In the market for new course materials? Don’t forget about these great resources!

There are some great openly licensed open textbook resources supported by Rebus that are available for classroom use! Keep reading to see whether any of these resources would be a good fit for your upcoming course. If you are planning on adopting or adapting any of these open textbooks, please let us know!

Are you or others at your institution planning for the upcoming semester or academic year? Then it’s time to take another look at all the Rebus supported open textbooks that have been released over the past year! All our books are licensed CC BY, most are peer reviewed, and all can easily be adapted to better fit your course’s needs. And, even better, they are freely and easily accessible to you and your students in a bunch of formats (web, PDF, ebook and editable formats).

Titles available for adoption/adaptation:

Financial Strategy for Public Managers (Sharon Kioko and Justin Marlowe)
Financial Strategy for Public Managers is a new generation textbook for financial management in the public sector. It offers a thorough, applied, and concise introduction to the essential financial concepts and analytical tools that today’s effective public servants need to know. Financial Strategy for Public Managers has been peer-reviewed by 8 subject experts at 8 institutions.


Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship (edited by Michelle Ferrier and Elizabeth Mays)
This is a modular open textbook designed for entrepreneurial journalism, media innovation, and related courses. This book underwent student and faculty testing and open review in Fall 2017. Feedback has been implemented in Version 1.0 and will continue to be implemented in Version 2.0 (ETA August 2018).

Literature Reviews for Education and Nursing Graduate Students (Linda Frederiksen and Sue F. Phelps)
This open textbook is designed for students in graduate-level nursing and education programs. From developing a research question to locating and evaluating sources to writing a sample literature review using appropriate publication guidelines, readers will be guided through the process. This book has been peer-reviewed by 7 subject experts and is available for adoption and use in courses or as a library resource.

Blueprint for Success (Dave Dillon)
A free, Open Educational Resource, Blueprint for Success in College and Career is a students’ guide for classroom and career success. This text, designed to show how to be successful in college and in career preparation, focuses on study skills, time management, career exploration, health, and financial literacy.

The Blueprint for Success series comprises three books for the College Success and FYE (First-Year Experience) genre. The central text, Blueprint for Success in College and Career, is designed to show how to be successful in college and in career preparation. In addition, targeted sections on Study Skills and Time Management, and Career and Decision Making are available separately as Blueprint for Success in College: Indispensable Study Skills and Time Management Strategies, and Blueprint for Success in Career Decision Making. All have been peer-reviewed by an experienced team.

Antología abierta de literatura hispánica (Julie Ann Ward)
Una antología crítica de textos literarios del mundo hispanohablante. Se enfoca en autores canónicos y también se intenta incluir voces marginadas. Cada texto tiene una introducción y anotaciones creadas por estudiantes. // A critical anthology of literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world. A focus on canonical authors and an attempt to include voices that have been marginalized. Each text includes an introduction and annotations created by students. You can also contribute to the expansion of this text by having your students contribute! Find out more about implementing the assignment.

The Science of Human Nutrition (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program)
This peer-reviewed textbook serves as an introduction to nutrition for undergraduate students and is the OER textbook for the FSHN 185 The Science of Human Nutrition course at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The book covers basic concepts in human nutrition, key information about essential nutrients, basic nutritional assessment, and nutrition across the lifespan.

Additional Resources

For those running an open pedagogy assignment in your class, creating a new open textbook, or working with students to create a new open textbook, there’s something for you too:

Authoring Open Textbooks (Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen)
This guide is for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.


A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students (edited by Elizabeth Mays)
A handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other Open Educational Resources. This is a first edition, compiled by Rebus Community, and we welcome feedback and ideas to expand the text.



If you are planning on adopting or adapting any of these open textbooks, please let us know!

July Office Hours: Developing OER Policy (Audio and Chat Transcripts)

Watch the video recording of this Office Hours session, or keep reading for a full transcript. The chat transcript is also available, for those interested in reading the conversation that took place amongst participants and seeing resources shared. 

Note: If anyone would prefer to not be associated with their comments in either of these transcripts, please contact Apurva ( as soon as possible and we will remove any names or other identifying information.

Audio Transcript


  • Rebecca Van de Vord
  • Jessica Norman
  • Billy Meinke
  • Karen Lauritsen
  • Cable Green
  • Michelle Reed
  • Sunyeen Pai
  • Kristin Woodward
  • Jonathan Poritz
  • Christina Hendricks
  • Kathy Labadorf
  • Matthew DeCarlo
  • Elizabeth Mays

Karen: So, welcome, this is the Rebus Community and Open Textbook Network Office Hours. We collaborate on these monthly conversations together to bring all of you together.

You’re a community of open textbook collaborators and practitioners, and in these sessions, we talk informally about issues in open textbook publishing. So, I cannot say enough that these conversations are community driven. And they’re one way that we can think and work together on support and solutions. So, please let us know what topics you want to explore in future sessions, if we don’t cover everything today.

If you want to revisit this, we are here to have the conversations that you need to have and explore the issues you’re working on. So, I’m Karen Lauritsen, I’m managing director with the Open Textbook Network, and today we’re here to talk about OER policies. We’re going to hear from three people representing a variety of institutions where OER policies have been implemented.

We’re going to hear how and why they were developed, what’s included in their policies, the stakeholders involved and any stories from their development. So, this is an informal format. It’s focused on conversation, our guests will talk for maybe up to five minutes, and then, we’ll turn things over to you for your questions and comments. And I’m quite sure many of you also have stories to share about your policies and you’re absolutely invited to do that.

We’re all here to learn from one another. So, we have three guests with us, today. I’ll let you know who those three guests are, and then turn it over to them. So, Rebecca Van de Vord is assistant vice president academic outreach and innovation, liaison to the provost’s office and director of learning innovations at Washington State University. We also have Jessica Norman, she’s e-learning librarian at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

And finally, Billy Meinke, OER technologist at University of Hawaii at Manoa. So, Rebecca, without further ado, I will turn things over to you. And we will unmute you. (Laughs) Sorry.

Rebecca: Can you hear me now?

Karen: Yes.

Rebecca: So, I just realized I don’t have the policy open, so I was just trying to quickly get to that. But, I’ll give a little bit of history. I am with our WSU distance global campus, but also do work as a liaison to the provost’s office. And a few years ago, the then interim President for WSU put together affordability taskforce, basically. Students were complaining about costs of textbooks, and he wanted a group of individuals to look into what kinds of things WSU could do to decrease the cost to students.

One of those being OER is what the taskforce came up with, although there are several other initiatives moving forward, as well. But, on the OER side, it really gave us an opening to finally, those of us, who have been interested in hoping to move in this direction, gave us more kind of an administrative top down window to begin the conversation. At the same time, there were some seed grants available through the provost’s office.

And so, my unit, AOI, and the WSU libraries went together to apply for a seed grant to provide funding to faculty to create OER. And so, that’s where we were getting started with OERs, on the WSU campus in an official way. There certainly have been individuals who’ve created OER over the years, moved away from textbooks, used alternatives. But officially this began in, I think, that was 2015.

So, I’m not a person who had a lot of history in the OER area. But was fortunate enough to work with Mike Caulfield who definitely has been involved with OER a lot of years, was at MIT with the open course initiative. So, Mike and I talked and one of his recommendations was that WSU have a policy about OER. And to be honest, I wasn’t exactly clear why that was necessary, but did move that forward using the OER policy development tool.

Which I found to be really helpful, that David Wiley and others have put together. So, I started from that, and sent a first draft to the provost’s office in September of 2016. It took about 18 months to finally walk that policy through all of the steps that people felt were necessary. And received, I just found it a lot more challenging, a lot more difficult than it would. Received a lot of push back from faculty, because their perception was this was the administration saying everyone has to create OER.

Even though I continually said, “The policy clearly states this is a policy that is in place for faculty who are being funded by WSU through grant funds, to create OER and that’s something they have to apply for.” So, from my perspective in no way was it a mandate that everybody’s going to create in OER, but faculty read it that way. So, it went first to the provost’s office, then was vetted through the Attorney General.

And then, the provost’s office felt that it should go through faculty senate, and so it went to the faculty affairs committee. And that’s where the faculty really, they had a lot of questions, a lot of concerns. So, one was about whether or not this was a mandate. Secondly, they were concerned about duration of their responsibility for material they create. So, if they create something for a course, they make it open, three years later they’re no longer teaching that course.

Are they still responsible to continue to update, maintain those materials? We had a lot of conversation around that. Lot of conversation about ADA accessibility, whose responsibility is that? And who covers the cost? And we have not resolved all of that, yet. The policy does state that faculty are responsible to ensure ADA accessibility and copyright clearance of any materials they use.

Which they are uncomfortable with, but ultimately, any faculty member can create an OER and ultimately, they’re the ones putting content in it, so they have to take some ownership of being responsible for those areas. They wanted to understand the ultimate goal of the policy statement, which really, was well, is to protect the university in situations where the university is funding these projects.

And then, secondly, in hindsight, this did initiate a lot of good conversation around OERs with a number of groups, from administrators, to faculty, people who weren’t really aware what OER is. And then, they’re having to review this policy and asking questions about it. So, although it was a long and painful process from my perspective, I think ultimately, it was very beneficial and really helped to clarify what does OER mean at WSU?

What is it we’re trying to accomplish? It’s not the only affordability initiative, as I mentioned. Is that a good start? What else do you want to know?

Karen: That’s great, Rebecca. That’s a really helpful snapshot. And I’m sure we’ll talk more about what— I was (laughs) I heard you say it was a long and painful process, but that there was a good outcome in inspiring conversation around OER. So, I’m sure we’ll talk more about that with the group, as well. So, thank you very much. Jessica, I will now turn it over to you. And I’ll let you know if we can hear you, if you want to just start talking, I’ll just confirm. Jessica, we cannot hear you yet. There you go.

Jessica: Now, I probably yeah, there I am. Hi, everyone. So, I’m Jessica, I’m from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, which is located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. You’re not familiar with our system up there, I’m at a two-year polytechnic. So, we are an applied educational institution, which kind of puts a certain flavor on our activities. But to just step you through the beginning of our process to implement the institutional policy, really, it started back in 2017.

2016, 17 we had a new VP academic, who decided that he wanted to build our first ever education plan with a consultant process. So, he had faculty, staff and student work through a process. And myself and some other folks who were interested planted the seed for OER in that plan, or in that conversation. When the plan was released, it was an increased emphasis on student first activities and support.

