AI, Instructional Design, and OER – improving learning

“In other words, as far as the US Copyright Office is concerned, output from programs like ChatGPT or Stable Diffusion are not eligible for copyright protection. Now, that could change if Congress gets involved (are they actually capable of doing anything?), or if the Supreme Court turned its collective back on decades of precedent (which, admittedly, has been happening recently). But unless something rather dramatic happens along these lines, the outputs of generative AI programs will continue to pass immediately into the public domain. Consequently, they will be open educational resources under the common definition….

Generative AI tools could have an incredible impact on the breadth and diversity of OER that exist, since they will dramatically decrease the cost and time necessary to create the informational resources that underlie these learning materials. Current funding for the creation of OER (when it’s available at all) typically focuses on the courses enrolling the largest number of students. This makes sense when your theory of philanthropy is that the money you spend should benefit the most people possible. But that theory of philanthropy also means that the “long tail” of courses that each enroll relatively few students are unlikely to ever receive funding. LLMs will radically alter the economics of creating OER, and should make it possible for OER to come to these courses as well. (And while LLMs will have a significant impact on the economics of creating OER, they may not have as dramatic an impact on the sustainability, maintenance, and upkeep of OER over time.)…”

CC Open Education Platform Lightning Talks: Join us on 2 February 2023

The Creative Commons Open Education Platform community welcomes you to our Lightning Talks, or seven-minute presentations on specific updates or stories in open education.

Kicking off our Lightning Talks series for 2023, presenters will highlight: open educational resources (OER) as tools for social justice, work/life balance, climate change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Presenters will also focus on particular platforms, such as LibreTexts and Curationist, which provide technical advancements for open education. Learn more about the presentations below. 

Join us via Zoom at 4:00 PM UTC on 2 February 2023, ready to learn. Determine the meeting time in your local time zone


Reimagining Open Education as Social Justice

  • Speakers: 
    • Ravon Ruffin, Educational Programs Manager at MHz Foundation. Ruffin is also CEO and co-founder of the creative studio and arts incubator Brown Art Ink. 
    • Amanda Figueroa, Community Director at MHz Foundation. Figueroa is also the co-founder of Brown Art Ink.
  • Summary: This session will be an overview and exploration of the Curationist platform, a digital open access tool for publishing materials found in the Creative Commons and public domain. This tool brings together arts and culture communities to find, share, collaborate, and reimagine cultural narratives. Curationist is a response to the urgent call for decolonial methodologies within curation, education, and art, and will exist as a vital resource within openGLAM, OER, and Indigenous data sovereignty.

LibreTexts 101: Building the Textbook of the Future

  • Speaker: Delmar Larsen, Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis, and Founder and Director of the LibreTexts project.
  • Summary: Larsen will provide a topical overview of the LibreVerse – the suite of tools and technologies to advance the building and usage of OER textbooks, assessments, and other activities. The overview will include a discussion of the Libraries, ADAPT homework system, jupyter, Commons&Conductor, SOLO, bots and more. The key approach to the LibreVerse is to build and use technology to advance specific goals and avoid its limitations. Hence, a multi-goals effort like LibreTexts requires a multi-technology platform – the LibreVerse.

Using Machine Translation Algorithms to Effectively generate Non-English language OER Textbooks

  • Speaker: Delmar Larsen, Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Davis, and Founder and Director of the LibreTexts project.
  • Summary: Larsen’s presentation will outline recent efforts of leveraging the centralized corpus of OER textbooks hosted on the LibreTexts platform toward a greater global impact. LibreTexts will discuss the implementation and impact of two approaches in building non-English language OER textbooks via modern machine translation algorithms. Key to these approaches is recognizing that while modern machine translation algorithms have developed significantly over the past few years, and they are still 90-95% perfect, their implementation makes them far more useful to students than the alternative human implemented translation effort at 100% implemented at a limited scale and with significant costs.

