Mechanical engineering junior at the University of Hawaii Manoa, Ana, demonstrates conservation of angular momentum. (27 seconds)
Since 2015, the UH Mānoa Department of Physics and Astronomy has used the OpenStax College Physics textbook to teach introductory physics courses. Now, a faculty-led project funded by an Outreach College UHM OER Project grant is developing a database of physics problems that can be paired with the open textbook.
You’ve heard about the potential of OER to reduce educational costs for students, but what does it mean for you as an instructor besides a potentially longer to do list?
One of the greatest benefits that OER has to offer is the freedom to reuse, remix, revise, redistribute, and retain resources licensed as ‘open’ without worrying about copyright. How many times have you wondered whether you were violating copyright law?
Reusing OER involves taking available open materials and adopting them ‘as is.’ It’s similar process to selecting a publisher’s textbook. Moving up the ladder, revising and remixing requires a higher level of involvement and commitment because you are a modifying a resource (or resources) to better meet your teaching needs. Yes, there is work involved and it can be substantial but the end result promises better materials for your exact(ing) needs. Billy Meinke, UHM OER Technologist, has a fantastic post describing the revising and remixing process in a little more detail. (Say it like you mean it: Describing revision and remixing of OER)
Leeward’s seven-week Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series started today with a cohort of 9 faculty and lecturers ready to discover how they can incorporate open educational resources into their courses. You’ll be hearing more about their experiences in this workshop, what they’re learning and what they hope to do with OER in the future.
In Fall 2016 the library initiated a new resource acquisition model with the purchase of selected course readings in electronic format and making them available to students at no cost. This new library initiative is in support of the UHCC strategic goal to implement OER to replace most textbooks by 2021.
The project started by identifying the books students were required to purchase for their classes. The process involved scanning the bookstore’s Fall 2016 Textbook List and selecting the non-textbook course readings.
Why did we ignore traditional textbooks? Libraries cannot purchase textbooks as e-books with campus-wide electronic access or share the access codes.
The 80 non-textbook titles were then searched for by library staff in our Voyager library catalog. We discovered 6 titles which were already available electronically in one of our existing e-book collections. We informed faculty of the immediate availability of these titles.
The next step was to check our e-book vendors to identify titles we could purchase. At the same time, we started a new e-book service called Overdrive partly in support of this project. We identified 18 titles that we could purchase as e-books. The majority of the publishers did not provide an option for unlimited user access (our ideal) so we were left to purchase individual copies of each title. In the end, we purchased a total of 18 titles (or 53 copies) for $1,685.
But the title is available in the Kindle store. Why can’t the library just purchase a copy? Yes, titles may be available in one of several e-book stores for individual purchase but it wouldn’t work for the library. Individual purchases are tied to a single user account and access cannot be shared. We must purchase e-books which can be made available to all authenticated Leeward users. Overdrive is our e-book platform that supports both the Kindle format and UH user authentication. However, Overdrive focuses on non-academic titles so we cannot rely on it exclusively.
As you can see, this was not a straightforward process nor is every single title available as an e-book. Even the titles we could purchase limited access to 3-5 concurrent users or had a one copy/one user restriction. These are publisher imposed limits. The Online Course Reserves project is only a partial solution to the problem of student access to course materials.
We plan to continue this project into the new year. If you would like the library to purchase an e-book to support your course, please submit your request using the online Course Reserves Purchase Request Form. If the e-book is available, we will purchase up to 5 copies and let you know when they are available to your students.
Do you wish to learn more about Open Access? The book“Open Access”by Peter Suber offers a concise yet comprehensive overview of the topic.
If you are thinking about using Open Educational Resources, you may wish to read “A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)” prepared by Neil Butcher for the Commonwealth of Learning & UNESCO. The guide answers frequently asked questions about OER and it provides information about OER open licenses, online resources, policies and more.
The use of open textbooks in the classroom can make a positive impact on students’ success as it enhances their access to course materials while reducing textbook expenses. A more widespread implementation of Open Educational Resources (OER) is contributing to a rapid increase in the number of available materials. This makes adopting quality educational resources a viable option to teach courses in a variety of subject areas.
Open textbooks can be used, reused and shared; and, depending on their license, many of them may also be modified, allowing you to tailor their content to the specific needs of your course. The Open Textbooks page in our library’s OER subject guide provides links to open textbooks available in many subject areas including: Math, Economics, Marketing, History, Biology, Botany, English, Psychology, Sociology, Speech, Anthropology, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, Chemistry and Culinary Arts. Links to additional resources are regularly added to the guide but you may also let us know if you need help finding resources for a particular course.
Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 program is saving students real money. This semester’s estimated savings for students in classes taught by 25 faculty who switched from commercial texts to OER or zero-cost resources is $131,000. Any course can be designated TC:$0 by the instructor. Go to the Textbook Cost: $0 page for more information.
Want to learn about free textbooks and resources developed and peer-reviewed by educators? Join us for a special webinar and discussion on Open Educational Resources (OER) presented by the Faculty Mentoring Program at Outreach College and OpenStax College.
OpenStax College is a leader in developing no-cost quality, peer-reviewed learning materials for higher education. The presenter will be Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director, Institutional Relations at OpenStax College, Rice University. Sara Rutter, Open Educational Resources Librarian, Outreach College will host a discussion following the presentation. The library and EMC staff will also be on hand to answer your questions about getting started with OER for your classes.
Date and Time: Friday, July 10, 2015, 12 noon until 1:15 pm
Location: Leeward Community College, LC 108A (located on the first floor of the Learning Commons Building in EMC)
Registration: Please email email@example.com or call 455-0680 to reserve a space