And there was a clear statement that said, “As part of the effective teaching practices, these institutions would support faculty in adapting, adopting and creating OER.” And that immediately generated the phone call from academic council, or academic chairs and faculty who said, “What is this? What is an OER? What does this mean in terms of using them? What’s the practical implications?”

So, after that was launched, a committee was formed, I was a co-chair for that along with a curriculum specialist from campus. They also had faculty and our copyright officer involved in that process. It was a nine-month process to create the policy and have it go through the approval and review. The stakeholders that were consulted during that time were our students, we did a student surveys and talked with the student government.

We did multiple faculty focus groups during that time, and we also had interviews with our academic chairs and deans, to get the administrative viewpoint. So, the nine-month process ended in May this year, so as of May we do have an official institutional policy and procedure for the use of OER. And as part of that, we also developed a basic evaluation rubric for materials.

We also put together a package with the committee of developing a communication plan for the campus and an education process. We now have a supporting website and an FAQ document, for some of those repeating questions that faculty came up with in our various consults. And we’re looking to build a training plan and start really pushing out the education on this in the Fall.

So, that’s where we are in terms of the development. In terms of the process, some of the interesting things were some of what Rebecca mentioned, that it was sometimes difficult. They raised a lot of concerns from faculty, a lot of “is this being mandated?” So, our very first thing on our FAQ is “do I have to do OER?” And it says, “No. It’s an option.” The good news is for us, is that it shifted our culture from a culture of no as the default to yes as the default.

So, now, our academic chairs and our deans know that this is something that we should be doing, that it is encouraged by the administration, but it’s supported from them, and that they should talk those early adopters and those interested faculty about how to do it, as opposed to telling them, “No, it’s not a good fit.” Some of the highlights I guess, from the policy are that it is more prescriptive, or sorry, not prescriptive.

It doesn’t give you step by step, it more or less outlines who is responsible for decision making and lets the different areas have some flexibility in deciding the actual process. But it does also explain how trainings might occur, who’s going to support various types of activities, like the technology aspect of it. The licensing aspects of it, the repository aspects of it.

And hopefully, also stress the need for accessibility and the need for diversity. And good quality evaluation practices, least that’s what we hope will be read into the wording. So, I guess that’s kind of the highlights. There are some other things I can talk about, in terms of planning process. And some of the research that we did with other Canadian institutions, that was interesting, if anybody has any questions about that later.

Karen: Super, thank you, Jessica. That was a great overview and congratulations on the recent completion of that policy. So, I would now like to turn things over to Billy.

Billy: Okay, I’m unmuted, awesome. Good morning, everybody. I’m Billy Meinke, I am the OER technologist for the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. I work for the outreach college, which is one college within the campus. But we have a ten-campus system, across the state, doing lots of really good OER work. I’m going to post a link into the chat that gives some context, some very detailed context, as to what happened with OER policy in our state.

We’ve been working on OER for a few years now. I’ve been in my current position for almost two years, but we have really dedicated librarians throughout the system that are working on OER and making some progress. At our campus, we run a $50,000 per year OER grant program, to incentivize the adoption and creation of new OER. And that’s going very well. We just released a few original titles. Couple of remix versions of books for our courses, about a month ago, and we have more on the way.

But, back to policy, so earlier this year, when all these new proposed bills came out, there was one about OER. And we were totally blown away, totally caught off guard. I hate to say it, but we were not involved at all in the process of forming this bill before it happened. When it came out, it was fairly problematic. One of the major problems was that is mandated the use of OER by all faculty at our university.

And that is something that is not only impossible to do, but also grossly violates the academic freedom of our faculty. And so, as you can imagine, folks were sort of up in arms about it. It’s not really cool, we tried to use, we try to find carrots and not use too much stick when we’re trying to support OER. And so, basically, the first four months of this year, I was down at the legislature, which I had never been to before.

A number of times, sort of babysitting the bill and seeing how it progressed. Again, I wasn’t really in contact with the senators, or the higher education committee that moved it through. But lots of folks were chiming in. Essentially, the bill went through four iterations and the mandates after all the kickback, the mandates to use OER were removed. Later on, an OER grant program that sort mirrored what we were doing at our campus was included in the bill.

And it seemed like it was probably going to be passed. And then, at the last minute, I’m not entirely sure how it happened but some pretty major mistakes were made. And some actual inaccuracies with regard to copyright law were introduced to the bill. The word or the wording open educational resources was removed from the bill.

And somehow a taskforce that was part of the bill that was tasked with assessing OER adoption for higher enrollment courses throughout the entire system, which was made up of the VCAAs from all our campuses. Had a textbook industry publisher added to the taskforce with no rationale, no reasoning, no real explanation. And then, at the end, the bill ended up not being scheduled for a hearing, and so it just sort of died quietly.

So, you can read the blog post and find out what happened there. To answer Cable’s question, I’m not sure who showed up, but I’m fairly certain that lobbyists from some publisher or a Peter somebody showed up, whispered in the ears of someone whose opinion matters, so the bill was really tweaked. So, maybe in the end having our statewide OER bill pass away quietly was the better way to do it.

So, we can have a better chance at a good OER bill later on. But, yeah, that’s the gist of it. I will say that locally at our campuses we were making progress in terms of campus specific policy. And our Leeward Community College had something going through faculty senate that had not yet been approved, but they were working on it, to reward or somehow incentivize faculty that work with OER.

Like I said, we have our grant program at our campus, things were moving along anyway. So, the idea of whether or not a statewide bill was needed for this to work, we don’t actually know if we need a statewide bill for it to work. Especially when you consider the funding amount, it was only $50,000 for the statewide grant program.

And when you compare that to other states, such as New York and Georgia that have had multimillion dollar investments, that’s probably more along the lines of what might help. But that’s the gist of it. I’ll end there, and I’ll hand it back over to Karen.

Karen: Thanks, Billy, and thank to all of our guests for sharing their range of stories. It’s really great to hear about what’s going on out there. So, this is the point where we turn it over to all of you. There are 55 people in this call, and I’m sure that many of you have questions, comments, your own experiences you’d like to share. So, it’s really your voices that we want to hear.

So, I’m going to pause and give people a chance to either write in the chat or turn on their microphone and get the conversation going with our guests. (Silence) Still holding the pause. (Laughs) All right. If that’s how it’s going to be, I will go back to Rebecca and ask you to explore something that you mentioned in your five-minute— We’ve gotten a chat, thank you, Matthew De Carlo is asking in Virginia we have a mandate to implement a plan for OER low cost textbooks.

What messaging has been effective to get administration buy in? And also, Cable is raising his hand. Super, so we’ll start with you, Matthew and then, go to Cable. Anyone have thoughts on Matthew’s question? And it doesn’t just have to be our guests, it could be others out there, who have experience.

Rebecca: From my experience the best way to get administrative buy in, is to get the students to talk to the administrators. That’s what really sparked it here, is the student government taking some concerns to the President about the cost of course materials in general.

Matthew: Cool, I guess how do you sort of walk the line of not trying to rabble rouse too much? Whilst still trying to get student buy in? I don’t know how to walk that line.

Billy: I’ll jump in, so it’s a very delicate thing you have to do. I’ve met with our student senate on my campus a number of times, at the beginning of the year I give them the OER pitch, the OER—Look at this awesome thing that we can do. And I ask them questions about how they deal with textbooks. And quite often they have a question for me, it is if they Google the name of their textbook and download the first PDF they find, is that okay?

And then when it’s like, “Woah, let’s step back and have a bigger conversation about this.” Our student senate actually drafted a senate resolution in support of OER a couple of years ago. And as all resolutions like that go, copies of it were sent to the university president, chancellor, faculty senate, all that. So, they know about it. I would say in terms of getting buy in from administrators, like any campus, our campus is driven by enrolment numbers and return on investment.

And so, if we can show, we have to demonstrate that numbers make sense, in terms of how much we can save students, especially when you consider that we have some courses that many, many students take. Not just at my campus, but throughout this system. And so, if we can replace a traditional textbook with an OER textbook, we’re talking about somewhere along the lines of $.025 million a year just for one big bio course.

And so, demonstrating those numbers to the administrators, when you’re trying to look at policy, that really helps, it’s really important. The innovation piece and all the neat things you can do with OER, once it’s open, that does appeal to them in some way, but it’s less concrete. So, we just have to turn to the numbers.

Matthew: Thanks.

Sunyeen: I think what happened with the University of Hawaii system, all the 10 campuses, is that a few of the student congresses spoke with some of our house representatives and that’s how it kind of kicked off. So, that was problematic. That was a good example of things getting out of hand. The other thing that I had heard was that two of the house representatives had attended an educational conference in continental US.

And were introduced to the concept of OER, and so they were really excited, and came back, met with students, we had representatives that visited all the 10 campuses. Talked to student representatives, got the idea that this had to be done, and then it just got out of hand.

Rebecca: Washington State also has throughout the state the student governments are lobbying the legislature pretty heavily to support and to pass some OER bills. And so, from the administrative perspective, as Billy said, they would rather that came internally. That we’re already addressing this, and we don’t need the legislator to create some sort of law that’s going to be difficult to comply with.

Billy: Yeah, I’ll also say that our university system is part of the state, and so, there is some tension between the state and the university. In terms of the state dictating how we do things, and so, that’s something to be mindful depending on what your campus or your institution is like, acknowledging that OER is not the only thing that everybody is working on. And so, making sure that everybody is on the same page and trying to get it to similar place to have the same direction that’s really important.

Sunyeen: We had to do a certain amount of damage control, because some of our faculty senates reacted pretty badly to the mandate.

Karen: Okay, we’ve got a lot of great conversation also happening in the chat, along with resources. Thank you, everyone for sharing your experience working with students, and then also with showing cost savings. I think I will turn things to Cable, who has his hand raised in the chat. Cable?

Cable: Yeah, a short comment. One of the strategies which has been quite successful in states in the United States, in provinces in Canada, in particular, have been to as a first step to have public information sessions, or hearings with the state legislature. And usually, that’s done off cycle, so it’s not when they’re busy and making bills and have all their meetings. But it’s done oftentimes over the summer, when it’s a little bit less stressful.

It’s not that they’re passing anything or you’re asking them to. It’s an awareness raising session or information session. And usually they’ll give you more time, so oftentimes you’ll get a half hour or a 45 minutes and then, if you’re lucky you can get meetings with the chairs after the fact. And to do those both with the higher ed committees and with the K12, or the primary and secondary education committees.

And that way, they tend, if you do that, they tend not to spiral into some of these crazy ideas like we’ve seen in particular states. And so, as a first step, to bring them up to speed, it also develops a relationship between the OER advocates and people who are really knowledgeable about open education and the legislature so when they have questions, they know who to go to.