Integration of Values and Ethics in OER for Climate Change and the SDG’s

  • Speaker: Dr Suma Parahakaran, head of the Faculty of Education at Manipal Globalnxt University in Malaysia, and serves as a Visiting Professor at the American University of Sovereign Nations. She was also part of the task force for training teachers to integrate Values and Ethics into the Curriculum content for the UNHABITAT water education project. 
  • Summary: This presentation will highlight options for collaborative OER for learning communities. 

OER as a Social Justice tool, the case of digital accessibility

  • Speaker: Nicolas Simon, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology, and Social Work at Eastern Connecticut State University. 
  • Summary: By being cost-free, Open Educational Resources (OER) are electronically available for all students. The economic inclusion of all learners is the first step toward social justice. Another step is to use OER, which are specifically digitally accessible to include all types of learners. By using OER, we, educators, can promote and teach about digital accessibility. Then we can invite our students to use digital accessibility in the creation of new OER. In this sense, OER are good opportunities to advocate for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Social Justice.

Get the Balance Right: Using Mindfulness OER for Intentional Work and Life Practices

  • Speaker: Dr. Carolyn Stevenson is currently a full-time faculty member and faculty advisor for Purdue University Global, School of General Education, Department of Professional Studies, with over 23 years teaching and administrative experience in higher education at both the undergraduate and graduate level. She completed her Ed.D. from Roosevelt University, M.B.A. from Kaplan University, M.A. in Communications from Governor’s State University and B.A. in English from Northern Illinois University.
  • Summary: This session will discuss using mindfulness OER to foster a health work/life balance. The session will provide participants with resources and will include a brief meditation exercise.


Join us via Zoom at 4:00 PM UTC on 2 February 2023, ready to learn. Determine the meeting time in your local time zone

The post CC Open Education Platform Lightning Talks: Join us on 2 February 2023 appeared first on Creative Commons.

The University Library joins the Open Education Network | Library | The University of Sheffield

“We are pleased to announce that we’ve become the first UK institution to join the Open Education Network (OEN), a vibrant and supportive community that advances the use of open educational resources and practices. 

The OEN started in 2014, following the establishment of the Open Textbook Library, at the University of Minnesota by the Center for Open Education and the University of Minnesota Libraries. 

The Open Textbook Library (OTL) currently contains over 1150 open textbooks across a range of disciplines, all licensed to be freely used and adapted. Anybody can suggest a book for the OTL, providing it meets the required criteria. Around 75% of the books have been reviewed by members of the OEN Community, helping teachers and students to evaluate suitability for their own teaching and learning.

Membership of the OEN will enable colleagues at the University of Sheffield to submit their own reviews, and we hope that these will be useful across the HE community in the UK….”

UBC Library research project explores Indigenous perspectives in open education resource development – About UBC Library

“UBC librarians are embarking on a new collaborative research project that aims to address a fundamental problem in how open educational practices approach Indigenous Knowledges, and instead replicate colonial concepts of ownership and knowledge transfer.

The research project, titled Foregrounding Indigenous Perspectives: Community and Collaborator Affinities and Conflicts in Open Education, was recently awarded a grant by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). The Practicing Librarian Grant, awarded by CARL’s Strengthening Capacity Committee, supports Canadian research in the field of academic librarianship for projects that use structured, evidence-based research to tackle real-world issues….”

University of Sheffield affirms commitment for research and scholarship access to be ‘open for all’ | News | The University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield has affirmed its commitment to an open research and scholarship culture, by approving new policies that will ensure its research is accessible to as many people as possible, and encouraging the use and creation of open educational resources throughout its teaching programmes.

The Benefits of Accessibility and Open Educational Resources – The Future is Open

“When creating and distributing open educational resources (OERs), it is important to consider accessibility to make sure that everyone can benefit from these resources, including those with disabilities. By designing and developing OERs with accessibility in mind, we can help make sure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from these resources.

The use of alternative formats is an important aspect of accessibility in OERs. This includes providing text in a format that can be read by assistive technology, such as a screen reader, as well as providing captions for videos and audio content. Additionally, images and other non-textual elements should include alternative text (alt text) descriptions so that users who are visually impaired can understand the content….”

