Course Material Transformation Fellowships Awarded

The Scholarly Communication Department is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the 2021 Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program. The IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries launched the Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program in Fall 2020 for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course material, with generous support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council.

Chosen from a competitive list of applicants, our Fellows comprise 13 faculty members and one graduate student who are dedicated to creating and cultivating an environment that allows students to have access to quality course materials without the burden of cost. Many of the fellowships will increase access to educational materials for underrepresented populations. The instructors come from Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and teach courses ranging across the disciplines. In addition to learning methods for improving access to educational resources, Fellows will learn about available platforms such as Pressbooks, and new approaches such as Open Pedagogy in the classroom. They will be implementing the new materials in their courses during the 2021-2022 academic year. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials. 

Please join us in welcoming our Fellows. Their comments below provide a glimpse of their excitement about this new opportunity.

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship would yield a higher-quality OER text for my course and students, and provide me with a tremendous opportunity for continued learning and support.”- Miranda Rodak, Department of English, IU Bloomington

I would like to make [materials] interactive to ensure students are reading and getting immediate feedback on their understanding.” – Kim Donahue, Kelley School of Business, IUPUI

Creating a collection of no-cost materials specifically for IUB multilingual students means that I would be able to customize the content using existing Open Educational Resources.” – Megan Hansen Connolly, Second Language Studies, IU Bloomington

I am excited about this program because of the opportunity to work with experts and others in diverse fields.” – Kathy Berlin, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

The transformation of the course curriculum to better meet the learning objectives in the field and align with the General Education community contributions is my priority under my capacity of instructor and expert in the Culture and Health domain. The current Fellowship program offers a valuable opportunity to improve the learning experience in the field.” – Valia Kalaitzi, Department of Global Health, IUPUI

I want to ensure students are able to access and utilize course materials easily. Due to the course having a large quantity of students each semester, if the course materials were available completely online many students would be able to save money on course materials.” – Amy Powell and Julia Sanders,  ePortfolio, IUPUI

By using a multitude of resources, I can provide students with the most up-to-date, broad base of knowledge required to enhance the lives of people with disability across society.  I am excited to learn more about all the resources available to me to make this transition, especially the OER and ways to create my own, diverse set of instructor-created materials to support student learning.” – Heaven Hollender, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

My vision is to create cohesive course materials that align with the story I want to tell with each unit. I would like this to be through lecture videos (some redone to be in the form of whiteboard animations), supplemented with open-source text chapters when appropriate,  or source animations or simulations that are already available.” – Sapna Mehta, Department of Biology, IU Bloomington

“It is paramount that we give [students] a thorough background for the content that we are teaching.  We teach them professional communication and procedures while simultaneously teaching them the requisite medical terminology to get started.”Todd Peabody, School of Optometry, IU Bloomington

I would like to move a multitude of resources such as assessment materials into one resource that students have the ability to apply the content more easily.” – Roxie Barnes, School of Nursing, IU Bloomington

Every semester I have a handful of students who struggle to buy the book, for whom I usually put copies of the book on reserve at Wells. During the COVID pandemic, with library reserves shut down, this situation has become untenable… I have been looking for the time and intellectual space to identify and develop all-digital materials, and this fellowship would provide it.” – Kathryn Graber, Department of Anthropology, IU Bloomington

I appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues about OER materials.” – Shana Stump, Department of Political Science, IUPUI

I’m interested in finding free materials to serve as a reference in the classroom for students.”Rick Hullinger, Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, IU Bloomington

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program aims to:

  • Lower the cost of college for students in order to contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course material solutions available and aggregate material instructor support across campus into one space

Even outside of the Fellowship Program, our Department provides support to faculty members who wish to introduce open educational resources and open pedagogy to the classroom. Consult our OER Libguide or contact us for more information.

Temporary Free Access to Academic Resources during COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free. IU Libraries have created a guide that aggregates academic resources that have been made freely available temporarily during the pandemic. This guide is intended to assist librarians, faculty, and researchers in finding resources to support teaching, learning, and discovery as classes have moved online for the foreseeable future.

