College of DuPage’s human services program adopts open educational resources to lower textbook costs for students

“Eager to expand access to educational opportunities, the Human Services program at College of DuPage is taking advantage of the college’s Open Educational Resources (OER) program.

To date, more than half of all Human Services classes at COD utilize OER to make attending college more affordable for students….”

Not Open For All: Accessibility of Open Textbooks

In order for open educational resources (OERs) to be truly open to all, they must be accessible to learners with disabilities, including those with visual, auditory, physical and cognitive disabilities. This study sought to determine the accessibility of a randomly selected sample of 355 open textbooks using a custom rubric based upon the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.1, primarily at the Levels A and AA. Included books fell into one of four format types: HTML files/websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents and EPUBs. The average number of ‘fails’ – instances in which they ran afoul of a rubric category – across the whole sample was 5.93 and the median was 6, out of a total of 14 or 15 categories, depending on the format type. Overall, most of the books did not meet basic accessibility requirements, such as including alternative text for any images, properly coding/tagging any tables and following a logical heading order structure.

Designing a useful textbook for an open access audience – Q and A with Filipe Campante, Federico Sturzenegger and Andrés Velasco, authors of Advanced Macroeconomics: An Easy Guide? | Impact of Social Sciences

Textbooks play an important role in defining fields of research and summarising key academic ideas for a wider audience. But how do you do this for an open access audience that is potentially unlimited? We talked to Filipe Campante, Federico Sturzenegger and Andrés Velasco¸ authors of the recently published LSE Press book Advanced Macroeconomics: An Easy Guide, about how the field has changed in recent times, what makes their approach to macro-economics distinctive, and what rationales and ambitions lie behind producing an open access textbook.

Do ‘Inclusive Access’ Textbook Programs Save Students Money? A New Site Urges Everyone to Read the Fine Print

““Inclusive access,” a textbook-sales model touted as a way to ensure that students without deep pockets can afford books, doesn’t always deliver on that promise, according to a leading open-access advocacy organization. So the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition and its partners have launched a website they hope will encourage a healthy skepticism, and deeper research, into the increasingly popular model.

Inclusive access programs weave the cost of digital course materials into a student’s tuition and fees, and are marketed as a heavily discounted alternative to traditional print textbooks. More than 950 college campuses have adopted related programs since 2015, when a Department of Education regulation enabled institutions to include books and supplies in their tuition or fees.

But advocates of open educational resources like Nicole Allen, Sparc’s director of open education, worry that colleges — clamoring for low-cost textbook options — are buying into the model without knowing for sure whether it’s actually saving their students money, considering the breadth of used-book and rental options available….”

Affordable textbook programs save students $4.9 million | Nebraska Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“Since 2019, affordable content programs have saved students an estimated $4.9 million on textbook costs, and have replaced over 80,000 textbooks with affordable content.

Multiple affordable textbook programs have been implemented at the University of Nebraska. There are two inclusive access programs: Follett Access (Campus Bookstore) and Unizin Engage. The third program is an OER seed grant program through the STAR initiative….”

OpenStax founder Baraniuk wins ‘Nobel Prize of education’

“Richard Baraniuk, the C. Sidney Burrus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and founding director of OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, has received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education.

Known informally as the “Nobel Prize of education,” the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education bestows the annual award on “outstanding individuals whose accomplishments are making a difference in the lives of students.”

Baraniuk is among the founders of the open education movement promoting the use of free and open-source-licensed educational resources. OpenStax (formerly Connexions) is a nonprofit publishing project he founded in 1999 to bring textbooks and other learning materials into the digital age.

 

During the last academic year, free and open-source texts from OpenStax were used by 4.5 million students and 16,000 faculty at roughly 62% of U.S. colleges and universities. Since 2012, 14 million students have saved an estimated $1.2 billion. This academic year, the number of students benefiting from OpenStax publications already exceeds 5 million….”

Embracing Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Instructional Materials

“Choosing instructional materials wisely is one of the most important jobs education leaders and teachers have, perhaps now more than ever. Unfinished academic instruction resulting from the COVID-19 crisis demands better ways to reignite student engagement and accelerate learning. At the same time, the disparate impact of the pandemic on students of color and growing efforts to quash discussions about systemic racism in schools reveals an urgent need to approach this work through a racial equity lens. This report argues that embracing high-quality instructional materials that are both rigorous and relevant is crucial to addressing these priorities.”

