A Guide to OER Creation with Mavs Open Press

A Guide to OER Creation with Mavs Open Press

Mavs Open Press

Michelle Reed, Jasmine Bridges, Kartik Mann, Prathvi Kanchan, Brittany Griffiths, Katherine Willeford, and Ursula Abdala

Mavs Open Press

Arlington

Contents

1

About the Publisher

If you are an instructor who is using this OER for a course, please let us know by filling out our OER Adoption Form.

About Mavs Open Press

Creation of this resource was supported by Mavs Open Press, operated by the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries (UTA Libraries). Mavs Open Press offers no-cost services for UTA faculty, staff, and students who wish to openly publish their scholarship. The Libraries’ program provides human and technological resources that empower our communities to publish new open access journals, to convert traditional print journals to open access publications, and to create or adapt open educational resources (OER). Our resources are openly licensed using Creative Commons licenses and are offered in various e-book formats free of charge, which can be downloaded from the Mavs Open Press OER catalog. Optional print copies of this text may be available through the UTA Bookstore or can be purchased directly from XanEdu, Mavs Open Press’ exclusive print provider and distributor.

About OER

OER are free teaching and learning materials that are licensed to allow for revision and reuse. They can be fully self-contained textbooks, videos, quizzes, learning modules, and more. OER are distinct from public resources in that they permit others to use, copy, distribute, modify, or reuse the content. The legal permission to modify and customize OER to meet the specific learning objectives of a particular course make them a useful pedagogical tool.

About Pressbooks

Pressbooks is an open source, web-based authoring tool based on WordPress, and it is the primary tool that Mavs Open Press uses to create and adapt course materials. Pressbooks should not be used with Internet Explorer. The following browsers are best to use with Pressbooks:

Contact Us

Information about open education at UTA is available online. Contact us at oer@uta.edu for other inquires related to UTA Libraries publishing services.

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About this Project

Overview

A Guide to OER Creation with Mavs Open Press provides an overview of the OER creation and modification processes, presents effective practices and policies for reusing and attributing open content, and discusses tools and resources available to support OER use at UTA. It was created using Pressbooks, an open source web-based publishing tool adopted by UTA Libraries for hosting and disseminating OER published by Mavs Open Press.

This text is a draft and is currently undergoing revision. Hypothesis web annotation has been enabled in the book, and readers are invited to provide feedback on the content if you have questions or suggestions for improvement. Please follow the instructions below for using Hypothesis to annotate the draft.

Annotating with Hypothesis

  1. Open the chapter you are reviewing in your browser.
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  3. Log in to Hypothes.is. By default, Hypothes.is annotations are made to a public group. image
  4. Select the text you would like to comment on or highlight.image
  5. Click on Annotate to add a comment and click on “Post” to add your annotation to the text.image
  6. You can edit, delete, reply to or share your comment once it has been posted by using the buttons on the bottom-right of the comment box.image

3

Acknowledgments

Lead Author and Editor

Michelle Reed – Director of Open Educational Resources, University of Texas at Arlington

contributors

Ursula Abdala – former student volunteer, UTA CARES Student Project Team

Jasmine Bridges – OER Coordinator, University of Texas at Arlington

Brittany Griffiths – Publishing Specialist, University of Texas at Arlington

Prathvi Kanchan – Graduate Research Assistant, UTA Libraries

Kartik Mann – Graduate Research Assistant, UTA Libraries

Katherine Willeford – Learning Resources Librarian, University of Texas at Arlington

I

Getting Started

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The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Libraries support educators in identifying, using, customizing, creating, and publishing teaching and learning materials available at no cost to UTA students. Open educational resources (OER) are free teaching and learning materials that are licensed to allow for revision and reuse. They can be fully self-contained textbooks, videos, quizzes, learning modules, courseware, and more.

Mavs Open Press, operated by UTA Libraries, offers no-cost services for UTA faculty, staff, and students who wish to openly publish their scholarship. The Libraries’ program provides human and technological resources that empower our communities to create or adapt O.E.R. Course materials published by Mavs Open Press are openly licensed using Creative Commons licenses to allow for revision and reuse and are offered in various digital formats free of charge. Optional print copies may be available for purchase through the UTA Bookstore or can be purchased directly from XanEdu, Mavs Open Press’ exclusive print provider and distributor.

Open access publishing and textbook affordability are critical to the work of UTA Libraries and the University of Texas at Arlington at large. From our commitment to widespread adoption of OER to our support for the conversion of print journals to open access digital formats, we empower our faculty, students, and authors to see their vision become the new reality for academic publishing.

Check out the OER published by Mavs Open Press.

OER Benefits

OER services

Contact Us

Additional information about open education at UTA is available online. Questions about publishing OER with Mavs Open Press should be directed to oer@uta.edu.