And then, when you want something, or you want a grant program, or you want money, you’ve already brought them up to speed. So, when I used to work in the community colleges in Washington State, this is something that we did quite regularly. We’d go back annually and not only brief them about the new research and the new metrics that were coming out of our OER projects.

But would, if we wanted any legislation at that point, we’d already talked about it internally, as a community college system. We’ve worked with our student leadership to make sure we were in line with them. And then, we were on the same page as the academy before we ever took it to the legislature. And it takes a lot of work, but if you can kind of manage the relationship that way, in that sequence, it helps.

Karen: So, it looks like, I’m going through the chat here, so you guys please raise your hand, or turn on your mike if you want to stick to a particular topic. I’m just trying to cover everything, and there’s lots of great discussion happening here. Suny, you have a question, how the different policies handle copyright for faculty. That’s a question for our guests. Can you guys speak to that, please? How did the different policies handle copyright for faculty?

Billy: I’ll jump in real quick and just say that the original version of the statewide OER bill that we saw, it not only mandated the use of OER in all courses, but it also said that if OER weren’t available for certain courses, that faculty were required to create and release it as OER. So, in that sense they were going to be— the copyright decision was made for them, though. Something to keep in mind.

Rebecca: As we were working our policy through, that was one of the Attorney General really wanted WSU to hold the copyright and make it open. But not to use the creative commons licenses, and that was something that we had to argue against. So, our policy states that if the university is funding development of OER, that it will be licensed as CC By through Creative Commons.

Jessica: So, for our policy at State, we’re coming from a slightly different model, or background. In that, historically, our institution has a policy that says any materials created by employees are owned by the institution, which means that if a faculty member develops materials for their course, in the course of their daily work, the institution owns that curriculum material and the institution holds the copyright.

So, in our case, in the past, OER wasn’t a possibility, because the folks in our curriculum development group simply stated no. They weren’t going to allow it to be open, it was going to be a classic copyright applied. Our policy was basically, our institution saying that while they still retain the ownership of copyright, that control, they’re now going to grant the faculty the ability to make the decision to apply a CC BY.

Or other creative commons license, if there’s some reason that they can’t use CC BY rule, we’ll settle with them and help figure out the appropriate version. But that that’s now allowed by the institutional policy. So, we basically went from a culture of saying no, to a culture of saying yes, as an institution, and giving the faculty more freedom in making those decisions, as they see fit.

Sunyeen: For WSU, and Alberta, how much are you funding your faculty, are we talking $50,000? $20,000?

Jessica: Well, in Alberta and State, specifically, we don’t currently have a funding model outside of typical curriculum work. So, in other words, if it’s already in their job description to develop a new course, or if it’s something they’ve been assigned to do, then the OER work is seen to be simply part of the typical curriculum development process. There is discussion, I’m in discussion with our administration to do some micro grants.

And I’m guessing the budget would be like a $50,000 kind of a budget, if I can get that approved. But that hasn’t actually gone through, yet. I do know, though, other institutions, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, the larger research universities do have funding available. Though they’re all from in-house programs, so our provincial government, our federal government as far as I’m aware isn’t offering any kind of grant opportunities at this time.

Rebecca: We’ve had two different rounds of grants. One was the seed grants through the provost’s office. And both the provost and the president committed a certain amount of money, which we granted this last year. And we already had a precedent at WSU, we had one of our colleges that pays faculty $4,500 to create and develop a new online course. And $1,500 to revise an online course.

So, we kind of worked from there. We’re paying $4,500 if faculty are developing new OER, we’re paying between $1,500 and $2,500 if what they’re doing is adopting, revising. So, they have to submit a proposal that indicates how much work it’s going to be, and then it’s those three levels, basically.

Billy: I wanted to reach back to copyright for just a moment and emphasize how important it is to get that right from the beginning. I guess the bill for our statewide OER it originally had really good language in it, strong language that specified what OER are, public domain or CC license, or equivalent. But then, at the end, the final version of the bill that removed OER from the bill itself, it actually stated in the committee report that OER removed from the bill because OER are proprietary, which is on its face just it’s completely wrong.

I used to work for Creative Commons, Cable Green used to be my supervisor. And so, again, if you guys think that legislation, big legislation is going to be coming across or any kind of policy that has to do with OER, make sure strong, correct language about what OER are legally, is included. And make sure that doesn’t sway at all. And so, you can read the blogpost I linked earlier but basically my thought is if they are able to disqualify OER from the bill because of proprietary which is not correct.

Then when you look at proprietary publisher content, which is proprietary, that may be something that should be disqualified from consideration. Because it really is not going to have the long-lasting major impactful effects OER will, because OER are open forever, once they’re open.

Karen: Thanks, Billy. And Cable said in the chat that Creative Commons is always happy to help review and or help write open policy language and meet with lawyers as needed. So, they are wonderful resource you can turn to, definitely don’t have to go at it alone. There is some talk in the chat going back to students and student advocacy. Michelle, I would like to invite you to share your story that you mentioned in the chat and tell us a little bit more about the success you had with students there.

Michelle: Hello, can you hear me?

Karen: Yes.

Michelle: Yes, so last year it took a couple of tries, but well shortly after I started, I’ve been in my position for a little less than two years. I started contacting student government, trying to get people interested and involved. Took several times, but I eventually got through to the student body president, who worked very closely with me over the last year. We had lots of conversations about what OER is all about.

And she was just incredible and got a number of people on board. We had probably three or four student volunteers who assisted with open education week last year. So, they led outreach on that. They did some data collection, so they parked outside of the bookstore, at the beginning of the semester and collected some local information about how much students are paying for resources.

She’s also presented to the provost dean council, she’s done a Ted Talk on OER, and she just graduated, I said unfortunately in the chat, and then I felt really bad about that. It’s wonderful, we want them to graduate, but I miss her already. But the wonderful thing about that is she got another student from student government involved. She was a freshman last year, she was voted in as vice president this year, and is really eager to continue her work on OER.

So, we still have that connection. And I’m hoping that’s how we’ll see all of this play out as we move forward with people, as they roll off, getting new students involved. But there was a little bit of a— She was also involved in the access code situation. So, that’s not something that I had any input in, but students separately were complaining to the president, he has some informal meet and greet events with students.

And they took advantage of the opportunity to share their thoughts about access codes. And that led to an investigation. Our student body president got involved at that point, and just didn’t let it drop, especially knowing that there is an open solution. It really fueled her interest in this. And so, now we have what is called a moratorium, or what the provost has called a moratorium on access codes.

Which means that all of the courses that are currently using an access code have to investigate other options. And courses that do not currently use access codes will not be allowed to begin using access codes. So, that is recent developments over the last couple of months. It is going to significantly impact what our work looks like over the next year. But we’re still sorting that out.

All of this is happening while faculty are away over the summer. So, (laughs) they’re going to come back next month, and things are going to look a little different. So, stay tuned for that, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, to be honest.

Karen: Well, please keep us updated, Michelle. And thanks for sharing your story. Talking about how this outstanding student it sounds like pass the baton as she graduated, leads me to Kristin Woodward’s question: are any of your student advocates interested in talking with students who are just becoming aware of OER advocacy?

And of course, there is the PIRGs but Kristin, when you made that comment, I actually pictured some awesome student national network. But tell us what it is you’re looking for, what you think would be helpful, maybe there are others out there, who feel the same or could offer a buddy.

Kristin: Did you unmute me, Karen?

Karen: You are unmuted, yes.

Kristin: Okay, very good. I hope I wasn’t typing too loudly (laughs). So, my recent experience is that our student government became interested in affordability, broadly. And they seem to be very focused on a traditional reserve library, even though their survey results pointed directly to the inconvenience of a traditional reserve library for our very diverse and distributed and online focused campus.

And one of the things that’s difficult is that when they hear from me, things that I think would work, and I’m glad to hear others saying that, there’s perhaps an order in which to do some education, before we lobby for policy either on campus, or in the state. Those are the kinds of experiences and shortcuts I would like them to know more about. When it comes from me it sounds like I’m telling them that I don’t want them to do this work.

When in fact, I just want them to do it with some wisdom behind it that makes good use of their time. So, I feel like that might be better coming from peers that have had some success with it. I don’t know how others feel about that, or about the feasibility of that? I know our students are very busy, just holding down the good work that they’re doing on their own campuses.

So, I think just like in life, the good students are often the ones asked to do a lot of different things. And so, this might be adding to their work, but if there were a way to maybe develop a forum for them of some kind, that might be, or to see if they’re interested in doing that. Interested in your thoughts, thank you.

Karen: Yeah, thanks, Kristin. I’m interested, too. Thoughts on Kristin’s comment? (Silence) Kristin, I think the thoughts are going to evolve over time. (Laughter)

Jessica: Yeah, this is Jessica. I wish I could offer more information on that, but unfortunately, being from a two-year organization our students rotate very quickly through their student government positions. And I’m just starting again this summer to have a conversation with our incoming officers.

While I have a couple that are very keen on the concept of OER, I’m in the same boat in terms of trying to figure out good onboarding procedures and good ways to help them shortcut the process of learning about it. And then, being able to affect the way, work with administration or lobby on students’ behalf and those kinds of things. So, I don’t know answers, I wish I did.

Karen: Thanks Jessica.

Kathy: This is Kathy Labadorf at the University of Connecticut. We have very, very active PIRG group as well as USG here at UConn. And Ethan Senack is one of our alums and Simona [Zemay 0:41:54] who’s doing PIRG nationally now as one of our people that was on our group when I started working at this. And what we did was the, what I was wondering last year, or actually, it was two years ago.

I know we’re focusing on getting faculty to know what OER are. Faculty do need to know, but my question was that do students know what OER is? And the issues surrounding OER? And so, our PIRG group did, they tabled across the campus in dining halls, in the student union and they had a survey. And over 900 students replied, actually did their survey. And they found out how much money they spent on their textbooks last year, what they know about it.

They had a lot of questions. And I have their report, I only have it as a Word doc, and not as a link. But I could put it up in my Google Drive, and then link to the Google Drive, I suppose, if you’d like to see their final report, which they made last March. They created it last March. So, this way, not only were they bringing the OER issue and making students know they were asking what other faculty do you have that try to make the course the least expensive as possible?

And I learned a lot more new names of faculty, who are really on OER side. And who are doing everything they can, that weren’t using OER, but they were actually the issue of saving the students money. So, you can find out a lot of information and again, here at UConn it really was a ground, from the ground up kind of. It started with the students. So, it started with the students who knew, the USG students and the PIRG students.

