open textbooks

Market pressure builds to provide alternatives to costly textbooks

open education resources

A report issued by the United States Government Accountability Office on June 6 confirms a trend of the educational publishing industry: textbook costs to students at higher education institutions are rising 6% per year on average, and have risen 82% over the last decade. The study, ordered by Congress, looks at the efforts of publishers and colleges to increase the availability of textbook price information and "unbundled" buying options as required under provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The GAO also interviewed faculty regarding benefits of this transparency and offering of new options for students purchasing course materials.

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OER university practices go well beyond open enrollment

open source your university

While mainstream attention has been focused on MOOCs, the Open Educational Resource university (OERu) has been developing a parallel education offering which is distinctively open.

The OERu aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognized education institutions.

Like MOOCs, the OERu will have free open enrollment. But OERu’s open practices go well beyond open enrollment.

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The Saylor Foundation Open Textbook Challenge

The Saylor Foundation Open Textbook Challenge

Any professor who has written a textbook knows that it’s usually more a labor of love than a profitable venture.

Yet the average college student at a four-year public school spends over » Read more

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Four ways to undermine a community

At opensource.com, we often talk about ways to build and nourish communities. But sometimes what you do right is less important than what you’re doing wrong. We dug through our archives looking for cautionary tales that show how communities break down—or never begin to flourish in the first place. » Read more

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Open collaboration: A look at nine (very) different communities

Incredible work comes out of open source communities. But communities far removed from the world of software development often thrive following the same principles.  

Openness. Sharing. Collaboration. Transparency. Meritocracy. A common purpose.

Following are nine stories from nine very different kinds of communities. Yet all follow the open source way, in their own ways. » Read more

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Open*Education: 2010 in review

2010 has definitely flown by and if you are anything like me, I can barely remember what happened last week much less over the past year. But, we have had a big year in the Education Channel. To jog your memory I’ve put together some highlights.

Based on views, the most popular articles were (drum-rolls welcome): » Read more

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Open education resources: Moving from sharing to adopting

Educators have been sharing open educational resources (OERs) for over 12 years now. There are literally tens of thousands of them out there, many structured as collections of course materials known as open courseware (OCW), some structured as complete open courses, some structured as complete open textbooks, and many not really structured at all. The “sharing ball” is rolling. There are more materials that need to be shared, but the eventual sharing of these materials has now become inevitable.

What is anything but inevitable is the adoption of any of these open educational resources. As a thought experiment, pick your favorite institution you believe is committed to open education. Have they ever adopted an open education resource produced at another institution for in-class use? If they have an open courseware collection, can you find a single third-party OER in the collection? If even the institutions that claim to be committed to open educational resources aren’t reusing them, who will? » Read more

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Is Jaron Lanier just a hater, or should we be paying attention?

Last week, my friend Greg DeKoenigsberg posted an article about Jaron Lanier's negative comments regarding open textbooks. At almost very same time, I happened to stumble upon an article Jaron wrote back in 2006 criticizing Wikipedia. » Read more

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Flat World Knowledge: Open College Textbooks

Today, everywhere in our nation, families – adults, and their children -- are facing a tragic loss of future possibility and personal fulfillment because of high textbook prices. Fact: the cost of traditional textbooks has become a major impediment to students completing a college education, and/or deciding to enter college. It’s important to point out the scale of this problem, and its impact on students, teachers, and our American society.
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