InclusiveAccess.org – a community-driven initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing

InclusiveAccess.org is a community-driven initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing. The cost of college textbooks has increased sharply over the last several decades, which has harmed student access and success. Everyone agrees that this is a problem. As higher education leaders consider new textbook sales models that advertise lower costs, the campus community deserves to fully understand how these models impact students and faculty.

Introducing InclusiveAccess.org — InclusiveAccess.org

“Against this backdrop, a new sales model known as Inclusive Access has taken off. Also known as automatic textbook billing, this model adds the cost of digital course content into students’ tuition and fees. Hardly known five years ago, one in three college students reported participating in at least one Inclusive Access course during the 2020-21 academic year.

How exactly does Inclusive Access work? Does it really really save students money? What about this kind of program is “inclusive”? Straightforward answers to these questions aren’t always easy to find.

InclusiveAccess.org is a community-driven initiative to raise awareness of the facts about automatic textbook billing. The site aims to be a one-stop-shop for information, tools, and other resources to help administrators, faculty, students, and policymakers make informed decisions about Inclusive Access and its implications for the campus community.

InclusiveAccess.org was developed by SPARC with generous support from the Michelson 20MM Foundation. Partners include AAC&U, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Creative Commons, DigiTex, Student PIRGs, Open Education Global, and OpenStax. …”

InclusiveAccess.org – The Facts on Automatic Textbook Billing

“Inclusive Access is a textbook sales model that adds the cost of digital course content into students’ tuition and fees. 

While Inclusive Access is intended to address high textbook costs, it also creates challenges for students and faculty. The higher education community deserves to understand the facts….

Inclusive Access, also known as automatic textbook billing, is a sales model for college textbooks. Temporary digital content is delivered to students by the first day of their course, often through a learning management system. Students have a short period to “opt out” before they are automatically billed for the content as part of their tuition and fees. At the end of the course, students lose access. 

Inclusive Access is known by a variety of names including First Day, ACCESS, All Access, Auto Access, Course Material Fee, Day One Access, Equitable Access, and Immediate Access….”

Briefing for library directors: Publishers and the textbook market in the higher education sector – publishers-and-the-textbook-market-in-he-library-directors-briefing.pdf

Yhis briefing paper created by the Jisc Learning Content Group provides an overview of the current e-textbook  licensing landscape within higher education institutions. It outlines current practices and their impact on the library and suggests ways in which the sector can exert influence on publishers to change their pricing and access models

UMass Amherst Libraries Announce Publication of Openly Licensed Textbook, Tutt* a tavola! | UMass Amherst Libraries

“The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries are pleased to announce the publication of the openly licensed textbook, Tutt* a tavola! Dr. Stacy Giufre and Dr. Melina Masterson were 2020 recipients of two Open Education Initiative grants that are funded by the Provost’s Office and University Libraries.

Tutt* a tavola! is a two-volume textbook for Elementary Italian (Italian 110 and 120, over two semesters)….

Accessible, online versions of the volumes are available at the University Libraries open books website: https://openbooks.library.umass.edu/tutt-a-tavola-vol-1/ and https://openbooks.library.umass.edu/tutt-a-tavola-vol-2/. …”

Looking through the COVID fog: Toward resilient, reimagined libraries | Cox | College & Research Libraries News

“The pandemic has accelerated trends in collection building, access, and delivery. The challenges of delivering physical content coupled with moving classes online resulted in more demand for online access. Even with classes moving back to in-person this fall, libraries will continue to invest heavily in ebooks and streaming media, while focusing their physical collections on subjects of local interest. Consortia agreements will help fill in the gaps. Challenges in the delivery of physical textbooks and course materials have led to greater advocacy and investment in e-textbooks and open education resources (OER), providing faculty flexibility in delivering course-specific content while making education more affordable. Libraries can also support the speedy dissemination of research data by developing platforms for sharing content and advocating for open access….”

Looking through the COVID fog: Toward resilient, reimagined libraries | Cox | College & Research Libraries News

“The pandemic has accelerated trends in collection building, access, and delivery. The challenges of delivering physical content coupled with moving classes online resulted in more demand for online access. Even with classes moving back to in-person this fall, libraries will continue to invest heavily in ebooks and streaming media, while focusing their physical collections on subjects of local interest. Consortia agreements will help fill in the gaps. Challenges in the delivery of physical textbooks and course materials have led to greater advocacy and investment in e-textbooks and open education resources (OER), providing faculty flexibility in delivering course-specific content while making education more affordable. Libraries can also support the speedy dissemination of research data by developing platforms for sharing content and advocating for open access….”