Providence College was pleased to host SPARC’s Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen, who gave a talk entitled OER and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis on Monday, January 23rd. View the slides from the talk here.
Allen described the current state of the textbook market, described how this is hurting students both financially and academically, and outlines some concrete examples of how open textbooks and OER can mitigate the problem. The talk concluded with some helpful, concrete steps for librarians and faculty interested in setting the default to “open.” Suggested steps include: when you can share, do share; change the default- consider using OER first for teaching or presentations, and then explore other options; support faculty as they work to adopt, adapt, and create OER; and, make “open” your mission. Allen’s talk was attended by a mix of librarians, administrator, and faculty. The event was recorded and a can be viewed here.
In addition to presenting this talk, Allen also attended a meeting of recipients of the OER mini-grants awarded by the Provost’s office. Faculty grantees come from Education; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Psychology; and Finance. The library and the Center for Teaching Excellence will work closely with these faculty as they adapt their syllabi to include OER. More information on the progress of this initiative will be shared as it develops.
— Nicole Allen (@txtbks) January 23, 2017
Providence College was pleased to host SPARC’s Director of Open Education, Nicole Allen, who gave a talk entitled OER and... MORE
Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative. Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative is to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using openly licensed textbooks and open educational resources (OERs). In addition to PC, current participating institutions include: Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island, the Community College of Rhode Island, Brown University, Bryant University, Roger Williams University, and the New England Institute of Technology.
Here at PC work has begun raise awareness of OERs and open textbooks on campus. Representatives from the Library teamed up with Assistant Professor of Economics, James Campbell, to provide an introduction to open textbooks at the Center for Teaching Excellence on November 1st. The presentation covered the basics of OER, information on locating open materials, and open licensing with Creative Commons. Campbell is using an OpenStax textbook to teach several sections of Microeconomics this semester. His insights on the experience were extremely valuable. You can view the slides from the talk here.
Through generous support from the Provost’s Office the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Library are collaborating to administer a series of small mini-grants to support course design and revision projects that prioritize open educational resources (OERs). Awardees will be selected this month. Over the spring semester mini-grant recipients will work closely with the Library to incorporate open content into their syllabi for adoption in Fall 2017.
A Steering Committee made up of library representatives from participating institutions will be responsible for implementation of RI Open Textbook Initiative. Members of the Steering Committee will communicate with the Open Textbook Network (URI, RIC, and CCRI are now member organizations), provide training opportunities around OERs for librarians around the state, and develop instruments for documenting and reporting student savings resulting from the initiative.
The Library’s Digital Publishing Services has been engaged with work around OERs for some time. We are thrilled about these new opportunities to collaborate with PC faculty around OERs. For further reading on this subject check out some of our previous here, here and here.
Providence College has joined the Rhode Island Statewide Open Textbook Initiative. Launched in September 2016 the goal of the initiative... MORE
A research report was released by the Babson Survey Research Group on July 26, 2016: “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in Higher Education, 2015-2016.” Using responses from 3,000 U.S. faculty, the report provides a snapshot of faculty awareness, use and attitudes toward open textbooks. The study seeks to better understand the selection process by faculty for educational materials that they employ in their courses.
REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Most higher education faculty are unaware of open educational resources (OER) – but they are interested and some are willing to give it a try. Survey results, using responses of over 3,000 U.S. faculty, show that OER is not a driving force in the selection of materials – with the most significant barrier being the effort required to find and evaluate such materials. Use of open resources is low overall, but somewhat higher for large enrollment introductory-level courses.
Selecting Teaching Resources:
- Almost all (90%) of teaching faculty selected new or revised educational materials for at least one course over the previous two years.
- The most common activity was changing required materials for an existing course (74%), followed by substantially modifying a course (65%). Creating a new course was the least common activity (48%).
- The most common factor cited by faculty when selecting educational resources was the cost to the students. After cost, the next most common was the comprehensiveness of the resource, followed by how easy it was to find.
