142 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2019
  2. Apr 2019
    1. ‘only 18 % of thestudents reported that they frequently or always read before coming to class. In contrast,53 % reported that they never or rarely read the textbook before coming to class

      This is good additional info above and beyond the question of whether students buy the assigned textbook.

    1. do you have access to their US History book

      I just looked at a few sections of it that apply to what I'm doing currently in my US I course. It's basically the Openstax textbook.

    1. faculty can and do customize with proprietary content all the time, and that anyone who believes the only way to do this is with OER is fooling themselves.

      Yeah, and people regularly compile copyrighted material inside a course shell and cite "fair use" but that doesn't mean this is the desired outcome. It's what we have to do when free remixing isn't an option. So it's less something to celebrate as something to evolve beyond.

    2. How much is professional curation—in the form of scope and sequence—worth?

      Two questions re: that: How much more is the authoritative expert's professional curation supposed by the publisher to be worth? Eminent historians writing textbooks. Second, how much of that activity aggregates the work of instructors -- or in other words, replaces that work? Should we have minimum wage instructors in the future using super-value-added digital texts? Why not just eliminate instructors and engage students directly with textbook companies?

      Who is eating whose lunch, actually?

    3. formative assessments, student and instructor dashboards, nudges and reminders, and maybe adaptive capabilities

      This is the transition from print to digital being reproduced in a more expensive print book. How long can that last?

    4. used books

      This is not entirely two sides of same coin. But it does emphasize the question about what additional value is the new version of the textbook bringing.

  3. Mar 2019
    1. But often — and maybe even usually — when we complain about the cost of books, we’re complaining about the cost of supplemental media, password-protected websites, and other items that may include text but are certainly not books.

      And at the same time, OER’s lack of such ancillary materials is often blamed for its slow adoption.

    2. By teaching students to expect that books ought to be free, we are teaching them to be bad citizens.

      Point taken. Maybe the lesson is not about the price of books, but who should pay for them. A lot of course materials are produced in factory-like conditions by underpaid creators who have no intellectual property rights in the works they produce.

    3. a holdover

      I love the word for these types of anachronisms: skeumorph.

  4. Jan 2019
    1. The introductory psychology textbook is difficult to produce with uniform accuracy, as authors have only a limited area of expertise, yet must write chapters that discuss the entire breadth of psychology.

      My heart goes out to anyone trying to write an introductory psychology textbook. It's impossible to be an expert on every area of psychology, so some weaknesses are inevitable. These authors are trying their best.

  5. Dec 2018
    1. Today, I had the privilege of speaking on a panel at the Comparative and International Education Society’s Annual Conference with representatives of two open education projects that depend on Creative Commons licenses to do their work. One is the OER publisher Siyavula, based in Cape Town, South Africa. Among other things, they publish textbooks for use in primary and secondary school in math and science. After high school students in the country protested about the conditions of their education – singling out textbook prices as a barrier to their learning – the South African government relied on the Creative Commons license used by Siyavula to print and distribute 10 million Siyavula textbooks to school children, some of whom had never had their own textbook before. The other are the related teacher education projects, TESSA, and TESS-India, which use the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license on teacher training materials. Created first in English, the projects and their teachers rely on the reuse rights granted by the Creative Commons license to translate and localize these training materials to make them authentic for teachers in the linguistically and culturally diverse settings of sub-Saharan Africa and India. (Both projects are linked to and supported by the Open University in the UK, http://www.open.ac.uk/, which uses Creative Commons-licensed materials as well.) If one wakes up hoping to feel that one’s work in the world is useful, then an experience like this makes it a good day.

      I think contextualizing Creative Commons material as a component in global justice and thinking of fair distribution of resources and knowledge as an antidote to imperialism is a provocative concept.This blog, infojusticeorg offers perspectives on social justice and Creative Commons by many authors.

  6. Sep 2018
  7. Aug 2018
    1. YouTube Lectures by Kevin

      If you hold down the CMD or CTRL key while clicking the video links, the video will open up in a new tab. Otherwise, when you go "back" to the book from the video, you'll be sent back to the beginning of the book. Not great.

    1. Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".[1] It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

      I can't help but see this definition and think it needs to be applied to economics immediately. In particular I can think of a few quick examples of economic anomie which are artificially covering up a free market and causing issues within individual communities.

      College Textbooks: Here publishers are marketing to professors who assign particular textbooks and subverting students which are the actual market and consumers of those textbooks. This causes an inflated market and has allowed textbook prices to spiral out of control.