So, I think it’s really great to get students out there, who are really supportive of like the PIRG group, of OER and know a lot about it, talk with their students. So, does anyone want to see the final report from UConn?

Karen: Yeah, Kathy, that would be great!

Kathy: Okay.

Karen: In the chat.

Kathy: All right, I’ll figure out how to do that. Okay. Thanks.

Karen: Thank you, Kathy. And also, in the chat it looks like Kristin is being connected with other people who have some potential resources, whether it be students, or guides, or toolkits. Christina, you’ve been really active in the chat, do you want to talk a bit about student advocacy that your student governors worked on?

Christina: Sure, this was in British Columbia. I’m at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. And we’ve had varying levels of activist students over the years on OER. The toolkit that I put into the chat was created by some from about three years ago, I think. And then, we went for a year with not as active students. And then, last year we had pretty active students. And now, we’re waiting to see what the elections have brought us.

But, one of the things we found a few years ago was that students could get meetings with administrators that I, as a faculty member, I couldn’t just email the president and say, “Hey, let’s have a meeting.” But the student government could. Or provost’s office, or other kinds of senior administrators, so that was really useful. They seem to have a platform and a voice that’s a bit stronger in that regard, than faculty advocates or staff advocates or librarian advocates.

So, that’s been really great. One other thing they did was and Jenny Hayman was asking me about this in the chat, they talked to our committee who advises the president on promotion and tenure. And managed to get into a guide that committee creates for promotion and tenure some information about creation of OER. Now, this applies mostly to, we have two faculty streams, one is research and one is teaching.

And the teaching faculty stream has to do educational leadership to get promoted and to get tenure. And creating OER can count as educational leadership, because it’s basically producing something that has impact beyond your class. So, that now is, it’s not an official policy, it’s sort of a guideline of what can count. It’s not like a policy policy, it hasn’t been passed anywhere.

But that was a significant step for us in helping at least that track of faculty see that there’s some value in it. And they’ve also done a lot of work on somebody was describing standing outside the bookstore getting data on how much students are spending, doing a whole social media campaign, called Textbook Broke PC to try to raise awareness around other students. So, that’s just a couple of things that they have done.

Karen: Thanks Christina. Jonathan, you’ve also been offering some experiences, you had mentioned a survey in Colorado. And you had a couple of questions for Billy, are you willing to unmute?

Jonathan: Sure. Hi, I guess we did as part of a bill a year ago to get information from, some people have given examples of legislatures stumbling along the way. But we were lucky in Colorado, we had a bill that brought a group together to find information and make a careful, considered proposal, which was pretty directly turned into the bill that was passed earlier this year. And so, we’re going to get started implementing that in the next few weeks, actually.

But as part of the bill that set us up, we were supposed to survey current use. So, we did a great big survey and we had, I don’t remember the number, but it was thousands of respondents across the state. And we had parents and librarians and K through 12 and faculty, administrators and IT people on campuses. And the take away message from that was absolutely your librarians know what’s going on, talk to them.

And the faculty administrators don’t, so educate them, and certainly students and parents don’t. It was interesting, one thing I did I actually got the data and I disaggregated it a little bit and I found another question we asked is how important is textbook cost to you? And so, parents and students answered that and said, “Quite important.” And faculty and administrators all had, okay, we see it could be important, but not so important.

And I sort of disaggregated by tenured faculty and other groups [inaudible 0:49:23] and the resolution we had was tenured faculty and non-tenured. So, presumably, people who are adjuncts or lecturers who were also tenure track but hadn’t yet got tenure. So, I was viewing that as some sort of proxy for how old you are, or how long you’ve been in the business. And I found that the older faculty response on the question how important is textbook cost to you?

Was significantly lower than the other faculty group. So, clearly there’s a sort of age component to this, and it’s because we gray haired folk, when we were younger, textbooks were not proportionally as expensive as they are today. So, I think that’s an interesting lesson there to learn about, I don’t know how to make an action item out that, but it’s anyway. If you want our report, it’s if you search on the Colorado OER council it’s on the Colorado website. Or if you just Google my name, it’s on my page where I have all my shared resources.

Karen: Thanks, Jonathan. And was there something you wanted to ask Billy? I seem to recall seeing a question for him in the message?

Jonathan: Yeah, thank you. Billy, you were talking about how you feel like maybe you were blindsided by lobbyists speaking for commercial publisher interests. I was wondering does Hawaii have an in state public commercial publishing interest? ‘Cause that often if there’s a big corporation in a state, they can influence the legislators.

Or the alternative would be if there was no [inaudible 0:50:47] then maybe the commercial publishers are going across state lines, because they’re afraid that if this movement starts, even in states where they’re not registered, that this may take off and hit their bottom line in the long run.

Billy: Sure, that’s a great question. I’m not entirely sure that there is a publishing organization here, in Hawaii, that would have been listening in on this. I know it caught the attention of national groups that are, but their interest is in maintaining publishing revenues and that sort of thing. And so, if you read the spark that puts out the OER digest, they talk about the bills that come through, that kind of thing, our bill was mentioned in that several times.

And then, as it died quietly we stopped hearing about it. So, lots of people knew about it, the national association of college stores NACS, they knew about it early on. That’s actually who I found about out our bill from. Yeah, I’m not entirely sure what happened. I do know there was a conference that happened a week after one of the hearings in the bill. I know that Pearson and Cengage were both on island.

And they have one representative for the state, each of them do. And so, yeah, I’m not totally sure, but yeah, we were kind of blindsided. As Suny mentioned earlier, we are pretty sure, but not actually sure that our statewide group of student senators from all the campuses got together and talked to the senator that introduced the bill. But that wasn’t actually spoken, no one ever said that that had happened.

We were pretty sure it did, but we’re not totally sure. But yeah, again, so in the original language of the bill they actually had copied and pasted text from our OER website into the bill. So, they know, they’re aware of us. And the committee, in the hearings they talked about the UH OER team as something more of a formalized group. We are more of an informal group.

But we’re a network from throughout the state. But there was a little confusion about what we’re doing, and what was going to be effective. And so, if they had just come and talked to us, and maybe if I’m not sure if publishers were involved at the end there. But if they were, it would have been great to at least know about it. But as legislation goes, even as a bill goes through all the hearings, passes the house, crosses between the houses and is passed.

There’s even a final moment where in the closed-door committee the bill can change before it’s sent to be signed off into law. So, we tried our best to pay attention to it, but to get back to your original question, I don’t actually know that there’s a group in Hawaii that would have been lobbying on behalf of publishers.

Jonathan: Actually, in Colorado, when we had our meetings a year ago to prepare our proposal, one day and they’re open by Colorado law, these are open public meetings. And one day, there was a person sitting in the back, and we found out this was an Elsevier representative. So, and certainly Elsevier does not have a corporate headquarters in Colorado. So, clearly, they’re aware of these things.

But they then stopped coming and I went to all of the hearings at the budget committee in the legislature, and it was very— it sailed through with very little attention on it. So, unfortunately you got too much attention, so that’s why they went after you, I guess.

Sunyeen: The conference, that I have to go, soon. I’m sorry, that Billy was referring to is a conference held by all the community colleges across the state. And Cengage had a huge presence there. They bought all the swag, basically. And they also ran a workshop about their access products. But it’s only community colleges at that point. They’ve been tracking our statewide committee conferences. We’ve been presenting about OER for the last four years.

And we constantly have been noticing Pearson and Cengage representatives coming to the conference. So, they’re watching us very closely. So, we’ve just been managing that relationship.

Karen: Thank you, all. We’re rounding close to the hour here. And I think we have time for another question. I just wanted to call everyone’s attention to Jenny’s helpful note, which pretty much read my mind. Which was how are we going to save all these links in the chat? So, you can do so personally, and we also are going to do so collectively for the group. But you can click on the save chat feature in Zoom, in that little grey more button so that you’re not manically copying and pasting links from the chat so that you don’t forget them.

So, that’s a good feature. Liz, I saw you had a question about bookstores, has that been answered? Do you want to pose that to the guests, if not?

Liz: Karen, I think Ed and Michelle provided some really great resources. My question was around the limitations in some of the student systems and actually seeing that an OER was used for a course. But, in the chat there’s some great links from Michelle and Ed. Thank you.

Karen: Super, thanks. Any other questions you guys want to squeeze in, before we say farewell? There maybe things that I’ve missed in the chat. It’s been a wide ranging, very rich conversation. And may indicate we should revisit. Final thoughts from our guests, as we wrap up. Of course, many thanks to the three of you. Any closing thoughts based on our time together today?

Michelle: I had just a quick note on policy in Texas last year, and this is why we have all of the work around OER course markings. But last year, this state passed a bill and it required course markings, it established a grant program and called for a feasibility study for a repository. The call for proposals just came out on the grant program. And they are requiring either that resources developed are placed into the public domain or licensed CC BY SA and C.

Which is so bizarre to me, there is an option in there for people to request a different license in the project narrative when they apply. But it’s not the default, so I was really initially very thankful that I wasn’t tasked to be on this working group. But now, I’m like, “Oh, but they needed some help.” ‘Cause I don’t know how this licensing requirement came to be.

So, that’s just a note that some strange things are happening in Texas. And if you have a chance to involve yourself in what those grant programs look like early on, maybe you should try to do that.

Karen: Thanks, Michelle. And also, I see Matthew’s question. Anyone worked with their discipline’s accrediting body on OER? Have any of our three guests, or anyone else on the call? I see heads shaking no.

Jessica: Not at State, no.

Billy: No, I haven’t. I’d say that in terms of tenure and promotion, it’s up to the individual departments within the colleges within our university to do that. And so, we have a couple of different departments that have in their guidelines, which are not policy, stated general support for OER. And they may look at a candidate who’s going up for tenure promotion more positively if they’ve been doing those kinds of activities with OER. But it’s really sort of it’s all over the place. And not every department has adopted any kind of language like that.

Karen: Okay, thanks, Billy. And thank you Rebecca Van de Vord, at Washington State University, thank you Jessica Norman at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. And thank you, Billy Meinke at University of Hawaii. And thank you to everyone who joined us today. Another great conversation and we look forward to more in the coming months. Until then, I hope you have a great rest of the week.

Chat Transcript

14:01:39 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks everyone for joining us!

14:06:01 From Kathy Labadorf : Anyone else getting a lot of feedback?

14:06:12 From Kim : I’m not.

