalf," the court concluded.
Lindsay Gumb, an open education fellow at the New England Board of Higher Education, takes a closer look at some of the perceptions associated with OERs. She notes that a learning resource can be "low-cost" or "free" but not be considered an OER. Another misconception associated with OERs is "the inclusive access model." Gumb goes on to note that inclusive access models provide students immediate access to learning materials but roll the cost into their tuition. Students only have access while enrolled in a particular class. Conversely, "true" OERs allow students to retain their content.
This InsideHigherEd article explores how law schools are beginning to adopt OERs to increase affordability for students. Two New York University professors published the first edition of their copyright law textbooks in 2019, both of which are available to students at no charge. While OERs are not new to graduate schools, law professors have been slow to adopt open resources, according to the article. Interestingly, the two professors do not allow derivatives of their content. Jeanne Fromer, one of the open textbook authors, stated that she "has no problem with other people modifying the content" but wants to know about it beforehand. Christopher Jon Sprigman, the other author, explained that he and Fromer "didn't want to risk their reputation by having their names associated with content that other people had created."