open educational resources

Does OER Actually Improve Learning?

Regardless of where you stand on the debate over open educational resources, you’re probably wondering: Does OER actually improve learning outcomes?This question came up in a handful of discussions this week at the OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls, NY. And the short answer is, most experts still aren’t sure. But it’s probably not making things more difficult for students. At least, that was one of the main takeaways from a short session led by Phillip Grimaldi, director of research at OpenStax, a nonprofit OER initiative out of Rice University.

Beyond Free Materials: OER Advocates Push For Inclusiveness in Teaching Practices

What is your tolerance for failure in education?Jess Mitchell, senior manager of research and design at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, posed the question on Wednesday to a group of around 850 educators, librarians and other open-access enthusiasts at Lumen Learning’s OpenEd conference in Niagara Falls, NY.

Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement?

Open educational resources (OER) are gaining increasing popularity. And as an active member in what advocates define as the “open education movement,” I frequently hear about the growing dissatisfaction of textbook costs and pedagogical concerns among faculty about outdated course materials.

Can a For-Profit, Venture-Backed Company Keep OER Free—and Be Financially Sustainable?

From 2006 to 2016, the cost of textbooks increased by 88 percent, more than than nearly any other college student expense—including tuition and fees (63 percent) or on-campus housing (51 percent)—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How an OER Rookie Dove Deep Into a Zero-Cost Textbook Degree Program

For years, Stephanie Anagnoson worked in academic publishing. But it wasn’t until her current gig, serving as an instructor for a course on water supply and demand in California, that she got her feet wet with open educational resources.“Coming from educational publishing, there was a strict division between writing and editing and graphic-design work,” says Anagnoson. “Now it’s my job.”

OER Had Its Breakthrough in 2017. Next Year, It Will Become an Essential Teaching Tool

Open educational resources (OER) have long been touted as “the next big thing” in higher education, but the drawn-out hype has led many educators and administrators to wonder if it would ever live up to its expectations. Those days are over: 2017 was OER’s breakthrough year.

?A Playbook to Go Open: 5 Steps to Adopting OER

Adoption of digital learning resources is taking hold in schools and districts across the United States. Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students and spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content, according to Education Week.

?Teachers Can Now Use IBM’s Watson to Search for Free Lesson Plans

IBM’s famous Watson computing system—which defeated Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings in 2011—is coming to education, if not quite the classroom. As part of a new IBM philanthropic initiative, the supercomputer is helping to power a searchable database of open educational math resources designed for teachers in grades K-5.

?Open Up Resources Announces First Full Math Curriculum—And Its Plans for Profitability

Open-licensed learning materials have generally been slower to carve out a spot in the K-12 market they have in higher education, where companies like Lumen Learning have found target demographics. Yet Open Up Resources, a nonprofit providing open educational resources for the K-12 space, wants to buck the trend.

From Silos to Sharing: Why Are Open Educational Resources Still So Hard to Find?

For over a decade, plenty of time and dollars have been poured into encouraging the use of open educational resources (OER). In 2007 the Hewlett Foundation’s funding helped create OER Commons. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education spearheaded the #GoOpen movement, a collection of efforts to spur educators, publishers and technologists to make OER more available and easily accessible.Yet many teachers still ask: “Why can’t I find the open educational resources I’m looking for?”

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