Abstract: This article presents a case study for transitioning library-led open-educational resources (OER) initiatives away from labor-intensive activities to a model where library personnel focus on project management responsibilities. This shift from labour-intensive activities, such as workshops and training sessions, led to more collaborative partnerships with faculty and students to produce OER projects. In particular, we focus on labour implications for the various stakeholders involved and the sustainability of these initiatives. We describe several initiatives undertaken by the Ohio University Libraries to encourage open educational resource adoptions and projects, including a grant-funded initiative to provide support services for faculty creating OER. That funding, which was awarded to enhance undergraduate education, has been used to support the development of five OER projects that have directly involved students in the creation of those materials. We provide an overview of the various ways in which students have become involved in OER creation in partnership with faculty and librarians and discuss the impact these partnerships have had on student-faculty-librarian relationships and student engagement. Among these projects are an Hispanic linguistics open textbook created using only student-authored texts, student-generated test banks to accompany existing OER materials for a large-enrollment art history course, and several other projects in which hired student assistants are helping faculty to develop content for open textbooks. This article helps to address a gap in the literature by providing transparency regarding the personnel, costs, and workflow for Ohio University Libraries’ OER initiatives and addressing potential areas of concern surrounding student labour.
“The University of Cape Town (UCT) is calling for nominations for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award.
The award, which was launched in 2020, is an initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, and aims to incentivise innovation in teaching and learning, recognise the efforts of open textbook authors and promote the creation and reuse of open educational resources….”
“OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, will welcome a dozen new colleges and universities serving diverse students across the United States to its Institutional Partner Program,
This OpenStax program has helped over 70 colleges and universities expand the use of open educational resources on their campuses, saving their students money and putting more flexible course materials into the hands of educators and learners….”
“With eTextbooks high on library and publisher agendas and the controversy over costs and access raging, OA textbooks could be a solution. What are the considerations for initiating, and sustaining an open access textbook directly linked to teaching at one institution, but open to all? The 2014-2018 Jisc Institution as eTextbook Publisher project funded OA textbook pilots and created a toolkit. Liverpool published 2 titles, in a partnership with the Library and Liverpool University Press. In this webinar we will revisit the project and look forward, considering resource and expertise requirements for a sustainable OA textbook model….”
“When University College London launched UCL Press, in 2015, the library services team wanted the open access university press to become the OA publisher of choice for authors, editors and readers around the world. Six years, 180 research monographs and more than four million downloads later, the press has, without a doubt, been embraced by many.
Paul Ayris, pro-vice provost and director of UCL Library Services, tells Research Information: ‘With only 180 books, we’ve reached more than 240 countries and territories across the world… as the UK’s first fully open access university press, we’ve seen the impact the press has had.’
Over this time, one of the top ten downloads has been an e-textbook on burns and plastic surgery produced by Deepak Kalaskar from Medical Sciences at UCL and director of the MSc course in burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery. According to Ayris, the book’s 70,000 downloads are proof that e-textbooks and open educational resources have a clear future at UCL, a point that’s only been underlined by the current pandemic.
‘UCL has now given us funding to produce an e-textbook service,’ he says. ‘We have 45,000 students at UCL and when the libraries physically closed and students couldn’t get access to physical copies… we saw that digital education and providing open educational materials was the way to go.’
‘I wouldn’t have said that 12 months ago, but I’m saying it now,’ he adds….”
“SPARC created the Automatic Textbook Billing Contract Library as a resource for advocates and institutions to understand the legal agreements behind automatic textbook billing. Known by brand names like “Inclusive Access” and “First Day,” these programs charge the cost of digital course materials directly to each student’s tuition and fee bill, often without confirming their consent. While vendors say this model provides access, many students think it limits their options. Colleges and universities have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of students—not vendors—and that starts with reading the fine print….”
“Fleming, scholarly communications librarian and coordinator of the UTC Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative, says those thoughts and actions evolved beyond ensuring internet access. A growing number of faculty were committed to making class resources and necessities more accessible to all students.
She says faculty are now more committed to finding ways to get students the best, most affordable resources. “We had a huge increase in interest that’s persisted about creating affordable materials for students,” Fleming adds. …”
“Yet, in far too many cases, we are still requiring very expensive textbooks in our classes. Over the degree program, students are expending thousands of dollars for texts that many sell back to the bookstore for less than half of their original value. Much of the material embedded in the texts is either already available freely online or could be assembled by the instructor from open-access sources. At the same time, many instructors still complain that the text does not precisely fit their needs; they skip chapters and assign additional readings to update the material in the text that is already one or two years out of date before the book hits the students’ desks. Why not just create your own texts and update them as often as is needed?
During the first three semesters in COVID times, awareness of open educational resources (OER) has surged among faculty members. Faculty members who put their classes online through remote learning discovered more fully the range and timeliness of relevant materials that are available online. In a study by Bay View Analytics, sponsored by the William and Flora Hewitt Foundation, it was found that faculty who adopted OER rated their materials superior to the commercial alternatives, and while the percentage of required OER materials did not increase, the percentage of supplemental OER materials did….”
“The University of Central Florida and its supplier of textbooks and other course materials, Barnes & Noble College, offer a program called First Day, which provides discounted digital course materials to students enrolled in many courses. This semester, students who participated in this program saved an average of 48%.
Currently, UCF students must “opt-in” to participate in this program. Last year, state law changed to allow universities to choose either an “opt-in” or “opt-out” model for these discounted course materials. Under an opt-out model, students would automatically be enrolled in this program and would have to manually opt-out to avoid charges being added to their student accounts.
UCF is not changing its current opt-in model. The opt-in model requires students to manually choose to participate in the program and receive discounted course materials….”