“We’re excited to announce that Aktiv Chemistry, an OpenStax partner, is releasing a homework platform for McMurry’s Organic Chemistry: A Tenth Edition. Aktiv Chemistry’s low-cost platform will help students practice and experience the material in new and productive ways through a molecule drawing system, integrated practice problems and exercises, and more. From in-class active learning, homework assignments, and now secure online quizzes and exams, Aktiv Chemistry’s all-in-one platform provides a comprehensive set of features for formative and summative assessments — increasing student engagement and improving student outcomes along the way.”
“At OpenStax, we are driven by a clear and powerful mission: to improve educational access and learning for everyone. Rooted in the belief that education is a public good, we strive to offer products, innovative research, and services that benefit educators and learners worldwide. Our approach is simple but impactful—we listen to the needs of the educational community, secure philanthropic support and community donations for funding, and embark on a rigorous development process.
Since our inception, OpenStax has grown to offer an impressive range of 65 textbooks, a testament to our commitment to providing comprehensive learning materials. Since our first textbook launch in 2012, we’ve already saved more than 36 million students an astounding $2.9 billion. This past school year, more than 7 million students utilized OpenStax materials….”
“Given a choice between paying $200 for a textbook or taking an equivalent course with a free textbook, what would you do?
The prices of college textbooks have skyrocketed: From 2011 to 2018, they went up by 40.6% in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. That can add up to as much as $1000 for a single semester. So it’s no surprise that freely available, openly licensed textbooks, lectures, simulations, problem sets, and more—known collectively as open educational resources (OERs)—are having a moment.
Last year, for the first time, more than half of US college faculty reported “some level of awareness” of OERs, finds Bay View Analytics, a company that conducts research at the intersection of technology and education….
Free, open textbooks have “taken off much faster than I expected,” says Baraniuk. He estimates that to date, students have saved nearly $2 billion by using OpenStax books instead of buying comparable traditional textbooks. And being free is not the only selling point for open textbooks and OERs more broadly: In the past few years, says Lauren Woolsey, who teaches physics and astronomy at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, “the messaging has shifted to the role they can play for social justice and equity.” …”
“OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, will see 10 colleges and universities join its Institutional Partner Program for the 2022-2023 school year. All of those institutions will receive support from OpenStax experts as they work to save students’ money by increasing the use of free, openly licensed textbooks on their campuses.
The University of Notre Dame, Georgia State University, Collin College (Texas), Glendale Community College (California), Maricopa Community College (Arizona), Merced Community College (California), Mt. San Antonio College (California), the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at El Paso are the newest members of the program. They join the College of Southern Nevada, which is returning for a second year….”
“The author of a popular organic chemistry textbook is making it freely available to students after learning about a loophole in his copyright agreement with the publisher.
John McMurry’s Organic Chemistry has been one of the best selling chemistry textbooks since it was first printed in 1984. Under his agreement with Cengage Learning, the book’s publisher, McMurry realised he could ask for the book’s copyright to be returned to him 30 years after it was first printed. Without copyright of the first edition, the publisher is unable to produce any more new editions, McMurry notes.
McMurry, an emeritus professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, US, says the move was a tribute to his son who passed away from cystic fibrosis three years ago….”
“OpenStax and its 12 collaborators have received U.S. Department of Education funding to develop three new free, openly licensed textbooks for in-demand computer science courses. The books will be accompanied by comprehensive support, including educational technology and instructor training.
The textbooks, serving a sector of higher education that includes 2.5 million students, are expected to save students more than $110 million over five years….”
“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….”
“Florida State University Libraries will expand its efforts to increase awareness for the textbook affordability movement and promote the adoption of open educational resources (OER) through a new partnership with OpenStax.
FSU is one of 12 universities that’s been chosen to participate in the 2021-2022 OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. As a participant in the network’s first-year program, FSU Libraries will work actively to build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students….”
“OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, announced today that 13 companies have been selected to participate in the organization’s new equity in courseware training program. The training will help the participating companies learn about and develop educational technology platforms that provide better outcomes for all students, especially those from historically marginalized and underserved communities….”
“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….”
“OpenStax, Rice’s educational technology initiative, is vastly expanding its library of free textbooks, working toward a goal of ensuring that no student ever has to worry about textbook costs again. This work is possible as a result of new grants totaling $12.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation and the Stand Together community….”
“Less than a decade after publishing its first free, openly licensed textbook, OpenStax — Rice University’s educational technology initiative — has saved students $1.2 billion….”
“In the years since OpenStax published its first textbook, our offerings have matured and our platforms have evolved. We’ve done our best to listen to our adopters and work with our authors to develop a balanced updating, improvement, and revision strategy.
OpenStax revises books, creating formal new editions, only when it is pedagogically necessary to do so. The process is extensive and requires significant resources. Between new editions, we make updates and improvements based on errata submissions, suggestions from adopters, ideas from contributors, and specific reviews for diversity and representation. Below I’ll outline the approach to each.
First, a brief overview of our development process: OpenStax textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they align to the coverage and sequence of their respective courses, keeping in mind common learning outcomes and points of emphasis from academic communities and discipline organizations. Our development process includes thorough editing, careful review, and detailed quality assurance measures. Then, after a book is published, we begin the process of maintaining and improving it.
And second, as discussed below, the online view of the book — as opposed to the PDF or other formats — is the one we recommend because it is always the most up-to-date, the most accessible, and includes features such as notetaking and highlighting. Also, the OpenStax course cartridges, available for several learning management systems, link directly to the online and most updated version….”
“Members of the OER Working Group discuss finding a balance of open sessions about open pedagogy, open materials, and incentivized programs to build and maintain interest in shifting toward a campus culture of open….”