The guide includes links to a number of community-built lists that are tracking free access to vendor resources. The International Coalition of Library Consortia, for instance, has created a list of information service providers who are offering expanded content access due to COVID-19. These lists cover a variety of free resources including textbook and monograph offerings, music, electronic resources, online learning services and platforms, as well as analytics platforms.

In addition, many publishers are providing temporary access to eBooks, scholarly journals, videos, and other media. Project Muse, for instance, is offering open access eBooks and journals from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies. In an effort to support educators, the Association for Science Education has made its 2019 and 2020 journal content temporarily open access. Netflix has also made a selection of their documentary features available on the Netflix U.S. YouTube Channel. The IU resources guide provides links and descriptions for all of these resources.

Multiple publishers have made research specifically related to COVID-19 freely available. SAGE publishing, for instance, is providing researchers with access to all of their COVID-19 related content. For additional open access research specific to COVID-19, see the COVID-19 Research page in this guide.  Please note that a few of the research resources listed there are pre-print servers. That content is not vetted research as it has not been peer-reviewed.

The guide also includes a list of resources that are always open access. The benefit of these resources is that they are not only free to use, they can be openly used, edited, stored, and distributed. Additionally, many of these resources can be downloaded then accessed offline by students, even long after the end of a course. Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), for instance, organizes a wide range of cultural heritage resources that are free and immediately available in digital format. 

Finally, the Internet Archive is another extensive resource currently available. It holds millions of books, videos, audio files, and archived web pages on a wide range of topics.

Please note that access to many these resources is temporary, and a resource may be withdrawn without notice by the vendor. This guide will continue to be updated as we discover additional resources.

Major Open Scholarship Website Update Includes New Open Education Tab

IU Libraries’ Open Scholarship website, an overview of open scholarship services provided by the Scholarly Communication department, recently underwent a major update. One of the  most notable changes to the site is the addition of the Open Education tab, which provides information on the library’s services regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are teaching and learning resources shared under an open license, usually a Creative Commons license, that renders them compatible with the 5Rs of Open Education; they can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed in perpetuity and without restrictions. OER provide free course materials to students, which help combat the rising price of textbooks (the average student at IUB spends over $1,000 on textbooks per year). The customizable nature of OER allows them to be closely tailored to specific courses and better reflect current events and new discoveries. While it can difficult to navigate implementing the right OER into your classroom, the Scholarly Communication department can help instructors find, evaluate, and create OER. The following is a detailed synopsis of the new open education tab, intended to help patrons understand the process of incorporating open education and OER into their pedagogy. This process often begins with searching for pre-existing OER to include in your course.

Screenshot of Open Education tab on Open Scholarship website

 

Find

There are many ways to approach finding OER. One possible starting point is to search for keywords in conjunction with “open educational resources” in your preferred search engine. There are also several OER repositories that can help streamline the process: the Open Education tab’s “find” subsection provides a list of some of our favorite repositories, and the IU OER LibGuide contains several other suggested resources. The LibGuide also provides access to the Mason OER Metafinder (MOM), which searches across several OER repositories. Often, there are many potentially relevant OER and choosing the right option for your classroom can be difficult. The following section provides evaluation tips and suggestions to make sure you are choosing the most appropriate resources.

Evaluate

As OER can be created, used, and revised by anybody, instructors may have concerns regarding their quality and suitability. The process for evaluating OER is very similar to evaluating any other course material; the only difference is understanding each resource’s specific license. The OER Evaluation Checklist provides a walkthrough of considerations when evaluating OER, in particular, ensuring that the materials are of proper quality, appropriate for the class demographic, and are technologically compatible with the course aims. The Open Scholarship website also contains a rubric for evaluating OER that addresses relevance, accuracy, production quality, accessibility, interactivity, and licensing. As an additional evaluative tool, many OER repositories include reviews of particular resources from other users, often other instructors, which provide a succinct and critical overview for  helping instructors quickly evaluate a particular OER. If you are still having trouble finding the right OER for your course, or are interested in development, the Scholarly Communication department can help instructors create their own OER.