1

Publishing with Mavs Open Press

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Mavs Open Press offers no-cost services for UTA educators who wish to publish new or remixed OER. We provide training and technical support to help you publish your book. OER from our collection are openly licensed and offered in various formats free of charge. Publishing services include the following:

  • Offering access to and training for easy-to-use tools
  • Consulting on copyright questions
  • Obtaining an ISBN
  • Providing multiple access options, including web-based, PDF, EPUB, and print
  • Maximizing discoverability of your book through robust metadata and indexing
  • Preserving and archiving the digital content in perpetuity in the UTA ResearchCommons

Pressbooks

UTA Libraries provide no-cost access to Pressbooks for UTA faculty, staff, and students interested in creating or modifying OER. Pressbooks is an open source web-based publishing tool that allows authors to easily import content and export the resulting publication to a variety of formats, including MOBI, EPUB, and PDF. Our publications allow embedded multimedia and interactive assessment, automatic feedback, and grade integration with Canvas.

Services Chart

Service

Notes

Platform Pressbooks
Reader Access web version and multiple download options available free of charge in digital format to anyone around the world; no login required
Full Color yes
Interactive Media yes (maps, visuals, audio)
Print Version  Print option available for purchase in global marketplace (including Amazon) through partnership with print provider, XanEdu
Peer Review optional but encouraged; peer review facilitation is reponsibity of book editors/project team; peer review templates and forms available for reuse/customization https://www1.rebus.community/#/project/aaf2b81c-678f-4074-a4b3-62831d145ae4
Format Options EPUB, PDF, MOBI, XHTML, Pressbooks XML, OpenDocument, and Common Cartridge (for LMS integration) available for download from Pressbooks landing page; digital PDF also archived in UTA ResearchCommons
Print Sales Mavs Open Press does not collect proceeds on print sales
Submission Process Submit to UTA Libraries OER Dept. (oer@uta.edu) for conversion to Pressbooks; textual edits after conversion are responsibility of book editors/project team while formatting updates will be incorporated by Mavs Open Press staff.
Copyright Authors  retain copyright but open license required (any Creative Commons license, excluding ND)
Publication Timelines Timelines are  determined by book editors/project team; Mavs Open Press will complete an accessibility evaluation before publication (2 months notice required). Copyediting and proofreading services are not provided.
Cover Design Mavs Open Press provides cover design for both digital and print versions of the text.
Publishing Costs no fees
Data Collection Mavs Open Press provides total downloads and views in Pressbooks twice per year; metrics for PDF archive available at any time directly from UTA ResearchCommons
Unique Book Identifiers URL and ISBN provided
Marketing Website promotion on UTA sites; assistance with development of marketing materials from library staf and print partner; selective social media promotion; partner with authors for additional marketing.

 

2

UTA CARES Grant Program

The UTA CARES Grant Program, sponsored by UTA Libraries, was established in 2017 to support educators interested in practicing open education through the adoption of OER and, when no suitable open resource is available, through the creation of new or remixed OER or the adoption of library-licensed or other free content.  Additionally, the program promotes innovation in teaching and learning through the exploration of open educational practices, such as collaborating with students to produce educational content of value to a wider community. UTA CARES Grants aim to increase affordability, equity, and student success by eliminating financial barriers to required course content.

Award Categories

The total cost of all required resources in any course funded by UTA CARES may not exceed $0 per student.

  • Adoption Stipends promote rapid adoption of existing OER or other free resources to increase affordability for students.
  • Scale Grants focus on broader OER adoption by supporting the transition of all sections of a single course, course series, or program.
  • Innovation Grants support OER creation or the substantial revision or remix of existing OER.

Reporting Requirements

Monthly Updates

The UTA CARES Grant Program requires grantees to update UTA Libraries on a monthly basis for the duration of the project to report on your progress. Please submit your updates via the UTA CARES Monthly Report form by the first Tuesday of every month. Grantees will receive an Outlook calendar invitation with a reminder of the monthly deadline.

student Surveys

Each semester, students enrolled in UTA courses supported by the UTA CARES Grant Program and by Mavs Open Press are surveyed about their experiences using OER or other educational content available at no cost. All grantees are required to survey students enrolled in courses impacted by the program, and former grantees are asked to distribute the survey each semester the OER/alternative resources are used. If the OER you created is being used by a different UTA instructor, please consider forwarding the survey request to them.

The OER team will share a link to the QuestionPro student survey several weeks before the end of classes to be distributed to students at the end of the semester. If you would prefer to distribute the survey in print (this sometimes results in a higher response rate), you may do so using the provided PDF. Grantees who choose to distribute hard copies of the surveys must provide UTA Libraries with a spreadsheet of the data and submit the original hard copies of the surveys to the Libraries OER Department. Surveys are anonymous, but if you wish to offer extra credit for completion you may ask them to submit a screenshot of the confirmation page after submitting their response. Please do not ask students to add their name or university ID to surveys distributed in print.

