As OER Pioneers on your campus, administrators, faculty, and students may share with you different marketing materials offering access to amazing Open Educational Resources. One such option is Barnes & Noble education's Courseware.

Unlike the OER materials the UHCC colleges are adopting and producing, Barnes & Noble Courseware is not free. Barnes & Noble are taking existing OER materials such as OpenStax, adding closed, copyrighted content, and then charging for it. If you read the fine print it states "by providing affordable Courseware".

Barnes & Noble, like Cengage and Pearson, are competing with the OER movement by marketing directly to administrators and trying to confuse faculty and students with messaging that make it sound like they are providing real OER products, "a wolf in sheep’s clothing", if you will. Their materials are stored on proprietary platforms that make it difficult for students to print content, for faculty to modify the content for their students, and for faculty to share materials modified for local students with other faculty. Please treat this marketing as an “openwashing,” a tactic being used nationally to undermine the OER movement.

Academic Services at each of the UHCC campuses are already providing (or ramping up to provide) many of the services Barnes & Noble are offering, without cost to our students.  It is important for everyone to be vigilant about publisher practices to monetize OER. We, as a group should be identifying strategies to better educate our faculty so they can make discerning decisions on adopting course materials that are truly open and cost-free.

We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this resource  -   a side-by-side comparison of OER and two of the most recent "affordable" options introduced by publishers.

Post by Wayde Oshiro, Sunny Pai, and Leanne Riseley

During our Post-HSSI Go Open, Go Free Using OER session, we introduced OpenStax as one option to explore. One of the most common questions we receive during our OER workshops is about the quality of OER materials and how they are produced.

OpenStax logoAs you are aware, OpenStax, offers high-quality, peer-reviewed,  introductory level college textbooks. OpenStax follows the best practices of traditional publishing. This blog post details the process OpenStax goes through from securing funding to the iterative writing process to production and publication. You can assure your faculty who may be considering adopting OpenStax textbooks that each textbook is the result of a collaborative effort of multiple subject matter experts that undergo several cycles of review and revision.

For those of you who attended this year's Hawai'i Student Success Institute (HSSI) at the Hawai'i Convention Center on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 and Honolulu Community College on Thursday, March 29, 2018, it was a great turnout! This year, we had the pleasure of building our OER Community within the UHCC with guidance from Sarah Cohen and David Ernst, Open Textbook Network (OTN). David is the Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota and the Executive Director of the Open Textbook Network. Sarah is formerly the Associate University Librarian at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Managing Director of the Open Textbook Network. They head a consortium of more than 600 academic institutions who collaborate to support the creation and sharing of OER.


Photo of OER team

Pictured above: Sunny Pai, Wayde Oshiro, Leanne Riseley, Junie Hayashi, Sarah Cohen (OTN), Billy Meinke, David Ernst (OTN).

On Wednesday, March 28, Sarah gave a workshop titled "Engaging Students in Building OER Programs". She talked about the impact of textbook costs on students and how students are getting involved in helping to develop OER.

On Thursday, David and Sarah ran a train-the-trainer workshop, sharing information on how to engage faculty with OER and introducing the participants to a network of OER champions. Twenty five people attended from Honolulu CC, Leeward CC, Maui CC, Windward CC, Kauai CC, Hawai‘i CC, Kapi‘olani CC, and UH Mānoa.

Also on Thursday, Leeward CC gave a mini "Go Open Go Free Using OER" workshop to introduce faculty to OER and catch them up with the latest updates from the system.

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) Summer Institute and Summit will be held July 23-27, 2018 in Chaska, Minnesota. The three-day Summer Institute, July 23-25, is for new OTN members like us and focuses on training, strategy development, and networking. The two-day Summit which follows on July 26-27 is for all OTN members and focuses on problem-solving and community building. More info at
Wayde Oshiro and Sunny Pai will attend the OTN Summer Institute as UHCC system leads.  The project will fund an additional two individuals interested in furthering their involvement at the campus and system-level. The professional development grant will cover the $1,075 registration fee which includes lodging, meals and return transportation to the Minneapolis airport. Airfare is not included.
Application deadline: April 13, 2018
This opportunity is being offered to the OER Campus Leads and other qualified applicants interested in advancing OER at the campus.
Contact Wayde Oshiro with any questions.

The upcoming HSSI on Wednesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 29, 2018 will have sessions on Open Educational Resources!

The UHCC system invited David Ernst, OTN Executive Director, and Sarah Cohen, OTN Managing Director, to the conference.

Sarah is presenting a session on March 28th on engaging students in the development of open education programs. On Thursday, March 29th, Dave and Sarah are leading an all-day workshop for OER advocates. At the same time, Leanne Riseley, Junie Hayashi, and Wayde Oshiro are offering a condensed version of Leeward’s Go Open, Go Free Using OER training for faculty and staff.

“Engaging Students in Building OER Programs”

Wednesday, March 28, 1:40-2:40pm in Room 317B

Sarah Cohen, Open Textbook Network

Campuses have made successful cases for building open education programs. But does that mean that our campus communities are connected this work? This workshop will share examples from around the nation of how campuses are connecting their students to their open education programs. In so doing, we ensure greater commitment and impact, new ways of building sustainable open education programs.

Sarah Cohen is the Managing Director of the Open Textbook Network. Her work focuses on building a community of institutions who share strategies to successful open education programming. UHCC System has joined the 600 plus institutions who constitute the Open Textbook Network.

OTN workshop (UHCC OER trainers)

Thursday March 29, 9:30am-4:30pm in Room 7-532 

Sarah Cohen and Dave Ernst, Open Textbook Network 

OTN will provide one full day of training for leaders from higher education institutions across UH Community Colleges that will focus on: increasing participants’ familiarity with the nuances related to the issues around open textbook adoption; strengthening presentation capacity for future open textbook workshops; and enhancing open textbook program development.

 Go Open, Go Free Using OER

Thursday March 29, 9:30am-12:30pm in Honolulu CC Library

Junie Hayashi, Wayde Oshiro, and Leanne Riseley, Leeward Community College

What’s happening with OER at UHCC? Learn where to find OER, get your OER questions answered, and find out who to contact on your campus for support.