The Library’s Role with Open Educational Resources – Ithaka S+R

“Our latest US Faculty Survey examined faculty perspectives and attitudes about using and creating Open Educational Resources (OER). Not only were we able to track how these perspectives changed over time, but we were also able to understand how the pandemic affected OER consumption and creation. As expected, the adoption and creation of OER textbooks, course modules, and video lectures increased since the last national survey cycle, yet faculty indicated that they are less interested in creating and using them going forward.

This discrepancy can be puzzling for librarians, teaching and learning center staff, and administrators to navigate as they seek to better support faculty and students. Often the OER landscape is challenging for faculty members, and the continued lack of incentives, either monetary or through new professional development opportunities, may be at the root of their lack of interest.

To better understand faculty perceptions about OER, we invited two James Madison University librarians to discuss their experiences supporting faculty with accessing, using, and creating OER:

Yasmeen Shorish, Director of Scholarly Communications Strategies and Special Advisor to the Dean for Equity Initiatives
Liz Thompson, Open Education Librarian…”

Open Textbooks Pilot Program

“The Open Textbooks Pilot program supports projects at eligible institutions of higher education that create new open textbooks and expand the use of open textbooks in courses that are part of a degree-granting program, particularly those with high enrollments. This pilot program emphasizes the development of projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields.”


Updates on the Future for 2023 –

“Peeking around the corner into 2023, the barriers preventing faculty from more widespread adoption of OER are the usual ones: time and money. Further, Oregon’s statewide OER program is working with faculty who are worn out by the ongoing pandemic and responding to heightened student needs.

Beyond these obvious constraints, though, here are four big challenges we’re thinking about right now.

Do these resonate for your program? Do you have something different on your mind? Comments are open!…”

New to the SCN: Publishing Values-based Scholarly Communication | OER + ScholComm

This is the latest post in a series announcing resources created for the Scholarly Communication Notebook, or SCN. The SCN is a hub of open teaching and learning content on scholcomm topics that is both a complement to an open book-level introduction to scholarly communication librarianship and a disciplinary and course community for inclusively sharing models and practices. IMLS funded the SCN in 2019, permitting us to pay creators for their labor while building a solid initial collection. These works are the result of one of three calls for proposals (our first CFP was issued in fall 2020; the second in late spring ‘21, and the third in late fall 2021).


Open Education as a lever for social justice and equity – Exploring the many on ramps of Open STEM education

“The Open Education Ecosystem can be thought of as a roundabout where educators and researchers enter into a high-impact landscape through many different on ramps, including Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Data, Open Science, Open Pedagogy, or any of the many aspects of Open Education Ecosystem. Here we describe these common on ramps, transitions, and intersections between different facets of the Open Education landscape and more importantly how Open Education can be leveraged to promote social justice and equity in STEM education.

Open Educational Resources (OER) save students millions of dollars, but the potential impact of these resources extends far beyond promoting equity through cost savings (Dembecki, 2022). Instructors often join the conversation about Open Education by using OER and quickly realize that OER are actually a launching point into higher-impact pedagogical practices. Before getting into using these resources to promote social justice and equity and engaging in Open Education more broadly we need to understand what OERs are and are not.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are not simply defined as any resources freely accessed on websites nor are they solely free textbooks. They are specifically freely and publicly available teaching, learning, and research materials where Creative Commons licensing enables retaining, remixing, revising, reusing, and redistributing the resources (5Rs, Wiley). The term OER is often used synonymously with free, but OER are much more than an alternative to standard physical and digital texts. OER can include software, datasets, teaching modules, laboratory exercises, research methods, computational scripts and workflows, study guides and test banks, and much more. At the very least, implementing OER in a course reduces the cost burden of education for students enabling all students to afford course materials. In addition to cost savings, OER can promote student success and in some cases even more so for students from minoritized populations thus extending equity beyond reducing cost (Colvard, Watson, and Park, 2018). The benefits of using OER are not the OER themselves, but what you can do with them. Adapting and remixing OER enhances the learning experience and promotes social justice and equity through resource modification. OER can be modified to achieve:

greater alignment to content, context, and cognitive level 
accessibility and ease of use
flexibility in pedagogical approach 
contextualizing for local or cultural relevance
prioritizing and promoting minoritized voices…”