Survey results should be incorporated into your final report. The anonymous responses from your students will be shared with you via email after the deadline for submitting grades for the semester.

Final Report

All grantees are required to submit a final project report summarizing the challenges and accomplishments of the project and its impact on student performance. You may incorporate survey results (both qualitative and quantitative) and informal student feedback into the report, though you should also include a reflection on your personal experience. Some questions to help you brainstorm content for the report:

While we don’t have a specific template or length requirement, we do have a few examples in the institutional repository where your report will be archived. These are linked from the project descriptions on the UTA CARES Grant Recipient page. Dr. Habib Ahmari’s report is a good model.

Please submit your report as a PDF or Word document via email to oer@uta.edu.

3

OER Discovery

In the planning phase, faculty should determine whether their project will address a gap in currently available materials, or if there is existing content that meets their needs. We can help with this process by connecting educators with open and affordable resources related to their course objectives.
UTA CARES Innovation Grant applicants are required to complete a landscape analysis to identify existing OER and explain why existing resources are inadequate to meet learning needs in the course. For personalized assistance locating free resources appropriate for your course, please contact your subject librarian or the OER Department. You can also begin searching for resources on your own using the Free Resources by College guide.

Statewide OER Repository

In Fall 2020, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched OERTX, a digital repository of OER for Texas students and educational institutions. Faculty can browse the site to find OER that have been used successfully in the state and collaborate with other educators across the state through groups and hubs.

4

Pressbooks Platform

UTA Libraries provide no-cost access to Pressbooks for UTA faculty, staff, and students interested in creating or modifying OER. Pressbooks is a web-based publishing tool that allows authors to easily import content and export the resulting publication to a variety of formats, including MOBI, EPUB, and PDF. Additionally, the platform and compatible plugins support embedded multimedia, interactive assessment, and web annotation.

Mavs Open Press OER can be viewed online via Pressbooks or downloaded in multiple formats for offline viewing. Pressbooks should not be used with Internet Explorer. The following browsers are best to use with Pressbooks:

Catalog home page reads "Mavs Open Press, operated by the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries (UTA Libraries), offers no-cost services for UTA faculty, staff, and students who wish to openly publish their scholarship. The Libraries’ program provides human and technological resources that empower our communities to create or adapt open educational resources (OER). Course materials published by Mavs Open Press are openly licensed using Creative Commons licenses to allow for revision and reuse and are offered in various digital formats free of charge. Optional print copies may be available for purchase through the UTA Bookstore or can be purchased directly from XanEdu. Contact us at oer@uta.edu."
Mavs Open Press OER Catalog

Request Forms

Request Pressbooks Account or Sandbox Access

Request Access Form

Use this form to request a free UTA Pressbooks account and access to the Mavs Open Press Sandbox. The Sandbox offers an environment where anyone at UTA can experiment with Pressbooks and learn about the platform. Feel free to add, remove, and edit content while you’re in the Sandbox. You may also use this form to request the addition of new team members to your Pressbook.

Request Pressbooks Site

Request Pressbooks Site Form

Use this form to request your own site with a unique URL on UTA’s Pressbooks platform. Please note that all resources supported by Mavs Open Press must be openly licensed, allowing for downstream users to remix and reuse the content. Sites should be requested only after the project name has been finalized, as the URL cannot be changed once it has been created.

Resources from Pressbooks

5

Timelines and Milestones

Submit Milestone Report

The OER Milestone Reporting form is for OER creation and modification projects to be published with Mavs Open Press. It is used to communicate your readiness to formally move the publication process forward on your OER. Milestones include requesting a preliminary accessibility evaluation, setting preferences for cover design and print distribution, reporting the start of your pilot period, requesting a formal accessibility evaluation, requesting publication, and requesting new exports post-publication.

The timeline for OER creation or modification can vary significantly. However, all OER published by Mavs Open Press are required to undergo both formal and informal evaluations before publication. Major milestones require communication between the project lead and the Mavs Open Press team. Please use our OER Milestone Form to communicate your readiness to move your project forward to the next milestone. Milestones are presented in chronological order below.

Milestone 1: Ready for Preliminary Evaluation

After you’ve completed some– but not all– of the edits and additions necessary for your work, you may request a preliminary evaluation from the OER team. The team will then review your work for accessibility and note any issues of consistency, attribution, or formatting that require attention. This allows us to catch and correct errors before they require large-scale remediation.