14:06:18 From Christina Hendricks : no, seems okay here

14:06:27 From RadioFreeTerry : OK on my end

14:06:34 From Kathy Labadorf : Restarting.

14:06:43 From Apurva Ashok : Sorry to those who are – we’re a pretty large group today, which might be why! Please restart and let us know if that helps.

14:07:16 From Cable Green (CC) : OER Policy Development Tool: Developed by Amanda Coolidge & Daniel DeMarte as their CC Institute for Open Leadership project:

14:07:33 From Karen Lauritsen : Thanks, Cable

14:07:46 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks Cable. Very neat and useful tool!

14:13:18 From Apurva Ashok : Here’s a link to WSU’s policy for those interested:

14:14:43 From Apurva Ashok : And SAIT’s full policy (in PDF format):

14:15:06 From Jenni Hayman : Thanks Apurva, good links!

14:15:54 From Billy Meinke :

14:18:38 From Cable Green (CC) : Did AAP and Elsevier show up? Sounds like their lobbying work.

14:20:01 From Amy Hofer : wowza, that’s quite a journey. I agree that no legislation is preferable to poor legislation.

14:21:13 From Matthew DeCarlo : in Virginia, we have a mandate to implement a plan for OER/low-cost textbooks. What messaging has been effective to get administrato buy-in?

14:21:14 From Cable Green (CC) : hand

14:21:57 From Sunyeen Pai : How do the different policies handle copyright for the faculty?

14:22:06 From Ed Beck :

14:22:19 From Christina Hendricks : getting students involved has worked well at university of british columbia as well.

14:22:25 From Ed Beck : I went to David Wiley’s talk at the NE OER Summit, and he shared this dashboard. In the link above

14:22:25 From Jonathan Poritz : but isn’t student involvement a bit of a mixed bag for the faculty?

14:22:41 From Ed Beck : It shows the financial impact for OER on the bottom line.

14:22:43 From Amy Hofer : With input from various groups in Oregon I started a policy brainstorm page this spring. Note that this is in the context of Oregon, where we already have a course designation mandate for example…

14:23:31 From Kim : Thanks for this, Amy. Very helpful.

14:23:56 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks @Ed, and @Christina, really good to know. If time permits, we’d love to hear more from you both.

14:24:03 From Jenni Hayman : Ontario University Students (OUSA) policy paper that was shared with government…

14:24:05 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks @Amy!

14:26:03 From Michelle Reed : Students have been successful on our campus, too, getting admin’s attention. This was unrelated to OER advocacy but has a huge impact on our work. The students got the President’s attention by complaining about access codes, which he was unaware of. A scan, which demonstrated widespread use, resulted in a “moratorium” on access codes.

14:27:05 From Kathy Labadorf : There are quite a few schools that have an Open Access Policy for Faculty. Has anyone developed and had approved by the Faculty Senate an OER Policy of any kind?

14:27:23 From Amy Hofer : @ Michelle the Oregon Student Association has been amazing in advocating to state gov’t. Also resulting in super knowledgeable students who can mentor other students.

14:27:41 From Jenni Hayman : Christina, is the UBC policy just about tenure or is it more comprehensive?

14:27:55 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks Michelle.Really amazing to hear

14:28:24 From Apurva Ashok : Rebecca says: The WSU policy was approved by Faculty Senate!

14:28:54 From Matthew DeCarlo : thanks, everyone!!

14:29:15 From Jonathan Poritz : billy: is there a local commercial textbook publishing industry in Hawaii? Or are publishers from other states moving across state boundaries to speak out in other states (like yours) out of fear that the OER movement will build large-scale momentum?

14:29:39 From Christina Hendricks : @jenni We don’t really have any official policy—it’s a bit complex. What we have is that faculty in the teaching stream can use OER creation as an example of one part of their job—educational leadership—for promotion and tenure. But it’s just in a guide that doesn’t have a full official status. And it’s just one way faculty in that stream can show educational leadership. We have no other OER policy-like things.

14:30:20 From Jenni Hayman : Thanks Christina, good clarification, but still a good guideline!

14:30:24 From Cable Green (CC) : Nice – well done.

14:30:56 From Michelle Reed : We had an incredible student body president last year (unfortunately, she graduated this spring), and we worked together a lot on OER advocacy. She’s was involved with statewide efforts, presented to the Provost and Deans, and presented a TEDX talk on OER. She also got another student from gov involved, and this student will be VP this year.

14:34:24 From Apurva Ashok : Wow, how incredible! Kudos to her, and congratulations on graduating! Really exciting to see students inspiring one another, as well as others!

14:34:42 From Kristin Woodward : Are any of your student advocates interested in talking with students who are just becoming aware of OER advocacy?

14:35:11 From Cable Green (CC) : Creative Commons is always happy to help review and/or help write open policy language … and meet with the lawyers as needed.

14:35:24 From Apurva Ashok : For those who don’t want to scroll through this fairly long chat, here’s the blog post Billy mentioned:

14:35:30 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks Cable!!

14:37:35 From Kathy Labadorf : Your PIRG group is another fantastic activist group for OER.

14:38:32 From Cable Green (CC) : OER Policy Brief (for policy makers) we wrote for Commonwealth National Governments.. feel free to revise / remix:

14:40:20 From Preston : I’d love to hear more about the moratorium on access codes and what long-term effects come from it.

14:40:39 From Cable Green (CC) : FAQ: OER for Policymakers:

14:41:06 From Matthew DeCarlo : Has anyone had any experience working with your discipline’s accrediting body (in social work it’s the council on social work education) to create policies around OER?

14:42:38 From Christina Hendricks : There are some student government organizations nationally, right? In British Columbia and in Canada I think there is, and I hear that sometimes there are discussions amongst students about OER at those meetings.

14:42:56 From Kristin Woodward : Thanks!

14:42:57 From Christina Hendricks : If anyone wants to connect with me offline I can ask our students to see if they’d be interested in talking to other students.

14:43:28 From RadioFreeTerry : It sounds like there might be a need for some standing resources for student/student-government “onboarding” around OER use, policy, and advocacy.

14:43:34 From Apurva Ashok : Cable, thank you for these wonderful resources. We’ll be sure to compile all these links and share along with the recording. @Christina, I think there are, at least here in Quebec too! Thanks for your offer too.

14:43:35 From Michelle Reed : Kristin: If you want to email me I can check in with our VP to see if she is interested.

14:43:39 From Kristin Woodward : Thank you, Christina!

14:43:48 From Kristin Woodward : And Michelle!

14:44:27 From Jenni Hayman : At eCampusOntario we’re hosting the new incoming leaders from various Ontario college and university institutions to a one-day workshop (led by near peers) to learn more about OER.

14:44:28 From Christina Hendricks : Here’s a student advocacy toolkit that some of our student governors in the past worked on:

14:44:46 From Jenni Hayman : Student leaders I mean.

14:44:47 From Michelle Reed : Preston, I’d be happy to share more as things unfold. It’s messy, at best, right now.

14:44:55 From Kim : I would like to see your document, please.

14:45:04 From Jonathan Poritz : we did a survey in Colorado of OER knowledge among many stakeholder groups, and basically only librarians — not faculty or students or administrators — had much knowledge at all. the report is online, if you’re interested

14:45:36 From Cable Green (CC) : Billy has done some really nice work re: student data and commercial publishers and platforms. Billy – could you talk about why student data privacy matters … and what we could do with policy to ensure student data is protected?

14:45:51 From RadioFreeTerry : @christina that student toolkit looks amazing!

14:46:07 From Lauri Aesoph : We invite Student Advocates to email BCcampus for materials:

14:46:19 From Michelle Reed : This is our guide for students who want to get involved:

14:46:35 From Sunyeen Pai : Leeward Community College ran a student survey with a very high response rate. I can check with them about sharing.

14:46:47 From Billy Meinke : Awesome guide, Michelle.

14:47:06 From Kristin Woodward : Thank you, Michelle!

14:47:13 From RadioFreeTerry : +1

14:47:33 From Michelle Reed : Thanks! Portions based on work from the incredible Brady Yano:

14:48:41 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks Lauri, Michelle, Sunyeen, Terry, Cable, and Jenni! Lots of amazing resources being shared.

14:48:49 From elizabethmays : Re. the bookstore. I’m curious if anyone’s OER policies have any mandates for the bookstore or whatever other department operates the platform on which course textbooks are listed for students. To make it easy to surface once a faculty does adopt or create an OER to use in their course. Particularly if university resources were used.

14:50:24 From Amy Hofer : Recent report from University of Oregon masters students indicates that students want to know about no/low cost course materials everywhere they search (registration, bookstore, etc…)

14:50:34 From Jenni Hayman : CCCOER and many in the community college system have stories about marking course catalogues with OER, yes? @Una?

14:50:43 From Kim : This is a survey one of our student leaders conducted with SGA just last year. STudents came to College Senate and presented.

14:51:32 From Ed Beck : SUNY has started marking our registration systems so students know when they register.

14:52:11 From RadioFreeTerry : @Jonathan is this the report you were talking about?

14:52:34 From elizabethmays : Ed, Do you know what mechanism or system they’re using to do this? I’d like to advocate for this…

14:52:34 From Apurva Ashok : @Ed, WSU is also working on this

14:52:50 From Kathy Labadorf : Here is the UConn PIRG report link. I hope it works.

14:53:15 From Jenni Hayman : There are certainly sales teams from publishers employed in most states.

14:53:15 From Apurva Ashok : Works perfectly, thank you!

14:53:17 From Kim : Got it. Thanks!

14:53:22 From Michelle Reed : Regarding course markings, I’m leading a project to develop a resource on this. Check it out!

14:53:26 From Kathy Labadorf : Wonderful

14:54:12 From Ed Beck : It differs from campus to campus… It had to be coded into our SIS first, and then it had to be coded into the registration software

14:54:37 From elizabethmays : Thanks Ed and Michelle!

14:54:39 From Ed Beck : So they made the attribute in Banner, and then made that show up in the student registration views

14:54:40 From Michelle Reed : The first iteration is here: It includes a link to a survey managed by OpenStax, which is an incredibly valuable way to see what is happening on this front at other campuses.

14:54:40 From Jenni Hayman : Not sure if everyone knows about the “Save Chat” feature in Zoom, but if you click on the “More” pulldown menu, you can save the chat to your desktop. Handy for grabbing links and resources!

14:55:16 From Kathy Labadorf : Great tip! Thanks

14:55:46 From Apurva Ashok : Thanks Jenni! Given the wonderful conversation in the chat, we will likely make it available along with the recap.

14:56:03 From Jenni Hayman : Super!

