open educational resources

As OER Grows Up, Advocates Stress More Than Just Low Cost

Open educational resources hit a turning point in 2018. For the first time ever, the federal government put forward funds to support initiatives around open educational resources, and recent studies show that faculty attitudes towards using and adapting these openly-licensed learning materials are steadily improving.But, fans of OER are increasingly facing a problem. While OER started off as free online textbooks, it still costs money to produce these materials, and professors often need guidance finding which ones are high quality.

OER is Growing at Religious Colleges, But Raises Unique Challenges

One popular draw to open educational resources is that these openly-licensed learning materials can—and are often encouraged to—be tailored for a particular professor or course. But at religious institutions, adapting open materials for a faith-based curriculum can be trickier.

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I frequently hear about the growing dissatisfaction of textbook costs and pedagogical concerns among faculty about outdated course materials.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.

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