Milestone 2: Begin Cover Design

We will begin designing a cover for your OER early in your creation process. The OER Milestone Form requests information about your vision for the OER cover and links to any openly licensed images you wish to incorporate in the cover. Recommending cover art is not required. A member of the OER team will contact you via email with a proof of the cover. Please confirm final approval of your cover design via email.

If you haven’t already submitted your preference regarding making a print copy of the OER available for purchase through the UTA Bookstore, please do so at this time.  Print files are due several weeks prior to the start of the semester, and deadlines are firm. Any resources that are not finalized by the print deadline will not be made available in print the following semester.  Print is advisable if the content will remain relatively static in the short term, if the content requires print (e.g., a workbook that contains tearaway homework pages to be submitted for grading), and/or if students express the desire to purchase a professionally bound print copy. Please note that in all situations students may print their own hard copy from the PDF download available on the book’s landing page or submit the file for professional binding to a print-on-demand service (e.g., Lulu.com)

Milestone 3: Pilot Ready

You may begin using your OER during the pilot semester before making the book public. Students can access a private book via Canvas. Instructions for uploading a Pressbook into Canvas are available in Pilot Semester.

Milestone 4: Formal Accessibility Evaluation

When you’ve completed your edits and additions, submit a request for formal accessibility evaluation. A member of the OER team will review your text for accessibility using the rubric located in the book’s back matter. A team member will contact you via email following the evaluation about the status of your OER. Requests for evaluation should be submitted a minimum of two months before your requested publication date, as some remediation may be required.

Milestone 5: Request Formal Publication

Once all required accessibility remediation is complete and content is stable, you may request formal publication of the OER.  At this time, Mavs Open Press will remove draft disclosures from the text, update the publication information, archive a PDF of the OER in the UTA ResearchCommons, and index the OER in relevant open repositories. We will contact you when the publication process is complete. Following formal publication, all changes made to the text should be logged in the book’s Errata and Versioning History page located in the back matter.

[Optional] Milestone 6: Request New Export/Version

OER have the advantage of ease of updates. Minor changes to the text can be incorporated by the author at any time post-publication, as long as every change is logged in the book’s Errata and Versioning History page located in the back matter. Major revisions may require a new export and release under a new version number. If you wish to create a new export of your OER, please submit an OER Milestone Form for this request and someone from the OER team will be in touch about next steps.

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Accessibility

OER publishing services at UTA are designed to empower our authors to own as much of the creation process as possible. To accomplish this, we provide robust training, technical support services, and direct access to Pressbooks, our OER publishing and distribution platform. We selected Pressbooks for creating and publishing OER in part due to their commitment to accessibility and the ease of use for built-in accessibility features. We aim to teach our creators how to design with accessibility in mind by incorporating into a required training program topics and speakers that expand our authors’ understanding of accessibility and increase their ability to create materials that meet the needs of all learners. Conversation and intervention for accessibility continue after formal OER onboarding is complete.

Though our processes and products are not perfect, we strive for growth, improvement, and transparency in all our practices. Mavs Open Press approaches accessibility as a fluid concept in that the task of implementing it in design is never truly complete. This approach encourages content creators, educators, and users alike to be vigilant in recognizing poorly designed resources, or elements within a resource, and understanding that there are always ways to improve so resources may be better used by people with the broadest range of abilities. Through learning, listening, and understanding the needs of students and educators, we can further refine, improve, and work towards a greater level of accessibility in our policies, processes, and products.

Accessibility Evaluations

Accessibility checks occur twice during the OER publishing process – once as an informal check in the early stages of OER creation and then again at the end of the production and formatting process.

  1. OER authors are required to request a preliminary accessibility check via a milestone reporting form early in the creation process to identify and address accessibility concerns as soon as possible. This informal evaluation reminds content creators to proactively consider accessible design choices throughout the creation process.
  2. Additionally, each OER undergoes a pre-publication accessibility check before its release. This final, formal check certifies that the resources published by Mavs Open Press meet our accessibility standards. Some of the categories included in our evaluation include content organization, screen reader compatibility, hyperlink functionality, color contrast, clear and consistent navigation, alternative text for images, and closed captions for multimedia.

Each OER published by Mavs Open Press undergoes spot testing using assistive technology, and a rubric containing pass/fail information and a brief summary of the accessibility results is published in each of our OER. Additionally, we developed an accessibility statement by revising a resource designed by BCcampus and include information about requesting accommodations for known accessibility issues in each published OER. The statement in shown in full below.

Accessibility Statement

UTA Libraries believe education needs to be available to everyone, which means supporting the creation of free, open, and accessible educational resources. We are actively committed to increasing the accessibility and usability of the OER we produce.