      The American Health Care Market In this example, the health care providers (doctors, hospitals, etc.) have been segmented away from their consumers (patients) by intermediary insurance companies which are driving the market to their own good rather than a free-er set of smaller (and importantly local) markets that would be composed of just the sellers and the buyers. As a result, the consumer of health care has no ability to put a particular price on what they're receiving (and typically they rarely ever ask, even more so when they have insurance). This type of economic anomie is causing terrific havoc within the area.

      (Aside: while the majority of health care markets is very small in size (by distance), I will submit that the advent of medical tourism does a bit to widen potential markets, but this segment of the market is tiny and very privileged in comparison.)

    1. A key difference between inclusive access and buying print textbooks is that students effectively lease the content for the duration of their course, rather than owning the material. If students want to download the content to access it beyond the duration of their course, there is often an additional fee.

      So now we need to revisit the calculation above and put this new piece of data into the model.

      Seriously?! It's now a "rental price"?

    2. Students like the convenience of the system, said Anderson, and all have access to the most up-to-date content, instead of some students having different editions of the same textbook.

      They're also touting the most up-to-date content here, when it's an open secret that for the majority of textbooks don't really change that much from edition to edition.

    3. She said that her institution, which has inclusive-access agreements with more than 25 publishers, had saved students more than $2 million this semester alone.

      $ 2million compared to what? To everyone having purchased the textbooks at going rates before? This is a false comparison because not everyone bought new in the first place. Many bought used, and many more still probably either pirated, borrowed from a friend, from the library, or simply went without.

    4. The "inclusive" aspect of the model means that every student has the same materials on the first day of class, with the charge included as part of their tuition.

      It almost sounds to me like they know they're not getting a cut of the money from poorer students who are finding the material for free online anyway, so they're trying to up the stakes of the piece of pie that they're getting from a different angle.

      This other model of subscription at the level of the college or university is also one that they're well aware of based on involvement with subscription fees for journal access.

    1. What David told me was his energy, enthusiasm in the class was at a much higher level with the OER approach. Sure we choose the polished “professional” textbook because of its assumed high standards, quality etc, but then its a more passive relationship a teacher has with it. I make the comparison to growing and/or making your own food versus having it prepared or taking it out of a package. Having produced our own food means we know everything about it from top to bottom, and the pride in doing that has to make the whole experience much more energized.

      As I read both this post and this comment from Alan, I can't help but think again about scholars in the 14th century who taught students. It was more typical of the time that students were "forced" to chose their own textbooks--typically there were fewer, and at the advent of the printing press they were significantly higher in price. As a result students had to spend more time and attention, as Robin indicates here, to come up with useful things.

      Even in this period students often annotated their books, which often got passed on to other students and even professors which helped future generations. So really, we're not reinventing the wheel here, we're just doing it anew with new technology that makes doing it all the easier.

      As a reference, I'll suggest folks interested in this area read Owen Gingerich's The Book Nobody Read.

    2. If OER is free, what hidden costs exist in its production? Making these textbooks is taking me a chunk of time in the off-season.  Thanks to my salaried position, I feel ok about putting in the overtime, but it’s a privilege my colleagues who teach under year-to-year part-time non-contracts can’t afford. Who should be funding OER creation? Institutions? Students? For-profit start-ups? How will you invest time in this project without obscuring the true costs of academic labor? Right now, we pass the corruptly high cost of academic publishing onto the backs of academia’s most vulnerable members: students. But as OER gains steam, we need to come up with funding models that don’t land us back in the same quagmire of exploitation that we were trying to get out of.

      This is a nearly perfect question and something to watch in the coming years.

    3. Most of the actual texts in the Heath were public domain texts, freely available and not under any copyright restrictions.  As the Heath produced new editions (of literature from roughly 1400-1800!), forcing students to buy new textbooks or be irritatingly out of sync with page numbers, and as students turned to rental markets that necessitated them giving their books back at the end of the semester, I began to look in earnest for an alternative.

      Repackaging public domain texts and charging a steep markup too much above and beyond the cost of the paper is just highway robbery. Unless a publisher is adding some actual annotative or analytical value, they shouldn't be charging outrageous prices for textbooks of this nature.

  8. Jun 2018
    1. In ed tech, schools are the customers, but students are the users.

      This also reminds me of the market disconnect between students and their textbooks. Professors are the ones targeted for the "sale" or adoption when the actual purchasers are the students. This causes all kinds of problems in the way the textbook market works and tends to drive prices up--compared to a market in which the student directly chooses their textbook. (And the set up is not too dissimilar to how the healthcare industry works in which the patient (customer) is making a purchase of health care coverage and not actually the health care itself.

