The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success, especially because the price tag prompts many students to avoid purchasing them. A workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 24, accessible to all Penn State faculty instructors, aims to lower students’ textbook costs and any perceived obstacles in favor of adopting high-quality, free or low-cost open educational resources.
The Open Textbook Network workshop, hosted by Penn State University Libraries, is available for instructors’ in-person attendance from 10 a.m. to noon in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and also will be live-streamed via Mediasite Live for remote viewing from any Penn State campus. Faculty who RSVP to participate in the workshop — via email to Amanda Larson, open education librarian — will explore open textbook options for their course materials and will receive a $200 stipend for writing a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library.
A second session, a support workshop available for librarians, instructional designers and staff, will be presented from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 in Foster Auditorium and online for remote viewing via Mediasite Live.
A second session, a support workshop available for librarians, instructional designers and staff, will be presented from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Oct. 24 in Foster Auditorium and online for remote viewing via Mediasite Live. The afternoon session will be led by Meg Brown-Sica, assistant dean for Collections and Scholarly Communication at Colorado State University Libraries. The afternoon session also will be archived at https://live.libraries.psu.edu for later viewing.
Registered faculty who are unable to sit in on the workshop in real time — either in person or online — are able to watch the online recording, which will be archived at https://live.libraries.psu.edu for later viewing. Faculty who work in subject areas for which open textbooks are not currently available for review will not be eligible for the stipend but are encouraged to attend to learn more about open textbooks.
Penn State joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN), centered at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Open Education, in January 2017 to help support the use of high-quality, affordable course content. OTN helps support colleges and universities’ instructional use of open textbooks and practices. Its Open Textbook Library is the premiere resource for peer-reviewed academic textbooks, all of which are free, openly licensed and complete, according to its website. According to OTN, 70 percent of its textbooks’ reviews have four stars or higher, and all reviews and comments are freely available.
The full news release with additional information is available via Penn State News.