Accessibility Features

Mavs Open Press uses Pressbooks to create and distribute OER. In May 2018, Pressbooks announced their accessibility policy, which outlines efforts and demonstrates commitment to making the software accessible. The web version of this resource has been designed with accessibility in mind by incorporating the following features.

Other File Formats

In addition to the web version, this book is available in a number of file formats, including PDF, EPUB (for eReaders), MOBI (for Kindles), and various editable files. These formats can be retrieved from the “Download this book” drop-down menu on the book’s home page.

Known Accessibility Issues

The rubric used to evaluate this resource for accessibility is included in the publication’s back matter. While we strive to make our resources as accessible and as usable as possible, we might not always get it right. Any issues we identify will be listed below. There are currently no known issues.

List of Known Accessibility Issues
Location of issue Need for improvement Timeline Workaround

If you encounter problems accessing this resource, please contact us at oer@uta.edu to let us know so we can address the issue.

Please include the following information:

This statement was last updated on February 24, 2020. It was modified from the BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit – 2nd Edition by Amanda Coolidge, Sue Doner, Tara Robertson, and Josie Gray and is used under a CC BY 4.0 International License.

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Memorandum of Understanding

OER creators partnering with Mavs Open Press are required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The purpose of the MOU is to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each party as they relate to the open education project supported by the UTA CARES Grant Programand/or Mavs Open Press.

Author/Grantee Responsibilities

  • Attend the UTA CARES OER Training Program.
  • Complete planned activities and deliverables according to the timeline presented in the application and MOU.
  • Agree to spend funding in accordance with university policy and maintain appropriate records of these expenditures.
  • Submit monthly project updates for the duration of the project to report on progress.
  • Share with the Libraries usage statistics for any resources housed outside of the ResearchCommons. This information will be requested annually and should be returned by the deadline included with the request.
  • Circulate surveys to all students in courses impacted by the project. Surveys will be provided by the OER Department via QuestionPro and shall be distributed electronically near the end of the semester of implementation and each subsequent semester the OER is used. Grantees who choose to distribute hard copies of the surveys agree to provide UTA Libraries with a spreadsheet of the data and submit the original hard copies of the surveys to the Libraries.
  • Submit a final project report summarizing the challenges and accomplishments of the project and its impact on student performance. The report shall include any data that assist in measuring the impact of the project. This report is due within three months following the implementation semester.
  • Share additional experiences working on the project with the Libraries and allow the dissemination of those observations through a variety of communication channels.
  • Continue to use the OER (or another free equivalent) for a minimum of two years (for adoption stipends), three years (for scale grants), or four years (for innovation grants).
  • Acknowledge that full or partial support came from the UTA CARES grant program administered by the UTA Libraries in any publication or presentation about the project.
  • Report use of the OER each semester it is used prior to the beginning of registration (approximately April 1 for fall and summer courses and October 1 for spring courses). OER adoptions must be reported using the adoption reporting forms located on the UTA CARES guide.
  • If new or modified OER are created for use in the course, the grantee will:
    • Use UTA’s Pressbooks instance to the extent possible for the creation and dissemination of the OER and consult with the OER Department on any resources that are not housed in Pressbooks.
    • Ensure the OER are of high quality and meet accessibility standards. Any remediation required to bring resources up to standards is the responsibility of the grant recipient.
    • Consult with the Libraries on the use of any intellectual property that is not owned by the grant recipient, shared under a Creative Commons license that allows for reuse, or in the public domain. Determining ownership of third-party content is the responsibility of the grant recipient. Documentation demonstrating fair use and/or permissions for third-party content included in the OER shall be submitted with the deliverables. All openly licensed content must be properly attributed.
    • Provide or contract peer review, copy editing, and proofreading of OER created during the project to ensure grammatical and spelling accuracy, clarity, and consistency.
    • Allow the Libraries to deposit OER resulting from the grant in the UTA ResearchCommons. All deliverables must be received by the Libraries prior to the distribution of the second funding transfer. Deliverables must include the original, editable files for re-distribution.
    • Ensure that OER are delivered in enduring/sustainable formats. Questions regarding file types should be addressed to the OER Department.
    • Acknowledge contributions of students and other project team members in any OER produced during the course of this project and in any publication or presentation about the project.

UTA Libraries’ Responsibilities

  • Provide formal training for new grantees.
  • Process funding transfers as established in this MOU.
  • Provide surveys to be distributed to students each semester in every course in which the OER is used. Share survey results with instructor.
  • Offer consultations regarding intellectual property and reuse of third-party content.
  • Publicize the progress of grant recipients and maintain a public record of funded projects.
  • Promptly respond to questions and concerns submitted by the grant recipient. (Submit to oer@uta.edu.)
  • Direct grant recipients to additional resources that may assist in resolving challenges encountered during the project period.
  • If new OER are created for use in the course, the Libraries will:
    • Upload materials resulting from the grant to the Research Commons.
    • Provide access to UTA’s Pressbooks site for OER (Request Access).
    • Provide technical assistance and troubleshooting for UTA’s Pressbooks site.
    • Provide an accessibility evaluation of OER prior to the close of the project with explicit recommendations for any elements requiring remediation.