14:56:31 From Sunyeen Pai : Have to leave now!! thank you!!

14:56:39 From Apurva Ashok : Bye Sunyeen! Thank you!

14:57:24 From Marilyn Billings : Thanks everyone. Excellent conversation!

14:57:27 From Michelle Reed : I can share something. Not question.

14:57:34 From archives : Very informative. Thank you!

14:57:35 From Matthew DeCarlo : anyone worked with their discpilne’s accrediting body on OER?

14:57:37 From Una Daly, CCCOER-OEC : Thanks everyone, very helpful for outreach to students!!

14:57:47 From margaretkeller : Thanks. This has been very informative.

14:57:49 From Michelle Beechey : Thanks for sharing all the great info!

14:57:49 From Kristin Woodward : Thanks everyone!

14:57:52 From Apurva Ashok : Thank you all!

14:57:55 From jpavy : Thanks so much!!

14:58:00 From Sharon : Thank you!

14:58:04 From Mike Welker (NC State College) : good stuff — thanks all!

14:58:04 From Jenni Hayman : Thanks everyone!

14:58:04 From Lauren Ray : Thanks very much! This has been very useful!

14:58:25 From Chris Rudecoff : Thanks to all!

14:58:38 From Cable Green (CC) : CC has been working with Texas … it’s been really hard 😉

14:59:06 From Matthew DeCarlo : well. dang 🙁

14:59:07 From Michelle Reed : Alas. It’s Texas.

14:59:48 From Jonathan Poritz : Thanks: great guests, wonderful conversation!

14:59:51 From Matthew DeCarlo : you all are amazing!!!

14:59:51 From Jenni Hayman : Or even professional accrediting bodies such as Engineering, etc. Good question Matthew.

14:59:54 From Amy Hofer : Thank you, great topic!

14:59:54 From Apurva Ashok : Thank you all so much!

14:59:58 From Cable Green (CC) : Great speakers!

15:00:02 From Kathy Labadorf : Thank you!

15:00:04 From Kim : Thank you all so much!!

15:00:06 From Michelle Reed : Thanks everyone!

15:00:07 From RadioFreeTerry : Thanks everyone!

Announcing 10 new OER publishing projects in Rebus Projects!

Our first round of projects have been added to Rebus Community’s beta – a huge welcome to them all! Keep reading to learn more about the beta projects in our new platform, or head directly to Rebus Projects to participate.

Just over a month ago, we introduced Rebus Projects, our new web-based software for managing open textbook/OER publishing projects, and invited the community to apply to be part of the beta. We received a number of applications from people working on open textbooks or other OER around the world, and are thrilled to reveal the first round of projects to join the platform!

These projects range across disciplines and are in varying stages of the publishing process, with some just starting out, some expanding existing texts and others ready for peer review. But what they all have in common is a dedicated project lead (or several!) and a commitment to producing high quality, openly licensed resources in their fields.

We’re really excited to see how each project shapes up and look forward to supporting them along the way. In addition, we’ll continue to build lessons from their experiences into our development process and into public resources and documentation that we’ll be releasing over the coming months (watch this space!).

Keep reading to learn more about each project in their own words, and how you can get involved.

First Year Seminar Readings (Lead: Cathie LeBlanc, Plymouth State University)

This set of readings was created for the required First Year Seminar for students at Plymouth State University but the readings have broad appeal for first year college students at other institutions. The topics covered include the importance of general education, habits of mind to be fostered during college, working on wicked problems, the design thinking process for project development, the value of interdisciplinarity, and information literacy in a digital world.

Research Methods in Psychology: 3rd American Edition (Lead: Carrie Cutler, Washington State University)

We are currently seeking peer reviewers for our book Research Methods in Psychology: 3rd American Edition. The book is written for an undergraduate audience but has also been successfully used in graduate-level courses. It includes introductory chapters that introduce the science of psychology, review the steps of the scientific method, discuss research ethics, and describe various measurement concepts (e.g., reliability, validity, operational definitions). With this foundation in place the book progresses to experimental designs, non-experimental designs (correlational and observational research), survey research, quasi-experimental designs, factorial designs, and single-subject designs. For each class of research, various designs are presented along with the strengths and limitations of each and practical considerations are discussed. The book concludes with chapters on presenting research, descriptive statistics, and inferential statistics. While we consider this to be a fairly mature OER (now in its 3rd edition with contributions from several experts in the field) we are hoping to get outside feedback to further improve the book. We also want to call attention to this new edition for people seeking an open textbook for their research methods courses.

Multisensory Math for Adult Learners (Lead: Susan Jones, Parkland College)

I want to create materials and community applying Universal Design for Learning principles to open the doors of mathematics to adult learners for whom learning math is a significant barrier in their lives and/or careers.

I think the OER community can create and disseminate interactive, multisensory OER to open doors of opportunity, whether for evolving “career certificates” or already established adult education credentials. Whether using manipulatives (especially in rural areas or correctional institutions where internet access is limited) or interactive OER at sites such as , there is much untapped potential for reaching the cognitively diverse adult basic education community.

I’d like to create a small module with UDL elements which will mean having several options for representation and expression because learners will have different strengths from which to build.

I’ll need technical help designing accessible online activities and collaboration from other teachers, especially those working with students with disabilities.   Most importantly, I’ll need help managing the project and getting it beyond my one-student-at-a-time perspective and out to a larger scale.

Boosting Evolutionary Game Theory with Computer Simulation! (Lead: Luis R. Izquierdo, Universidad de Burgos)

Evolutionary Game Theory is a fascinating discipline that studies the evolution of populations of individuals whose decisions are interdependent (i.e. situations where the outcome of the interaction for any individual generally depends not only on her own choices, but also on the choices made by every other individual). The discipline has countless applications that range from network routing to resource management, passing through evolutionary biology and international relations, to mention only a few.

We believe that Evolutionary Game Theory can benefit a lot from using both mathematical analysis and computer simulation, and we have started writing a book to show how these two approaches can be employed synergistically. The title of our book is “Agent-based Evolutionary Game Dynamics”, and it is meant to be a guide to implement and analyze Agent-Based Models within the framework of Evolutionary Game Theory, using NetLogo.

The first chapters of the book are available to view. We are very interested in comments, critiques and suggestions from anyone. If you are not an expert in Evolutionary Game Theory and in computer programming, that’s perfect, since this book is written for you, so we would love to hear your comments!

LGBTQ+ Studies: a primer (Leads: Allison Brown and Deb Amory, State University of New York)

LGBTQ+ Studies: a primer will be an introductory level OER LGBTQ+ Studies text. The few textbooks in this area tend to lack a social science perspective, focusing instead on the humanities and the arts. This project will address contemporary LGBTQ social issues from the perspective of the social sciences — sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, and the human services. In addition to the main text, the goal of the project is to create OER video introductions to key theorists and their work in LGBTQ studies.

Core 8 Early Childhood Courses (Leads: Amanda Taintor, Reedley College and Jennifer Paris, College of the Canyons)

The California Community Colleges Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP) developed a 24 unit lower-division program of study supporting early care and education teacher preparation. Eight courses create the foundational core for all early care and education professionals at both the 2 and 4 year levels. Currently very little OER materials exist in the Early Childhood Education field of study despite the growing need for early childhood educators from birth – 3rd grade. This project hopes to gather discipline experts to contribute to concepts directly related to the 8 courses listed below. The Early Childhood Education courses of study span a vast realm of discipline expertise. Through the Rebus Projects platform it is our goal to gather experts in specific concepts to write and contribute to complete OER books.

  1. Child Growth and Development
  2. Child, Family and Community
  3. Introduction to Curriculum
  4. Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children
  5. Observation and Assessment
  6. Health, Safety and Nutrition
  7. Teaching in a Diverse Society
  8. Practicum

Marking OER Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies (Lead: Michelle Reed, University of Texas, Arlington)

Marking OER Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies will expand the “Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings” to help higher education institutions implement course marking solutions for open or affordable educational resources. Our goal is to create a practical guide that summarizes relevant state legislation, provides tips for working with stakeholders, analyzes technological considerations, and more!  The editors are currently seeking case studies and stakeholder stories from individuals at institutions that have implemented such markings or are in the process of doing so. We’re also seeking section leaders to work closely with the editors to develop each chapter outlined on our project site.

Music Theory Tutorial (Lead: Allison Brown and Andre Mount, State University of New York)

Music Theory Tutorial was originally designed as an online remedial program to be used by incoming transfer students to the University of California, Santa Barbara Music Department. In its current state, the textbook consists of twenty-eight modular chapters with exercises and end-of-chapter tests. The book begins with rudimentary lessons on material typically covered at the beginning of an undergraduate music majors’ first semester of theory (notation, rhythm, meter, scales, etc.) and concludes with concepts commonly found in third-semester courses (chromatic harmony, harmonic function, etc.). Despite its intended purpose, the breadth of content covered therein makes this book suitable for use as the primary textbook for first-, second-, and third-semester music theory courses in a wide range of music departments, schools, and conservatories. It could also be used in introductory classes for non-majors or by individuals outside of traditional music programs for self-paced study.

The text is more or less complete at this stage but there is room for improvement. I am seeking input from peer-reviewers on two fronts. First, several of the chapters use a somewhat esoteric approach in their presentation of the material. It would be beneficial to know whether or not members of the music theory community feel that these chapters should be modified at all to make the book more widely useful. Second, although the modular nature of the text is one of its strengths, feedback regarding the sequencing of chapters and the cohesiveness of the text as a whole would likewise be very helpful

Programming Fundamentals – A Modular Structured Approach, 2nd Edition (Lead: Dave Braunschweig, Harper College)

If you teach an introductory programming course in any programming language, your contributions are needed to make this free textbook as widely inclusive, accessible, and available as possible!

The original content for this book was written specifically for a course based on C++. The goal for this second edition is to make it programming-language neutral, so that it may serve as an introductory programming textbook for students using any of a variety of programming languages, including C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, and others.

Programming concepts are introduced generically, with logic demonstrated in pseudocode and flowchart form, followed by examples for different programming languages. Emphasis is placed on a modular, structured approach that supports reuse, maintenance, and self-documenting code.

We are seeking contributors and peer reviewers for all programming languages. Learn more and join us on the project site!

Professional Development for Language Education through Collaborative Open Learning (Leads: Naomi Wahls and Dr. Chrissi Nerantzi, UNESCO mentors)

Connecting professionals for professional development has become a major need in current education environments. Open Education Practices (OEP) offer an alternative to engage in intercultural collaboration among teachers worldwide as well as sharing best practices and concerns. This book edition aims to collect research and theoretical informed practices in virtual exchange, virtual mobility, bilingual education, collaborative open learning, and technology for language learning and teaching.