- There is a serious disconnect between how many faculty include a factor in selecting educational resources and how satisfied they are with the state of that factor. For example, faculty are least satisfied with the cost of textbooks, yet that is the most commonly listed factor for resource selections.
- Virtually all courses (98%) require a textbook or other non-textbook material as part of their suite of required resources.
- Required textbooks are more likely to be in printed form (69%) than digital. Faculty require digital textbooks in conjunction with a printed textbook more often than using only digital textbooks.
- Only 5.3% of courses are using an openly licensed (Creative Commons or public domain) required textbook.
- For large enrollment introductory undergraduate courses openly licensed OpenStax College textbooks are adopted at twice the rate (10%) as open licensed textbooks among all courses.
- There has been very little change in the past year in the proportion of faculty who report that they are aware of copyright status of classroom content.
- Awareness of public domain licensing and Creative Commons licensing has remained steady.
- Faculty continue to have a much greater level of awareness of the type of licensing often used for OER (Creative Commons) than they do of OER itself, and it is clear that they do not always associate this licensing with OER.
Open Educational Resources:
- Faculty awareness of OER has increased in the last year, but remains low. Only 6.6% of faculty reported that they were “Very aware” of open educational resources, with around three times that many (19%) saying that they were “Aware”.
- The level of faculty awareness of open textbooks (a specific type of OER) was somewhat lower than that for open educational resources; only 34% of faculty claimed some level of awareness.
Barriers to OER Adoption:
- The barriers to adopting OER most often cited by faculty are that “there are not enough resources for my subject” (49%), it is “too hard to find what I need” (48%) and “there is no comprehensive catalog of resources” (45%).
- There has been a decrease in faculty concerns about permission to use or change OER materials, and increases in concerns about the quality of OER and that it is timely and up-to-date.
- Most faculty do not have experience searching for OER materials and cannot compare the ease of finding OER with traditional materials. Only 2.5% thought that it was easier to search for OER.
- The number of faculty claiming that they would use OER in the future (6.9%) is of the same order of magnitude of those already using open resources (5.3%). A larger group (31.3%) reports that they will consider future OER use.
A research report was released by the Babson Survey Research Group on July 26, 2016: “Opening the Textbook: Educational Resources in... MORE
Recently Elliot Harmon from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) contributed a post to EFF’s blog. Harmon explores the university opposition to open educational resources paradox: “… universities’ opposition to open licensing has nothing to do with students’ access to educational resources. What’s really playing out is a longstanding fight over how universities use patents—more specifically, software patents. Open education just happens to be caught in the crossfire.”
For Harmon’s complete analysis, read “Why Are Universities Fighting Open Education?”
Recently Elliot Harmon from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) contributed a post to EFF’s blog. Harmon explores the university opposition to... MORE
DPS is proud to share that a digital version of the library’s current exhibit – Pillars of the Dominican Order: St. Dominic de Guzman & St. Thomas Aquinas- is now available through Digital Commons here.
Almost eight hundred years ago, in December of 1216, the birth of a new religious order also took place. Father Dominic de Guzman, a Spanish priest, petitioned Pope Honorius II successfully for a new religious order, which would come to be called the Order of Preachers. Founded to preach the Gospel and to combat heresy, the teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organization placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The catapult for this success was the very same Dominic de Guzman who had petitioned the Pope. In honor of this divine historical event and to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the Catholic Church, this year’s Christmas Exhibit focuses on two pillars of the Dominican Order, St. Dominic de Guzman and St. Thomas Aquinas.
The exhibit consists of reproduction paintings by early renaissance artists, such as Diego Velazquez, Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, and others depicting various scenes of the two Saints. In addition, the exhibit features the College’s 1632 printed edition of Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica, of which only a handful of copies are still in existence today. There is also one case in the exhibit highlighting the life of St. Martin De Porres, patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony.
This exhibit celebrates the birth of our Savior, the coming eight hundredth year anniversary of the Dominican brotherhood, and the blessings these Saints have brought into the world as seen through the eyes of Renaissance artists.