II

Intellectual Property

This section provides a brief overview of copyright, open licensing, and fair use. For additional information, visit UTA Libraries’ guide on copyright and fair use.

 

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Dive into copyright culture with RiP: A Remix Manifesto by filmmaker Brett Gaylor featuring mashup artist Girl Talk. The film explores copyright and content creation in the digital age.

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Open Licenses

UTA Libraries help OER creators determine which open license will give them the type of ownership they want, while still allowing their work to be reused and remixed freely.

An open license is a way for creators to proactively communicate to the public about how copyrighted material can and cannot be used. Open licensing options fill the gap between “all rights reserved” copyright (which protects everything from storing copies of a work to modifying the work) and the public domain (no copyright protection). Popular open licensing mechanisms, such as Creative Commons (CC), allow creators, remixers, and content users to quickly and easily understand how we can legally use and adapt other people’s work. CC-licenses are easy to recognize and apply to your own work. A license can be applied to anything copyrightable, such as books, blogs, music, videos, images, software, data, and more!

 

Copyright (all rights reserved) on left of spectrum requires permission from owner for reuse; Creative Commons (some rights reserved) in center permits reuse without permission under specifications shared in license; public domain (no rights reserved) on right may be used without permission.
“Making Sense of the Spectrum of Rights” was created by Michelle Pacansky-Brock and is licensed CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Creative Commons Licenses

There are six major CC-licenses that all include different combinations of four basic requirements.

 

Creative Commons logo

 

  Attribution

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work—and derivative works based upon it —but only if they give you credit the way you request. This element is a part of all six licenses.

  Non-Commercial

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work —and derivative works based upon it—but for noncommercial purposes only.

  No Derivatives

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only exact copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

  Share Alike

You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

 

The six licenses and the Creative Commons’ Public Domain designation are shown below in order of the amount of freedom they provide for users. The spectrum includes two licenses that are not OER because they do not allow for revision and remix (i.e., CC BY-ND and CC BY-NC-ND).

 

Licenses listed from most freedom to least freedom. OER: Public domain, CC BY, CC BY SA, CC BY NC, CC BY NC SA; Not OER: CC BY ND, CC BY NC ND
Creative Commons image from “U.S. College Affordability Summit” by Cable Green is licensed CC BY.
The text describing CC-license components originally appeared in "The Beauty of ‘Some Rights Reserved’” by Molly Kleinman, published in College & Research Libraries News in November 2008. This version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (CC BY NC 4.0) license.

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Fair Use

Fair use is a legal right that defines conditions under which members of the public may legally use copyrighted work without first contacting the copyright owner. Fair use is evaluated on four factors:

  1. The purpose and character of the use
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount used in relation to the whole
  4. The effect on the use on the market

Teaching, research, and scholarship favor fair use, as does using a small portion of the work. Commercial ventures and replacing the sale of copyrighted work oppose fair use. Authors who rely on fair use can do so in good faith by following standards established for their discipline and/or for types of work, such as those provided by the Center for Media & Social Impact.

A Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Educational Resources was published in February 2021 to provide guidance on using fair use in the creation of OER.

Fair Use and OER

OER authors are required to consult with Mavs Open Press to determine if a portion of a work that isn’t openly licensed can be included in your OER under fair use. A fair use checklist must be completed by the author for each item used under fair use. Completed checklists should be submitted to UTA Libraries by emailing oer@uta.edu. Additionally, copyrighted material must be attributed in the text along with a fair use acknowledgment.

This work contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. The creators of this OER believe in good faith that reuse of these materials constitutes a “fair use” as described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Downstream users who wish to use copyrighted material from this resource for purposes beyond those authorized by the fair use doctrine should obtain permission from the copyright owner(s) of the original content.

Unless noted below, all text and figures used in the text are the intellectual property of the content creators and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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Seeking Permission

OER authors can use this template to seek reuse permissions. Update the text as necessary to meet your needs. Permission can be granted over email. If you send it as a document, consider putting it on letterhead first.

Template

Dear {Copyright Owner}:

{Flattery is a good way to begin- name the resource(s) and note its importance to you/your students; thanks and gratitude for labor/impact/public access.}

I am developing an open educational resource for use in an undergraduate course at the University of Texas at Arlington. The course explores {brief course description, not number}. I would like to include an excerpt from {resource- include hyperlink} in the educational materials under development by our organization. {Include precise information about the amount/type of content to be used.}

The final materials we create will be openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license {or replace with open license choice and update link} and made available for distribution by UTA Libraries via their Mavs Open Press catalog. Your resource would be marked as noted below (or with an attribution statement of your choice) and will not fall under the open license of the resource unless you would like it to do so.