Create

Creating an OER for your course can take many forms, and there are several resources available to you. One option is using Pressbooks, an accessible tool that allows users to create, edit, and publish texts in a variety of formats. It is easy to involve students with Pressbooks, and they can even create OER as a final project for a course. The Pressbooks User Guide provides a walkthrough of the tool, and the Open Pedagogy Notebook provides examples and suggestions for creating OER with students. There are even funding opportunities for supporting OER creation and implementation, such as IUB’s Information Literacy Course Grant. For a more thorough discussion of a recent example, please see Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare’s previous blog post about a course that received an Information Literacy Grant to create an OER using Pressbooks.

Further Resources

Not every class is the same, and the steps discussed above are not always linear. The process often includes a combination of different steps. The Scholarly Communication department offers various resources and services to help you integrate OER into your classroom, no matter what your project looks like. A detailed list of these services, including FAQs, can be found under the Open Scholarship website’s new Open Education tab, and the IU OER LibGuide provides supplementary resources and information. While this blog post details the Scholarly Communication Department’s OER services, it does not exhaust all available options for finding, implementing, and/or creating affordable course materials at IU. If you have any further questions about OER and how you can incorporate them into your classroom, please email iusw@indiana.edu.

Open Education Week 2018 at IU: A Recap

On Thursday March 8, the Office of Scholarly Publishing and UITS partnered to hold a day-long Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium. The symposium featured three experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Each expert brought a unique  perspective and context to the conversation. Steel Wagstaff (Educational Technology Consultant), Kris Olds (Professor of Geography), and Carrie Nelson (Librarian and Director of Scholarly Communication) presented at morning workshops and participated in an afternoon panel.

Both faculty and staff attended with the symposium, with representatives from the Kelley School of Business, the School of Education, UITS, the Office of Financial Literacy, and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs present. By the end of the day, at least one faculty member had switched from traditional course content to an affordable, digital eText! We’ve also already met with one faculty member interested in student-created OER and plan to have several follow up conversations in the coming months.

Participants chose one of two morning workshops: “Making Open Textbooks and Other Interactive Learning Activities with Pressbooks” with Steel Wagstaff or “Supporting Campus and Course-Level Adoption of Open Course Content” with Carrie Nelson and Kris Olds. These workshops were informative and informal, shaped by participants’ questions and centered on hands on application.

In Kris and Carrie’s session, we discussed the basics of open/ affordable and covered Creative Commons licensing, which then allowed us to have a more in-depth conversation about the process/ funding needed to create OER, governance and course material selection, student outreach, and the political economy of OER. Kris and Carrie also shared successful strategies for raising awareness about OER on their campus, which several participants felt was the most pressing barrier to more systematic adoption.

Robert McDonald, Associate Dean for Research and Technology Strategies, kicked off the afternoon panel with contextual information about the price of course materials at IUB and how these costs impact students. The panel then opened with an overview of current initiatives at IU Bloomington, presented by Michele Kelmer and Michael Regoli. The panel transitioned to  presentations from our UW-Madison guest experts. Each of the guest’s presentations demonstrated that UW-Madison is engaging in innovative work around Open Educational Resource (OER) creation and community building.

I was inspired by several parts of the panel, but there are two slides I’d like to highlight here as essential and foundational for shaping the Office of Scholarly Publishing’s outreach at IU Bloomington.

  • Steel’s guiding principles for his work:
    • Go anywhere
    • Talk to everyone
    • Say ‘yes… you can’
    • Find partners, champions, and enthusiasts
    • Build local capacity
  • Carrie’s argument that OER and affordable course material content work aligns with library values around:
    • Access
    • Confidentiality/Privacy
    • Democracy
    • Diversity
    • Education and Lifelong Learning
    • Intellectual Freedom
    • The Public Good
    • Preservation
    • Professionalism
    • Service
    • Social Responsibility

These points were both encouraging and motivating to me. The Scholarly Communication Department is invested in instructor agency and autonomy, student access, and building local expertise here at IUB. We hope to continue to find champions and enthusiasts that can partner with us to make these goals possible.

There were several goals for symposium: to build community around course material issues, to connect instructors and relevant staff from key offices on campus, to raise awareness about the spectrum of existing affordable course material work happening at IU Bloomington, and to guide the future of Office of Scholarly Publishing services. We know the conversation doesn’t end here! We look forward to continuing to work with instructors on affordable and open course material creation and adoption. We also hope to partner with librarians and instructors within the IU system, Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), and Unizin.

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