U.S. Open Textbook Pilot Program Renewed for Sixth Year – SPARC

“In one of its final acts before the end of year, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, which President Biden is expected to sign into law. SPARC is pleased to announce that the bill includes $12 million in funding for the federal Open Textbook Pilot grant program, renewing this successful program for a sixth year and expanding the positive impact of open educational resources on college textbook costs and student success.

First funded in Fiscal Year 2018, the Open Textbook Pilot is a U.S. Department of Education grant program that supports projects at colleges and universities to expand the use of open textbooks. The newly-approved $12 million in funding—a $1 million increase over last year—brings the program’s total funding to $47 million over six years. The impact of the program is expected to far exceed the original investment, with the current 16 funded projects estimating more than $220 million in eventual student savings on textbook costs. Studies have shown that open textbooks can also have a positive impact on student success metrics, particularly for underserved students….”

The Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory

“With the success of open access publishing, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education practices, the open approach to education has moved from the periphery to the mainstream. This marks a moment of victory for the open education movement, but at the same time the real battle for the direction of openness begins. As with the green movement, openness now has a market value and is subject to new tensions, such as venture capitalists funding MOOC companies. This is a crucial time for determining the future direction of open education.

In this volume, Martin Weller examines four key areas that have been central to the developments within open education: open access, MOOCs, open education resources and open scholarship. Exploring the tensions within these key arenas, he argues that ownership over the future direction of openness is significant to all those with an interest in education….”

Analysis of Open Science Policy Recommendations Proposed in India’s 5th Science, Technology & Innovation Policy Draft

“One of the core principles of science is to aid socio-economic growth. Open science is a movement that reinforces the primacy of science in the direction of economic and social welfare. UNESCO’s recommendation on open science aims to provide an international framework for open science policy and practice. It endorses unrestricted access to scholarly publications and data, the use of digital technologies to drive scientific processes, more collaboration and cooperation among the actors in the scientific ecosystem, sharing of research infrastructure, acknowledgment of diverse knowledge systems, and science for society. Open science could enable a productive science ecosystem in global south countries through efficient knowledge circulation, resource sharing, and collaboration. Analysis of open science policy from a global south country can provide valuable insights. India is preparing to adopt an open science framework recommended in the 5th Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) draft, released in December 2020. The STIP draft recommends open access to articles and research data from publicly funded projects, access to research infrastructure beyond the boundary of academic and research institutions, strengthening of Indian journals, and open educational resources. However, the draft lacks an exhaustive implementation plan. The draft falls short in devising strategies to foster collaboration between actors of the STI ecosystem, the inclusion of traditional knowledge systems, and society’s role in knowledge creation processes. The science policymakers and advisers of the Department of Science and Technology and the government of India should probe these areas to develop a more effective and inclusive open science framework.”

Themed Issue on Open Educational Resources

“Embraced by college and university administrators and funded by national and state initiatives as a means to lower barriers of entry for low-income college students, open educational resources (OER) have also become a cornerstone of open pedagogy methods that work to make connections between the classroom, the university, and the world beyond the academy. This special issue explores the affordances and challenges of OER, both in their in-class use and in the initiatives at various scales to encourage instructors, librarians, and other education workers to adopt them and explore their full potential for transforming pedagogy.

We are especially proud to publish this OER special issue on CUNY’s Manifold instance. Manifold, developed by the CUNY Graduate Center in partnership with The University of Minnesota Press and the development firm Cast Iron Coding, represents a new approach to OER publishing that we believe JITP’s audience will appreciate. With this issue, and with the publication of our archives in early 2023, you can collect articles to share and annotate with your students and colleagues. To this end, please consider creating a reading account, learning more about reading on Manifold, and joining JITP’s reading group. We hope you will join us!”