Monday, April 15, 2013

The Wild West of MOOCs > Information Today > NewsBreak


Very Timely !!!

I just submitted an invited Think Piece on Open Resources and MOOCs to an major _Library Journal_ [:-)] and finalizing another invited submission for  a British library news magazine that's due by the end of this week [Ugh !][:-)]

Next Step : A  Review Article ...

Note: Suggested Open Access journals are Most Welcome !

Next Next Step > Presentations / Workshops > Will Have PPT(s) and Will Travel  ...

Next Next Next Step > A Book ...

Note: I have enough content for an Encyclopedia [:-)]

Note: Suggested Editors / Publishers Welcome !


Abby Clobridgen / Posted On April 15, 2013

Hardly a day goes by without a story appearing in a major new outlet about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). While most of the headlines—including this one—reference MOOCs, the real issues are quite broad in scope, covering everything from whether higher education as we know it is on the verge of combusting, to big, bold experiments using technology to deliver education in transformative ways on a global scale. While the exact discussions seem to change on a constant basis, some of the current hot topics include proposed legislation in California, the swirl of possibilities around business models for so-called xMOOCs, and increased demand for production and availability of open textbooks


Open Textbooks and OERs

One of the challenges of MOOCs is providing access to reading materials—books, articles, reports that all students are able to access without limitations based on local libraries or requiring students to pay for expensive textbooks. While open access (OA) articles and books solve some needs, several organizations are trying to address this issue with a different approach: by producing free textbooks and using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in more systematic ways.

OpenStax College, an initiative of Rice University and supported by many nonprofit organizations including The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has begun to publish its own brand of open, peer-reviewed textbooks. OpenStax College books are all openly licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY), which means that anyone is free to use, share, remix, and even make commercial use of the books. Most textbooks currently offered through OpenStax College are aimed at entry-level courses (“Introduction to Sociology,” “College Physics,” “Biology”).

The Saylor Foundation is taking a different approach to accomplish the same goal of making textbooks openly and freely available. Its Open Textbook Challenge is designed to re-license existing textbooks with a CC-BY license or encourage researchers to help develop openly licensed textbooks in specific fields. To entice authors, it is offering $20,000 for accepted textbooks aligned with eligible Saylor Foundation courses in order to build up a library of reading materials for its self-paced courses.

Lumen Learning, co-founded by David Wiley, a leader in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement, launched the “Textbook Zero” project—an initiative designed to support “institutions that want to move an entire degree program off of expensive, traditional textbooks and on to freely available OER.” Lumen Learning is currently working with Tidewater Community College to launch a pilot project in fall 2013.

As noted in the Tidewater Community College announcement about its “Textbook-Free” degree program:

For students who pursue the new ‘textbook-free’ degree, the total cost for required textbooks will be zero. Instead, the program will use high quality open textbooks and other open educational resources, known as OER, which are freely accessible, openly licensed materials useful for teaching, learning, assessment, and research. It is estimated that a TCC student who completes the degree through the textbook-free initiative might save one-third on the cost of college.


Source And Full Text Available At 



OATS: Open Access Textbooks


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