Copyright {Content copyright holder}. Used with permission.

Your name will also be included in the book’s metadata and acknowledgments listing you as a contributor. Please let me know if we have your permission to use the text as described above, or if you have any questions about this request. Thank you for considering this request.

Sincerely,

{Name/Title/Contact Info}

 

 

III

Content Development

All Mavs Open Press projects use the Pressbooks platform to create OER. Pressbooks makes it easy to design, write, and modify content. Its support for interactive assessment, embedded multimedia, and multiple export options make it a popular tool for educators. All members of the UTA community are invited to join our Pressbooks Sandbox (request access) to explore the publishing platform. Although faculty are responsible for importing and editing their content in Pressbooks, we offer support to help with any technical issues. As the project progresses, we offer accessibility checks to ensure OER are usable by anyone, regardless of device, location, or ability.

 

Pressbooks editor shows dashboard for organizing, editing, formatting, and adding new content to OER.
Pressbooks Edit Options

12

OER Creation

The author or the project team can create their own OER if the content you need doesn’t already exist in an open repository or through the UTA Libraries collections.

Use the Request Pressbooks Site form to request your own site with a unique URL on UTA’s Pressbooks platform. Please note that all resources supported by Mavs Open Press must be openly licensed, allowing for downstream users to remix and reuse the content. Sites should be requested only after the project name has been finalized, as the URL cannot be changed once it has been created.

Following receipt of the site creation request, the Mavs Open Press team will create a landing page for your text with a unique URL. The text will include a “shell” of front and back matter with placeholders for all content to be added or edited by the content creators.

13

OER Modification

The ability to remix OER is one of its most promising benefits for authors. Remixing means adapting the OER for your needs by editing content, reordering it, combining it with other material, and more. When an OER is modified, Derivative Notes section should be included in the book. Image credits, author credits, and appropriate citations should also be included.

Use the Request Pressbooks Site form to request your own site with a unique URL on UTA’s Pressbooks platform. Please note that all resources supported by Mavs Open Press must be openly licensed, allowing for downstream users to remix and reuse the content. Sites should be requested only after the project name has been finalized, as the URL cannot be changed once it has been created. In your request (or via email), please be specific about which existing resources you seek to reuse (chapter-level information whenever possible) and the order you want the content to appear in your book.

Following receipt of the site creation request, the Mavs Open Press team will create a landing page for your text with a unique URL. The text will include a “shell” of front and back matter with placeholders for all content to be added or edited by the content creators.

Resources

Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know

 

14

Importing Content into Pressbooks

Authors can easily import their content into Pressbooks using the instructions below for moving Word files and Google Docs into your book.

STEP 1: Select appropriate Heading Levels for your content.

image

STEP 2: Export the Google Docs file to a Microsoft Word (.docx) file.

image

STEP 3: From the dashboard of your OER, go to Tools -> Import.

image

STEP 4: Select the Import Type as Microsoft Word (.docx).

image

STEP 5: Upload the downloaded file for the Import Source and click Begin Import.

image

STEP 6: Select the chapters that you wish to import and click Import Selection.

image

The selected chapters will be imported as part of your OER under the Main Body.

image

PDF Imports

If the text you wish to use is only available in PDF format, please contact Mavs Open Press at oer@uta.edu. PDF is a static format that can pose technical difficulties for reuse. The OER team will help to convert the document into Pressbooks for you so you can focus on revising and customizing content to meet the needs of your students.

15

Open Images

It’s possible to filter by license type (or usage rights) to search for OER using popular search engines and multimedia sites, such as Google, YouTube, and Flickr. There are also a growing number of digital collections dedicated to open images, videos, and other media.

Searching for images

Google images

  1. Go to Google Images
  2. Enter your search term, and click Search.
  3. On the results screen, click Tools below the search box.
  4. Select Labeled for Reuse in the Usage Rights drop-down menu.
  5. Search for images.
  6. Click on EACH IMAGE that you’d like to use.
  7. Click on the Visit Page button next to the image.
  8. You will need to skim the resulting page to find the license for the image. If it is on Flickr, it will be in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Otherwise, skim the page for the words “license,” “Public Domain,” or “CC.” You may also see one or more of the Creative Commons symbols (for more on these, see our Copyright page on this guide).

