Leveraging OER to Meet Student Basic Needs with COVID Relief Dollars – SPARC

“As the COVID-19 pandemic put additional stress on college students, many libraries and their institutions leveraged open educational resources (OER) to address the sudden disruption in learning environments across the country. OER are learning materials that are designed to be flexible, customizable, and always free to the student. 

In new guidance for federal COVID relief funds released by the U.S. Department of Education, leveraging OER to expand access to free, high-quality textbooks is explicitly cited as a strategy to meet college students’ basic needs. The Department specifically points to OER as an example of a high-impact strategy that can build long-term capacity to ensure students have the tools they need to succeed in navigating challenges created by the pandemic. 

From statewide consortiums to community and technical colleges, many institutions have already used federal COVID relief dollars for successful OER programs. The new federal guidance applies to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which has distributed $76.2 billion to colleges and universities since 2020. Other OER projects have leveraged COVID relief funds from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEER) and funds allocated by state legislatures. 

As the Department of Education’s new guidance opens the door for more U.S. institutions to use their remaining HEERF funds for OER this spring, below are some examples of successful COVID relief-funded projects already leveraging OER to meet student basic needs….”

Agreement between the Department of Energy Laboratories and Elsevier

“Elsevier and the Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratories have established an agreement to support the labs’ authors who wish to publish open access. The agreement provides authors at participating institutions with an incentive to publish their articles open access in applicable Elsevier journals. Where an author chooses to publish OA, articles will be made freely available on ScienceDirect under the author’s choice between two reuse licenses: CC BY or CC BY-NC-ND.”

ACE Publishes Findings From U.S. Department of Education-Funded Blockchain Initiative

“Today, ACE released a report outlining the outcomes and best practices that have emerged from the Education Blockchain Initiative, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and included the Blockchain Innovation Challenge. The $900,000 competition sought bold ideas to reorient education and employment around learners and ultimately funded four projects that explored how blockchain technology can empower learners with more control over their educational records and create more equitable opportunities for economic advancement….”

OpenStax and collaborators receive $1.13 million to develop free textbooks | Rice News | News and Media Relations | Rice University

“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….”

Collaborating for public access to scholarly publications: A case study of the partnership between the US Department of Energy and CHORUS – Dylla – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

The success of the CHORUS and DOE relationship is the result of nearly two decades of interactions between the DOE and a group of scientific publishers.
The relationship between CHORUS and the US federal agencies required understanding of different motivations, operations, and philosophies.
Although achieving public access was simple in principle, it required considerable effort to develop systems that satisfied all parties.
Publishers had been working with federal agencies to achieve open access before the 2013 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but this helped to create a path for a more fruitful relationship….”

Collaborating for public access to scholarly publications: A case study of the partnership between the US Department of Energy and CHORUS – Dylla – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

“Key points

 

The success of the CHORUS and DOE relationship is the result of nearly two decades of interactions between the DOE and a group of scientific publishers.
The relationship between CHORUS and the US federal agencies required understanding of different motivations, operations, and philosophies.
Although achieving public access was simple in principle, it required considerable effort to develop systems that satisfied all parties.
Publishers had been working with federal agencies to achieve open access before the 2013 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but this helped to create a path for a more fruitful relationship….”