You can also visit our previous library exhibits through Digital Commons here.
DPS is proud to share that a digital version of the library’s current exhibit – Pillars of the Dominican Order:... MORE
What does the past mean to you? What comes to your mind when you think of Rhode Island history? These questions are at the heart of the #ReCollectingRI project, an effort of the Rhode Island Historical Society to engage all Rhode Islanders with our past.
The Dorr Letters web site currently presents 60 letters written to and from Thomas Wilson Dorr around the time of the Dorr Rebellion in 1842. The letters present an important glimpse into how this critical event unfolded. You can view the original manuscripts on the site, or read their transcriptions. The site also provides contextual information about many of the important peoples and places that show up in the letters.
What does the past mean to you? What comes to your mind when you think of Rhode Island history? These... MORE
Digital Publishing Services will be traveling to Hartford, CT next week to attend Islandora Camp!
Islandora is a digital asset management system that combines a Fedora back end and a Drupal front end. DPS is thrilled to begin using Islandora to manage and present our assets. Our attendance at Islandora Camp will help us develop the technical and metadata skills needed to begin our implementation.
Some of the highlights of the camp include: Solr for Admin, Building Digital Archive Collections with Islandora, and Shaping your Workflow: Creating Custom Ingest Workflows Using Islandora Webform. The camp will be held from October 20 – 22 in Hartford, CT, at the UCONN Graduate Business Learning Center.
Digital Publishing Services will be traveling to Hartford, CT next week to attend Islandora Camp! Islandora is a digital asset management system... MORE
Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are freely available for re-use (and often remixing). OERs come in a variety of formats including course materials or modules, textbooks, videos, assessment tools, or digital exhibits. There are several growing repositories of OERs including: OER Commons and MERLOT.
As OERs become more widely available they are gaining currency as worthwhile teaching tools that present cost savings to schools and students. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that they will hire and open education adviser. The adviser will work to connect educators from both K-12 schools and higher ed with OERs that can be integrated into their curricula.
Read the Department of Ed press release here
Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are freely available for re-use (and often remixing). OERs... MORE
Digital Publishing Services is proud to share a new, open access, collection presenting the full archive of Providence College’s Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP): http://library.providence.edu/astp/.
PC’s ASTP took place from 1943-1944. The program, which took place at over 100 institutions of higher education around the country, aimed to educate young, academically talented, soldiers (ages 18-21) for leadership roles within the Army during World War II. During the program’s short tenure over 500 soldiers from around the country lived and took classes at Providence College. The ASTP Program was important to Providence College as it kept enrollments up during the war. The program concluded nationally when soldiers were needed on the battlefields of Europe as war efforts increased.
PC’s ASTP collection includes video, photographs, correspondence, newspaper coverage, archival materials, and more. While the site remains a work in progress in terms of organization and curation, it is complete in terms of presenting digitized content. Please explore the collection and let us know if you have thoughts or feedback using the commenting feature on each item’s page, or be emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are especially interested in identifying individuals pictured in the collection photographs.
Digital Publishing Services is proud to share a new, open access, collection presenting the full archive of Providence College’s Army... MORE
The Library of Congress recently made available six interactive ebooks for use by educators, students, and the public. The books, referred to as the Student Discovery Set, cover a range of topics including: the Constitution, the Dust Bowl,the Harlem Renaissance, Immigration, Symbols of the United States, and Understanding the Cosmos. The books are available for the iPad and can be downloaded for free on iBooks.
Each book includes 15-20 primary sources. Interactive tools let students zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details and make notes about what they discover. The end of each book provides a detailed list of citation information for each source, as well as link to it within the Library of Congress collections.
This set is of interest to us in DPS for a couple of reasons. It serves as an interesting model of publishing content using the iBook format, something we are also currently investigating. It also demonstrates the power of curating digital collections as open educational resources for use in classrooms.
Visit the LC site to download the books! http://www.loc.gov/teachers/student-discovery-sets/
The Library of Congress recently made available six interactive ebooks for use by educators, students, and the public. The books,... MORE