This open book will feature topics below focused on developing countries or rural areas including the following: This is a second phase of the Open Education for a Better World Project in Uzbekistan in collaboration with the University of Nova Gorica.

The team is first seeking contributions focused on the theory of language education and teaching, and a second call will take place to localize the theory from the first call through case studies using the theories creating local editions to Uzbekistan and Mexico.

Thanks to all of these projects for their enthusiasm and willingness to be a part of the Rebus beta. If you’d like to join the projects, volunteer for an activity, or simply remain updated on their progress, head over to Rebus Projects and see what they’re up to.

If you’re currently working on a project of your own, and would like to use the Rebus Projects platform, you can submit an application to join our second round of beta projects! We expect to be reviewing new applications in early July.

Rebus Projects v1.1 Changelog

As promised, since the first release if Rebus Projects in mid-May, we’ve been continuing to work hard on it and it’s time for an update! Listed here are the new features and other changes that will be released this week. We’ll be sharing these changelogs with every new release so you can keep track of progress. And, as always, we welcome your questionsbug reports, feedback, and any great ideas you have for what we should add in future.

New Features

  • A completely new project admin interface, including:
    • A single editing UI for all of a project’s Activities, Discussions, Resources, and metadata
    • Autosave while editing
    • A new team management interface with autocomplete search of all registered users
  • New public/private mechanism for both activities and projects that lets you edit a ‘draft’ project before publishing
  • Project Language and Book Language metadata with autocomplete support for searching the native and English names of over 213 languages (other languages supported via language codes).

Other smaller changes:

  • Simplified project and activity creation
  • More reliable comments form
  • Improvements to the profile creation flow
  • UX improvements to the outline editor
  • A bunch of other bug fixes!

Blueprint for Success Open Textbooks: Now Available for Adoption!

Blueprint for Success in College and Career is a student’s guide for classroom and career success. Curated, co-authored, and edited by Dave Dillon, this set of OER is helpful for students embarking on their college journey. Take a look at the book online, download it in multiple formats, or keep reading to learn more!

Rebus Community is very pleased to announce that the Blueprint for Success series is now available for adoption and use in classrooms! The series comprises three books for the College Success and FYE (First-Year Experience) genre. The central text, Blueprint for Success in College and Career, is designed to show how to be successful in college and in career preparation, and focuses on study skills, time management, career exploration, health, and financial literacy. In addition, targeted sections on Study Skills and Time Management, and Career and Decision Making are available separately as Blueprint for Success in College: Indispensable Study Skills and Time Management Strategies, and Blueprint for Success in Career Decision Making.

Blueprint for Success in College and Career CoverEach book has been carefully curated, co-authored, and edited by Dave Dillon and peer-reviewed by subject experts at institutions across North America. The books are available in multiple formats including web, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and editable formats such as XHTML, WXR, XML, and ODT. The series contains adapted sections from Foundations of Academic Success, A Different Road to College: A Guide for Transitioning Non-traditional Students, How to Learn Like a Pro!, and College Success, and covers a range of topics including college level critical thinking and reading, test taking strategies, health, finances and resources, social interaction and diversity, and more.

If you’re interested in adopting the series, or books in the series, please let us know on the project homepage!

Dave began working on this book as early as 2009, as his work as a counsellor and instructor showed a clear need for a comprehensive set of resources to help students in their college journey. He explains, “Many students do not learn how to study effectively and efficiently or how to manage their time. Others aren’t certain what to choose for their major or their career. And some are lost trying to navigate through the maze and culture of college, often balancing their school workload while working and taking care of family responsibilities. Students are sometimes unsuccessful when they begin college—not for lack of motivation or hard work, but because they did not acquire the skills or information necessary to allow them to succeed.” With this series, Dave hopes that students will be able to obtain the information and skills they need to confidently maneuver through classes and college. He hopes that the tone of the book will resonate with students, as sought to create a College Success textbook that genuinely read as people having a conversation together — as though it was talking with students rather than at students.

Dave Dillon Headshot

Dave Dillon, Counsellor/Professor, Grossmont College and Chair of the OER Task Force (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges

It was especially important for Dave that this series was published with an open license. He describes how he stumbled across OER and made the decision to commit to publishing the series with a CC BY license: “Despite my interest in keeping the price of textbooks low, I found that the cost was still prohibitive for many students and as I began to research textbook affordability solutions, I found OER (Open Educational Resources)….There are many reasons for why this series is an Open Educational Resource, including but not limited to textbook affordability, access, empathy, openness, inclusion, diversity, and equity. I want students to be able to have access to the textbook on day one and after the course ends, not have to choose between buying food and purchasing the text, and not have to worry about a lost, stolen, or expired digital access code.”

The Rebus Community worked with Dave throughout the writing process, advising on formatting, licensing, images, and other questions that arose. We also recruited reviewers and coordinated the peer review process for the book, and were fortunate to find a wonderful group of reviewers who generously shared their expertise. Rebus also helped recruit volunteers to prepare a glossary of terms for the book, and assisted Dave in formatting, running accessibility checks, and other final stages of publishing.

We are very excited to be celebrating the release of this series! Dave has worked tirelessly to ensure that the series is a comprehensive and valuable resource for students, and we couldn’t be prouder of both him and the books. If you’re interested in adopting any of the Blueprint for Success in College texts, please let us know in Rebus Projects.

Dave and other faculty at Grossmont College are working to develop openly licensed ancillary materials to accompany the books. These include multiple choice quiz questions, developed by Dave, and powerpoint slides, created by Rocio Terry. Janice Johnson has implemented content from the Study Skills and Time Management book into Canvas, which is a great way for like-minded instructors to adopt the text. We’ll share these ancillaries as they are completed, so stay tuned!

We would also love to hear from anyone interested in collaborating on ancillary development or who might be adapting this resource to better fit their needs. You can always reach us via the project homepage or email us at

El primero (y segundo) de Rebus: ¡Dos nuevos proyectos de traducción español/inglés!

Los más recientes proyectos de la Rebus Community están concentrados en la traducción y adaptación local, y son liderados por la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, en Chile. ¡Son los primeros en ser lanzados en nuestra nueva plataforma, Rebus Projects! Dales un vistazo a los proyectos en la plataforma, o sigue leyendo para informarte más.

La Rebus Community se complace de anunciar su primer grupo de proyectos de traducción; una traducción del inglés al español del Digital Citizenship Toolkit (Kit de herramientas para la ciudadanía digital) respaldado por Rebus, y una traducción del español al inglés de un informe llamado Desafíos de la Formación Ciudadana en la era Digital (Challenges for Citizenship Education in the Digital Age). Ambos proyectos son liderados por Werner Westermann, jefe del Programa de Formación Cívica de la Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile, en colaboración con la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). Werner es un miembro activo de la comunidad de Educación Abierta quien ha estado abogando por la política REA y usando la Alianza para el Gobierno Abierto para producir y ofrecer REA relacionados con la educación ciudadana en Chile, y más allá.

El poder de los REA es evidente en la manera como estos proyectos cobran vida: Werner estaba leyendo el boletín semanal de la Rebus Community, cuando vio un anuncio acerca del proyecto Digital CitizenshipToolkit (Kit de herramientas para la ciudadanía digital). Ese mismo día, se puso en contacto con Rebus diciendo que le encantaría trabajar en la traducción de este kit de herramientas al español, para ser usado en las aulas de la PUCV. El kit de herramientas es un proyecto de libro de texto abierto liderado por Ann Ludbrook y Michelle Schwartz en la Ryerson University. El libro está dirigido a ayudar a los estudiantes a desarrollar una lente crítica de un nivel más alto con la cual navegar el ámbito digital, y más adelante estará acompañado de un libro de texto para el profesorado. En este punto, Werner también compartió que le entusiasmaba traducir Desafíos de la Formación Ciudadana en la era Digital, un informe sobre educación ciudadana, del español al inglés. Este proyecto plantea una maravillosa respuesta al proyecto de traducción del libro de texto abierto del inglés al español.

Trabajaremos con estudiantes del último año de traducción en la PUCV para traducir el Digital Citizenship Toolkit al español y el informe de educación ciudadana al inglés. Los estudiantes también adaptarán localmente el contenido del libro, con contenido específico relacionado con Chile y su contexto. Este trabajo está siendo respaldado por una subvención de la Embajada de EE. UU. en Santiago, Chile, y busca poner a prueba una infraestructura y marco metodológico para crear y publicar libros de texto abiertos.

Estos proyectos tienen otra faceta peculiar: encajan con el Objetivo número 4 de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas: Educación de calidad. El propósito 4.7 de este objetivo está relacionado específicamente con metas de educación cívica y ciudadana: “Para 2030, asegurar que todos los aprendices adquieran el conocimiento y las habilidades necesarias para promover el desarrollo sostenible, incluso, entre otros, a través de la educación para el desarrollo sostenible y estilo de vida sostenible, derechos humanos, equidad de género, promoción de la cultura de paz y no violencia, la ciudadanía global y la apreciación de la diversidad cultural y de la contribución de la cultura al desarrollo sostenible” 

Con vista al futuro, Werner dice: “Sueño con educar ciudadanos empoderados que buscan influencia pública e intervención para hacer un mundo mejor por medio del fortalecimiento de la democracia”. Nos entusiasma ayudarlo a acercarse a este sueño con estos dos proyectos de traducción.

Si estás interesado en informarte más acerca de estos proyectos, o si deseas participar de cualquier manera, por favor ¡únete a ambos proyectos en nuestra nueva plataforma!

A Rebus First (and Second): Two New Spanish/English Translation Projects!

Rebus Community’s newest projects are focused on translation and localization, and are led by the Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile. They are the first launched in our new platform, Rebus Projects! Take a look at the projects on the platform, or keep reading to learn more.

The Rebus Community is excited to announce its first set of translation projects – an English to Spanish translation of the Rebus-supported Digital Citizenship Toolkit and a Spanish to English translation of a report called Desafíos de la Formación Ciudadana en la era Digital (Challenges for Citizenship Education in the Digital Age). Both projects are lead by Werner Westermann, Head of the Civic Training Program at the Library of the National Congress of Chile, in partnership with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV). Werner is an active member of the Open Education community who has been advocating for OER Policy and using the Open Government Partnership to produce and deliver OER related to citizenship education in Chile, and beyond.