  9. May 2018
  10. Apr 2018
  11. Mar 2018
  12. Feb 2018
  13. Jan 2018
  14. Dec 2017
  15. Nov 2017
    1. This is certainly how the debate about licensing has played out.

      In fact, Rory McGreal adamantly argues that CC-BY-NC material is too restrictive to be called “OER”. We had a short exchange about this. In Quebec’s Cégep system, NC was the rule for reasons which are probably easy to understand. So the focus is on licenses, in this scene, not on practices. Hence the whole thing about Open Textbooks. Often made me wonder if any of these people had compared textbook-based teaching to any of the other modalities. In my teaching, textbooks are a problem, even when they’re open. Sure, some of those problems can be solved when you have access to the code and can produce your own textbook from that. That’s the typical solution offered in the GitHub sphere:

      Just Fork It!

      But the core problem remains: if you’re teaching with a textbook, you may not really be building knowledge with learners.

      (Should probably move this here.)

    2. Lumen Learning is in the same business as  Pearson, Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education: selling textbooks (directly or indirectly) to students.

      Strong words.

    3. Publishers previously lost a lot of revenue from textbooks because many students bought secondhand, rented, pirated or just skipped buying textbooks altogether. Inclusive-access programs have changed that.
    1. When you think the problem to be solved is the high cost of textbooks, inclusive access programs and OER adoption are just two competing approaches to solving the problem.

      There was an interesting example of this during a short conference on digital textbooks, back in late 2014. Cindy Ives interim VP Academic at Athabasca (!) presented the etext pilot project in partnership with publishers. Ives’s approach was quite pragmatic and there’s nothing wrong with doing a pilot project on something like this. By that time, Ives was already involved in OER projects. It still struck a chord with those of us who care about OER, including Éric Francoeur who took an active part in the event and did work to create a free textbook through international and interlinguistic collaboration.

      To me, a key notion from the ‘r’ in “OER” is the distinction with those content bundles we still call “textbooks”. Sure, it’s already in the 5-R model. But the “Remix” idea in music is to a large extent about unbundling.

    2. By focusing on cost, the article takes a page directly from the publishers’ playbook.

      Precisely. To me, this comment also applies to the focus on replacing existing solutions, especially textbooks, but also any kind of content. OER is convenient as a label for a specific thing, related to licenses, but associated with cost (just like “free software” interpreted as no-cost instead of «libre»).

  16. Oct 2017
    1. a study by the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education published in 2006 found that only 58 percent of Connecticut state schools’ faculty knew how much the books they selected for their classes cost.

      Faculty aren't aware or don't care about textbook expenses. I think this is slowly changing for the better, but 58% is pretty bad.

  17. Aug 2017
  18. Jul 2017
    1. I continue to believe that every time we use the word “textbook” to describe the work we’re doing with OER we paint ourselves a little further into the corner of traditional thinking about teaching and learning resources.
  19. Jun 2017
  20. May 2017
    1. ne critical element in the effectiveness of these networks is “working in the open.” This includes a number of simple practices commonly associated with open source software: making curriculum and tools easy for others to discover; publishing using an editable format that allows others to freely use and adapt them; using an open license like Creative Commons. It also includes a set of work practices that make it easy for people to collaborate across organizations and locations: collaborative writing in shared online documents; shared public plans on wiki or other editable documents; progress reports and insights shared in real time and posted on blogs. These simple practices are the grease that lubricates the network, allowing ideas to flow and innovations to spread. More importantly, they make it possible for people to genuinely build things together—and learn along the way. This point cannot be emphasized strongly enough: when people build things together they tend to own them emotionally and want to roll them out after they are created. If the people building together are from different institutions, then the innovations spread more quickly to more institutions.

      These are all important aspects of open pedagogy, imo. Transparent, network practices that connect, but also create space and opportunities for particiaption by those on the edges. Working in the open is an invitation to particiaption to others.

  21. Apr 2017
    1. e-searchers addressing the production of textbooks and other educational media for schools have mostly published their findings within discipline-specific channels, render-ing them elusive to the rest of the academy and thus hindering interdisciplinary ex-change.

      We've seen sociologists writing for sociology; educationalist writing for education journals; historians writing for history... Each with their own focus and core questions. This leads to very little interaction with one another... (and a little bit of re-inventing the wheel)

    2. ‘Books,’ declared Thomas Edison in 1913, ‘will soon be ob-solete in the public schools. Scholars will be instructed through the eye. It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed inside of ten years.’57

      Thomas Edison. Love his quotes!

