The press release offers no details on the platform though it doesn’t appear to be Pressbooks, already a leader in the OER space.
A large-scale study at the University of Georgia has found that college students provided with free course materials at the beginning of a class get significantly better academic results than those that do not.
The Georgia study, published this week, compared the final grades of students enrolled in eight large undergraduate courses between 2010 and 2016. Each of these courses was taught by a professor who switched from a commercial textbook costing $100 or more to a free digital textbook, or open educational resource, at some point during that six-year period.
This sort of study needs to be done at the post graduate level. I’m not surprised by the results since providing OER helps reduce the cost of education, and lowers the stress of having to pay for books out of a limited budget.
Legislators rewrite bill that originally required use of freely accessible educational materials, amid criticism that legislation would have infringed academic freedom and harmed, not helped, the open-access movement.
OER mandate overturned in Hawaii amid concern about infringement of academic freedom https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/02/27/oer-mandate-overturned-hawaii-amid-concern-about-infringement-academic-freedom
The bill would have required use of OER at no cost to students but didn’t include funding for creation of open materials or consider whether or not OER is appropriate in every situation.
In 2015, LSS conducted a pilot test of Pressbooks (an open-source book publishing tool built upon the popular WordPress CMS) for creating OER in the College of Letters & Science in Fall 2015. The pilot was a success, and in January 2016, I wrote to Unizin (a consortium of several public research universities that UW-Madison belongs to) to see whether they’d be willing to host instances of Pressbooks (and some additional plugins) for their members schools. Unizin agreed to our proposal and after a brief testing period with UW-Madison, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota, Unizin began hosting a full production instance of Pressbooks for UW-Madison on August 1, 2016. Our small but growing catalog of openly licensed texts developed and published by UW affiliates can be found at https://wisc.pb.unizin.org/.
Funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, College Open Textbooks is a collection of colleges, governmental agencies, education non-profits, and other education-related organizations that are focused on the mission of driving the awareness and advocacy for open textbooks.
Source: College Open Textbooks – Law
Education and open science hackathon guide | opensource.com. – This article is from March 2013 and it provides some good ideas for organizing and running an open education hackathon. A course sprint that bring s subject matter experts together with tech and design people sounds like a good way to jump-start an open education resource project.
While YouVersion is on the radar of Silicon Valley investors, it’s a deal their funds can’t touch. YouVersion is part of the church, so it’s set up as a non-profit that doesn’t generate revenue or have exit plans. It’s funded entirely by donations, $3 million was donated to sustain the app last year, and by LifeChurch.tv, which has poured $20 million into it.
This is just the sort of thing that education needs: a well funded non-profit dedicated only to producing top quality educational materials. What the edu space needs right now is more non-profit thinking and less venture capital money.
The always-insightful Alex Reid has penned an essay “on the question of open peer review,” which examines a draft white paper posted to Media Commons last week. The paper—Open Review: A Study of Contexts and Practices—struggles, Reid argues, to address a critical question: “What is the problem with existing scholarly review procedures that the open review process seeks to solve?”
The Learning Registry addresses the problem of discoverability of education resources. There are countless repositories of fantastic educational content, from user-generated and curated sites to Open Education Resources to private sector publisher sites. Yet, with all this high-quality content available to teachers, it is still nearly impossible to find content to use with a particular lesson plan for a particular grade aligned to particular standards. Regrettably, it is often easier for a teacher to develop his own content than to find just the right thing on the Internet.
The Learning Registry is a joint Department of Education + Department of Defense project to provide a common infrastructure for providing discoverable metadata for OER. The goal is to help the teacher locate the “just right” education content that is freely available on the web. Rather than just being yet another portal the Learning Registry is designed as infrastructure with community members running registry nodes that feed metadata and paradata back to other nodes all via a set of open APIs.
This seems like an excellent step toward solving the discovery problem that seems to plague OER. It also presents a opportunity for folks creating OER in the law school community to create a Learning Registry node for law school OER.