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.

OE Awards 2021 Open Assets Winners facilitate access to Open Education – OEGlobal

“In 2021, the Open Education Awards for Excellence celebrates its 10th anniversary. 

Every year for ten years, Open Education Global has recognized the brilliance within the Open Education sector through its Open Education Awards for Excellence. The winners of these awards represent works that encapsulate the aspirations of the movement, further inspire outstanding achievements, and add immeasurably to the shared wealth of the open education community. 

Celebrating the growth, diversity, and impact across the Open Education sector, this year there are four major focuses with 16 award categories in total. Each year, the awards categories grow to ensure relevance to the community and recognize the full range of open education activities, projects, resources, and practices. This year we are excited to introduce the Open Infrastructure Award highlighting the importance of a wider ecosystem that supports open education. 

At the end of September, on the last day of the OEGlobal 21 online conference, the first of of the Open Education Awards for Excellence winners were announced with the award for UNESCO OER Implementation was announced as a communal award to every one of the 294 presenters at the Open Education Global 2021 online conference for their “exemplary leadership in advancing the UNESCO OER Recommendation in their own practices”….”

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.

New CARL VPO for Open Education – Canadian Association of Research Libraries

“The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is pleased to welcome Ann Ludbrook as Visiting Program Officer (VPO) for Open Education.

Ann is the Scholarly Engagement and Copyright Librarian at Ryerson University. She provides copyright education and support for the Ryerson community and is an active member of the CFLA Copyright Committee and the CARL Copyright Specialist group. In terms of open education, Ann is an originating and current member of the CARL Open Education Working Group and chairs their Community of Practice team. She has worked for over 8 years in the field of open education at Ryerson University and regularly supports Open Education projects. She was one of the librarians that worked on the CARL Copyright Open Educational Resource for University Instructors….”

A new OER Policy for the University

“In September 2021, the University’s Education Committee approved a new Open Education Resources (OER) Policy, which revises and updates our previous 2016 policy. Supported by the central OER Service, the policy encourages staff and students to use, create and publish OERs to enhance the quality of the student experience, expand provision of learning opportunities, and enrich our shared knowledge commons. Investing in OER and open licensing helps to improve the sustainability and longevity of our educational resources, while encouraging colleagues to reuse and repurpose existing open materials expands the pool of teaching and learning resources and helps to diversity the curriculum. As one of the few universities in the UK to have an OER policy, the new policy strengthens the University of Edinburgh’s position as a world leader in open education and reiterates our strategic commitment to openness and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development….”

University Writing launches new open educational resource

“University Writing has launched a new open educational resource, or OER, that contains worksheets and handouts on numerous writing-focused topics, such as editing and proofreading, literature reviews and ePortfolios. Christopher Basgier, director of University Writing, expressed enthusiasm for the OER saying, “We have long been known locally and nationally for our high-quality ePortfolio resources. I am excited that our OER includes an expanded menu of materials, and that these materials are accessible for different users.”

The OER represents the culmination of a multi-year collaboration among University Writing, the Office of the Provost’s Communications and Marketing team, and the Office of Communications and Marketing, or OCM. Basgier and Amy Cicchino, ssociate director of University Writing, initially conceptualized the OER when they realized faculty and students could benefit from the many materials University Writing had created for workshops over the years. Marisa Singh, communications and marketing specialist with the Office of the Provost, coordinated the project and recruited John Walker, information technology specialist with OCM, to build the OER infrastructure….”

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.”

Advocating for more OER-friendly copyright regulatory frameworks

“The webinar discussed the following key questions:

How does the UNESCO OER Recommendation enhance international cooperation for universal access to information?
What can be done to support the development and enhancement of the legal and regulatory framework on copyright and policies for OER development?
What are examples of good practices, challenges and solutions where OER have supported the right to information and building of inclusive Knowledge Societies?…”

OE Global 21: connecting OER to Open Science – YouTube

“Last year UNESCO launched a draft Recommendation on Open Science. Comparing this recommendation with the OER Recommendation, they have a large resemblance. In the Recommendation, OER is considered as one of the elements comprising Open Science, next to a.o. Open Data and Open Access. However, in daily practice in Dutch institutions of Higher Education we observe that implementation to adopt outcome of both Open Science (more specifically Open Access and Open Data) and Open Education (more specifically OER) are often separated.

In this video, we inform you about our activities and intermediate results to connect the two. We also invite participants of the OE Global conference (25-30 September 2021) to share their efforts, results and discuss ideas to approach the two forms of openness in a more integrated way….”