    1. an invaluable resource for getting started in understanding what “open” is, as well as how it has been applied and practiced across multiple types of institutions, disciplines, and educational settings.
  22. Mar 2017
  23. Feb 2017
    1. Through Ebook Central, ProQuest will manage rights and licenses associated with these e-textbooks, which will be accessible online or downloadable onto a student’s preferred device, including smartphones or tablets.


    1. the simple, digital-based solution to reduce student costs and support universal access to course materials

      VitalSource's 100% sell-through model for proprietary learning materials

    1. Framing OER as free, digital versions of expense, print textbooks also risks playing directly into the hands of commercial textbook publishers who are in the midst of a pivot away from a business model based on selling “new editions” of print textbooks every three years to one based on leasing 180-day access to digital content delivery platforms.

      Exactly, although part of me wonders if OER hasn't had a hand in this pivot. If there were no OER's or open textbooks, would the industry be pivoting? Or are the pivoting as a response to the rising use of open textbooks and OER?

    2. At the same time, this narrow focus on cost savings is immediately less relevant in countries where faculty are less reliant on expensive textbooks

      A North American problem.

    1. Politisches Interesse bedeutet eine selektive Aufmerksamkeit gegenüber politischen Objekten und Ereignissen. Zum politischen Interesse gehört die Einstellung, dass im Vergleich zu anderen Lebensbereichen Politik für einen persönlich von Bedeutung ist. Politisches Interesse bewirkt ein Streben, die Merkmale des Gegenstandsbereichs Politik zu verstehen

      Würde alles beim Schreiben eines OER Schulbuches im Unterricht angeregt werden. Cf. DeRosa 2016

    2. Bürgertugenden sind gemeinsinnorientiert, affektiv verankert und handlungsmotivierend. Sie überführen Wissen und Handlungsbereitschaft in tatsächliches politisches Handeln

      Again: OER textbook does that in the class

    1. There is no rush! Don’t worry about producing a beautiful, flawless textbook. Build it in stages across multiple years, and let different cohorts of students contribute in different, layered ways. Make no claims to perfection. Your textbook is a work-in-progress, and it will continually improve as learners engage with it.

      This is a liberating insight: Roll the project over several years. Of course!

    2. People often ask me how students can create textbooks when they are only just beginning to learn about the topics that the textbooks cover.  My answer to this is that unlike many other scholarly materials, textbooks are primarily designed to be accessible to students– to new scholars in a particular academic area or sub-specialty.  Students are the perfect people to help create textbooks, since they are the most keenly tuned in to what other students will need in order to engage with the material in meaningful ways.  By taking the foundational principles of a field– most of which are not “owned” by any prior textbook publisher– and refiguring them through their own lens, student textbook creators can easily tap their market.  They can access and learn about these principles in multiple ways (conventional or open textbooks, faculty lecture and guidance, reading current work in the field, conversations with related networks, videos and webinars, etc.), and they are quite capable, in my opinion, of designing engaging ways to reframe those principles in ways that will be more helpful to students than anything that has come before.

      And I'd say this counts for school students too.

  24. Oct 2016
    1. The general rule at a TLT is that if you’ve had an eight year run without getting disbanded or dissolved due to faculty pressure you’ve had a good run, and it might be time to brush up that CV because it can’t possibly last. It’s worth noting as well that TLTs are usually disbanded as a way for institutional leadership to gain favor with faculty.

      Interesting "general" rule when it comes to disbanding/dissolving TLTs. In my experience faculty are more upset with the administration when their TLT support on campus is disrupted. Especially when it affects the efficiency/timeliness of their support. Maybe dependent on the number of faculty / size of TLT? Regardless the source of the "attack" TLTs are certainly susceptible as you've said.

  25. Sep 2016
    1. but the students buy the books. It’s not money that comes to us. That’s why it’s that way. That’s the power of institutionality: it’s so invisible you can’t even see it.
  26. Jul 2016
  27. May 2016
    1. The case for print

      Not either/or for sure. Continuing to equate OER with traditional textbooks vastly constrains the power of OER and open education. How about helping students develop the skills and use the tools to work with digital media in much more powerful ways than is possible with paper?

    1. After hundreds of emails with developers and peer-reviewers, his open-source book will be ready for use at UConn. Neth began planning for the second version of the book in January and the project has taken more than four months.
  28. Apr 2016
    1. what we sell in the Open Textbook movement is not just reduced cost.

      And it's not just equality of access to "required" materials (though that's important too). It's more about the pedagogical process.