The power of OER is evident in how these projects came to life: Werner was reading through the Rebus Community’s weekly newsletter, when he spotted an announcement about the Digital Citizenship Toolkit project. That very day, he contacted Rebus saying that he would love to work on translating this toolkit into Spanish, for use in classrooms at PUCV. The toolkit is an open textbook project lead by Ann Ludbrook and Michelle Schwartz at Ryerson University. The book aims to help students develop a higher-level critical lens in which to navigate the digital realm, and will later be accompanied by a faculty handbook. At this point, Werner also shared that he was keen to translate Desafíos de la Formación Ciudadana en la era Digital, a report on Citizenship Education, from Spanish to English. This project poses a wonderful counter to the open textbook translation project from English to Spanish.

We will work with senior translation students at PUCV to translate the Digital Citizenship Toolkit into Spanish and the Citizenship Education report into English. Students will also work to localize the content in the book, with specific content related to Chile and its context. This work is being supported by a grant from the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile, which seeks to test an infrastructure and methodology framework for creating and publishing Open Textbooks.

These projects have another unique aspect: they fit in with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4 — Quality Education / Educación de Calidad. Target 4.7 of this goal is specifically related to civic and citizenship education objectives: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development”

Looking to the future, Werner says, “I dream of educating empowered citizens that look for public incidence and agency to make a better world through strengthening democracy.” We’re excited to help him get closer to this dream with these two translation projects.

If you’re interested in learning more about these projects, or if you’d like to participate in any way, please join both projects in our new platform!

Introducing Rebus Projects: A Custom Project Management Tool for Open Textbook Creators

We are very excited to unveil Rebus Projects, new web-based software that we think will be a better way to manage open textbook/OER publishing projects, and gather and organize contributors and collaborators. The platform is currently in beta (meaning it’s still in development! And there will be bugs!), and your feedback will be critical to future development, to make sure it meets the needs of all open textbook creators.

We encourage you to take a look, and see if there is an OER project you can help with. Or, let us know if you have a project in mind, and submit an application to join the beta.


We’ve been working over the past 18 months with a collection of almost two dozen open textbooks projects, with partner institutions and faculty from around the world. This has helped us develop a flexible yet clear open textbook publishing process, that builds in best practices, including attention to accessibility, and fosters collaboration on open textbook projects. We are building everything we have learned (and continue to learn) into Rebus Projects, to help guide open textbook projects through the publishing workflow, and to make it easy to find, recruit, and organize collaborators.

A quick FAQ about Rebus Projects:

Q: How do I access Rebus Projects?
A: It’s pretty simple! Just visit and Sign Up. If you’re already a member of the Rebus Forum, you can log in using the same account.

Q: How can I help on someone else’s OER/open textbook project?
A: Great question! Visit the site and find a project that needs help you’d like to offer (Peer review? Proofreading? Chapter authoring? And more …) Click on the activity you’d like to help out on and volunteer.

Q: How can I get my project listed on Rebus Projects?
A: For the moment we have only have capacity to support a limited number of new projects, but as that changes we will be inviting more to join us. You can request access to the beta for your project here.

Q: How can I give feedback on the platform?
A: Your input is critical to shaping the future direction of the platform, so we absolutely want to hear from you. You can leave comments and feedback in the Rebus Forum or email us at You’ll find some prompt questions in the forum to help guide you.

Q: What if I don’t want collaborators on my open textbook project?
A: We make it easy to collaborate only on the parts of your projects you want help with. It’s up to you. Some projects only want collaboration on specific aspects, such as: peer review, editing, proofreading, beta testing, ancillary materials, marketing and more. Some projects want collaboration for authoring chapters, or even conceiving the project itself. The people behind the projects decide.

Q: Who owns the copyright on open textbooks in Rebus Projects?
A: The authors own the copyright. However, all open textbooks in Rebus Projects must be licensed under a Creative Commons license. We encourage creators to adopt a CC-BY license, but recognise that it is not suitable for some projects. In particular, for projects involving traditional knowledge or other similar content, we will work with project teams to amend our licensing policy as needed.

Q: What do I get if my project gets listed on Rebus Projects?
A: You get access to a brand new software platform, that is being developed specifically to help support the open textbook publishing process. You also get:

  • A public web listing of your project, where basic information of your project, team, activities, discussion threads, and documents can be shared. This listing can be used to promote the project, generate interest from potential adopters, and recruit collaborators.
  • Support & guidance on the publishing process from the Rebus team and the wider Community via the Rebus Forum
  • Guides and templates related to the OER publishing process
  • Amplification of recruitment calls and project updates in the Rebus Community’s media channels (newsletter, blog, social media, etc.)
  • An onboarding call with the Rebus Community, with training on how to use the platform
  • Four one-hour drop-in webinars, where you can pose questions and talk through challenges in the process
  • Access to the Rebus Press (powered by Pressbooks), if needed
  • An opportunity to contribute directly to the development of tools and resources that benefit the wider OER community

Q: Will it cost anything to put my project on Rebus Projects?
A: Accepted individual projects will always be free. We are actively working on a sustainable funding model, with educational institutions and state and provincial education systems. Stay tuned.

Q: Who is behind Rebus Projects?
A: Rebus Projects is a part of the Rebus Community, a project run the Rebus Foundation. The foundation is a Canadian non-profit dedicated to building infrastructure and communities to promote open education, and books on the open web. The Rebus Foundation is generously supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Q: How can I get more information?
A: If you still have questions, head to the Rebus Forum and ask away! Or, you can always email us directly at

Rebus Community Projects: Beta Invitation

If you’re interested in using the Rebus Community collaboration software for your Open Textbook or OER project, now’s your chance! Fill out our application form to register your project.

On May 16, we will launch the Rebus Community Projects platform – a custom-built project management tool for collaboration on Open Educational Resources (OER) publishing projects around the world. We will launch with 10 (selected) beta OER/open textbook publishing projects, and the platform will be open to all volunteers. Would you like your OER project to be a part of our beta? If so, tell us about it!

About the platform

While most project management software is designed for broad use, Rebus Community Projects is specifically customized for open textbook/OER projects and the communities that form around them. With the first release of the platform happening in mid-May, we are now looking for projects to trial the tool as part of their open textbook/OER publishing efforts.

About the beta

Accepted Beta projects will get full access to the tools, as well as some support from the Rebus team over the course of their project. All Beta users will have the chance to (directly and indirectly) inform our product development process, and help shape the future of the Rebus Community and our approach to publishing open textbooks.

Is your project a beta candidate?

Candidate OER projects for the beta should meet the following criteria:

  • The project aims to create an open textbook/OER which can be used in courses at a higher education institution.
  • The resulting textbook and associated materials will be published under a CC-BY license. (Note: for projects involving traditional knowledge or other similar content, we will work with project teams to amend our licensing policy as needed).
  • The text will be published online and made available in editable formats.
  • The project has a responsible and dedicated project manager, lead author or leadership team.
  • At least one member of the project team can communicate with the Rebus team in English. (Note: the textbook itself can be in any language.)
  • The project team understands that Rebus Projects is in a beta phase, and is willing to actively engage with the process to support its development.

In addition, we have particular interest in working with projects that:

  1. Are based outside North America (with the caveat that our platform and working language is currently English),
  2. Include and highlight traditionally marginalised voices and communities,
  3. Are at the peer review stage, OR
  4. Fit into any combination of the above.

Why are we prioritizing these areas?

The Rebus mission has always been to support collaborative open textbook publishing for all subjects, in all languages, everywhere in the world. This mission is a kind of shorthand for what we think is possible with OER, and drives everything we do — big and small.

In this case, it’s driving us to recruit projects that fit the categories above. Here’s why:

  1. We want to work with projects outside North America in order to further develop our model to suit many different regional contexts. We acknowledge that language will be a barrier for many, and are taking steps towards supporting more languages in future, but for now, we appreciate the extra effort made by project teams and contributors who work with us in English when it is not their preferred language. Beyond language, we also want to make sure that the decisions we make about features, user experience, process, etc. are not made with only one type of user in mind. We aren’t fulfilling our mission unless we’re involving people from all regions of the globe.
  2. We are seeking projects that include and promote marginalised voices and communities because we believe that open education has the power to make education more equitable and to promote content that is not well served by traditional publishing models. Supporting traditionally marginalised people, ideas, and approaches to education is critical to that vision.
  3. We want to hear from projects in peer review in order to further develop our approach to managing this phase of the publishing process. We are working towards a clear, replicable peer review process that can be used by anyone, and community input is invaluable to be sure it is a constructive process for both creators and reviewers. Peer review plays an important role in ensuring content quality, but can also play a less desirable part in gatekeeping, so needs to be carefully managed.

Why join our beta?

Joining the Rebus Community Projects beta will, we hope, deliver a host of benefits to project, including:

  • A public web listing of your project, where basic information of your project, team, activities, discussion threads, and documents can be shared. This listing can be used to promote the project, generate interest from potential adopters, and recruit collaborators.
  • Support & guidance on the publishing process from the Rebus team and the wider Community via the Rebus Community Forum
  • Guides and templates related to the OER publishing process
  • Amplification of recruitment calls and project updates in the Rebus Community’s media channels (newsletter, blog, social media, etc.)
  • An onboarding call with the Rebus Community, with training on how to use the platform*
  • Four one-hour drop-in webinars, where you can pose questions and talk through challenges in the process*
  • Access to the Rebus Press (powered by Pressbooks), if needed
  • An opportunity to contribute directly to the development of tools and resources that benefit the wider OER community

*All calls will be recorded and made available for project teams whose work day does not align with that of the Rebus team (based in Montreal, QC). Efforts will be made to run individual and asynchronous sessions wherever possible.

How do I apply to be a beta project?

If you would like to submit your project for consideration to become one of our first Rebus Community Projects platform beta projects, please fill in our application form.

Have questions about the platform, or the Rebus Community? Please contact us.

Office Hours: Launch: Rebus Community Projects (May 16, 12 p.m. PST / 3 p.m. EST)

Open Textbook Network & Rebus Community Host Office Hours

Office Hours Launch: Rebus Community Projects

Time / Date: Wednesday, May 16, 12 p.m. PST / 3 p.m. EST

Guest Speaker: Zoe Wake Hyde

Rebus Community is building a new, collaborative model for open textbook publishing. To support this model, we are building a platform to enable global open textbook creators to collaborate on open textbook projects.

In this special session of Office Hours, Rebus Community project manager Zoe Wake Hyde will demonstrate the platform, which will launch in beta soon. Interested in joining the beta? Get on the list.  


Click to join the session day of.