    2. Those students that bought the cheap version of the text back in 1991? They were pill-splitters. And they failed at pill-splitting (and maybe at the course). Do we own that failure? What we’ve learned over the past five years or so in OER is that what we sell in the Open Textbook movement is not just reduced cost. It’s the simplicity that you can get when you’re not working with an industry trying to milk every last dollar out of students. It’s every student having their materials on day one, for as long as they like, without having to navigate “simple” questions of what to buy, what to rent, and when-is-the-book-on-the-syllabus-that’s-required-not-really-required.
    1. Most of all, the two lessons here are that Under scarcity, the best picture of need is going to be calculated backward from what is needed, not what is bought. Protests that students “in the know” can make do can also doom students with less cultural capital to failure.

      If people "aren't spending much" (on textbooks, or food, or healthcare, etc.) it might be because they can't afford what they genuinely need.

      First-generation students are likely to need advice about which books to get, and how to get them.

    2. Asking What Students Spend on Textbooks Is the Wrong Question

      Cost of textbooks and what students are able to spend.

  29. Mar 2016
    1. As of fall 2015, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) no longer expects any undergraduate to spend money on textbooks.
    1. Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions
    2. If the average college student spends approximately $1000 per year on textbooks and yet performs scholastically no better than the student who utilizes free OER, what exactly is being purchased with that $1000?

      Supplemental materials?

  30. Feb 2016
    1. REBUS Open Web Textbooks - A new project to build a collaborative system for open source textbooks.

      https://twitter.com/hughmcguire<br> https://twitter.com/Bopuc

  31. Jan 2016
    1. The Syllabus Explorer publishes only metadata (citations, dates, locations, etc) extracted from its collection via machine learning techniques. It does not publish underlying documents or personally identifying information.

      Searchable list of textbooks categorized by field, institution, state, and country, ranked by the number of times they found them listed in a course.

      http://opensyllabusproject.org/<br> https://twitter.com/opensyllabus

    1. Category Theory for the Sciences by David I. Spivak<br> Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0<br> MIT Press.

  32. Dec 2015
    1. The EDUPUB Initiative VitalSource regularly collaborates with independent consultants and industry experts including the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Tech For All, JISC, Alternative Media Access Center (AMAC), and others. With the help of these experts, VitalSource strives to ensure its platform conforms to applicable accessibility standards including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Accessibility Guidelines established by the Worldwide Web Consortium known as WCAG 2.0. The state of the platform's conformance with Section 508 at any point in time is made available through publication of Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs).  VitalSource continues to support industry standards for accessibility by conducting conformance testing on all Bookshelf platforms – offline on Windows and Macs; online on Windows and Macs using standard browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari); and on mobile devices for iOS and Android. All Bookshelf platforms are evaluated using industry-leading screen reading programs available for the platform including JAWS and NVDA for Windows, VoiceOver for Mac and iOS, and TalkBack for Android. To ensure a comprehensive reading experience, all Bookshelf platforms have been evaluated using EPUB® and enhanced PDF books.

      Could see a lot of potential for Open Standards, including annotations. What’s not so clear is how they can manage to produce such ePub while maintaining their DRM-focused practice. Heard about LCP (Lightweight Content Protection). But have yet to get a fully-accessible ePub which is also DRMed in such a way.

  33. Nov 2015
    1. digital literacy to see that these open textbooks have more credibility than, say, Wikipedia

      Well… Credibility is a tough thing and Wikipedia’s NPOV model does offer something early critical thinkers might find more appropriate to develop their skills than a biased textbook. Those of us who have used textbooks may feel that pain.

    2. if free textbooks or OER offer learners free access to good quality knowledge

      Big “if”. And it’s one of those cases where defining those terms (“access”, “knowledge”, “free”, “good quality”, even “learners”…) is important but risky. We don’t want sterile debates, but we need to acknowledge that we may not be talking about the same things.

    3. The real problem with textbooks, though, is that focusing on them is focusing on content. When learning, and open education, should focus more on process (a conversation on this from a year ago across my blog, Jim Groom’s, Mike Caulfield’s and David Wiley’s).
    4. “why textbooks?”
    1. Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) and open courseware provider Lumen Learning announced a collaboration to publish 24 online college courses for two complete degree programs. All courses were developed for zero student cost using open educational resources (OER)
    1. This article included an estimate from the system that further backs up the $530 – $640 figures. [Hanley’s] rough estimate: As of a few years ago, learners at the 23-campus, 460,200-student university system were spending $300 million a year on course materials — about $651 per student per school year.

      This graph is the kicker. It is NOT about textbook costs, it's about how much students can afford to spend. The amount hasn't changed, or has gone down, since '02!

  34. Oct 2015