Flickr

  1. Search for your subject on Flickr.
  2. Click on the Any License drop-down menu.
  3. Select All Creative Commons to see images with a range of different permissions, or select the specific kind of permission you need. Select U.S. Government works for images in the public domain.
  4. Search for images, and click on the ones you want to use.
  5. License information will be in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
  6. If the license is a Creative Commons license, like the one above, first find the name of the owner or artist (in Flickr this will be on the lower left-side of the screen).
  7. Then go back to the lefthand portion of the screen, where the license information is. Click on the link next to the Creative Commons symbols (it will say something like “Some Rights Reserved).
  8. You will be taken to a page which lists the terms of the license. In most cases it will require you to give credit to the owner of the image and to link to the terms of the license (the same page you should be on when reading the terms of the license).

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons Logo

  1. Go to the Creative Commons Beta to search a wide range of open images, music, sound effects, and video.
  2. Pay attention to the options below the search box. You can choose to search for media that is legal to modify and reuse, or that is legal to use for commercial purposes. If you are looking for something to use in class, you should uncheck both of those options: they will make your pool of results a lot smaller.
  3. Select a site to search from (in the screenshot below you can see that we’ve selected Brooklyn Museum). The Creative Commons search does not actually curate images or any other kind of media–it searches your selected site for items in the public domain or under a Creative Commons license. You can always search these sites from their own interfaces, but the CC search may be better at searching for license information in some cases.
  4. Once you’ve found an image or video you’d like to use, you must examine it and determine what license it is under and what kind of reuse rights it allows. Click on the image and search the page for words like “license,” “public domain,” or “CC.” Remember that even if something is under a Creative Commons license, these licenses are not all the same. To understand what your responsibilities are when you use media that is under a Creative Commons license, see our Copyright page on this guide.

Image Repositories

These image resources are created under either a completely unrestricted use license, or a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning that you can download, use, manipulate, share, distribute, or otherwise use them for whatever purpose you’d like without permission. It is strongly recommended that you credit the creator(s) of the image, but it is not always a legal requirement.

Content included in this guide has been reused with permission from MIT Libraries and UNC Health Sciences Library.

16

Interactive H5P Content

Pressbooks has a H5P plugin that allows authors to create rich interactive content within the platform. H5P has a wide range of content types, which can be found on their website. Additionally, H5P maintains a list of each content type’s accessibility status measured against WCAG 2.0 AA standards. H5P is enabled on your OER when it is created.

H5P content developed in Pressbooks can be configured to be automatically scored and integrated with the Canvas gradebook. H5P can also be used without integration into Canvas for self-check and engagement. Please contact oer@uta.edu if you have any difficulties finding or using this feature.

Examples

H5P makes it easy to create interactive content by providing a range of content types for various needs, including branching scenarios.

Memory Game

An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=248

Question Set

An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=248

Arithmetic Quiz

An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=248

Language Quiz

An interactive or media element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here:
https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=248

This language quiz was reused from Português para principiantes by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Spanish & Portuguese and is licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

17

Hypothesis Web Annotations

Hypothesis is a free online tool designed to allow for collaborative annotation across the web. It can be used to annotate web pages, PDFs, and EPUB files. You can annotate documents and pages publicly or in a private group. Pressbooks has built-in support for Hypothesis; readers can highlight and annotate Pressbooks content right in the webpage itself leading to a more engaging and interactive experience. To enable Hypothesis on your published OER, contact the OER team at oer@uta.edu.

 

Thumbnail for the embedded element "Web Annotation for Teaching and Learning"

A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=251

Recording of Steel Wagstaff and Jeremy Dean’s live webinar on the potential of web annotation as an educational tool. Slides and transcript may be downloaded from the UTA ResearchCommons.

Hypothesis for Peer Review

Hypothesis annotations can be used in a private Pressbooks to facilitate peer review. This requires adding individual reviewers as Subscribers to the private text in Pressbooks. To add subscribers to your book, please submit a Request Pressbooks Account or Sandbox Access form.

Visit the Marking Open and Affordable Courses Peer Review Guide for an example of using web annotation for peer review.

IV

Book Structure and Parts

Front and back matter are included with each OER published by Mavs Open Press. This part describes the function of each section and identifies the person(s) responsible for updating each content item. When your OER is created, the Mavs Open Press team will include placeholder for the following sections. Some sections are optional and may be deleted.

Front Matter

Back Matter

Draft Disclaimers

All OER will include disclaimers throughout the text noting that the resource is a draft, including on the book’s landing page and in the cover image. The Mavs Open Press team will remove disclaimers prior to publication.

Please note:  This text is currently being developed.

Please be aware that there might be updates throughout the semester as we continue adding and editing content, testing for accessibility, and incorporating feedback from pilot semester(s). If you need an accessibility accommodation or have questions about the use of this text, please contact OER services at oer@uta.edu.

18

About the Publisher

Red stop sign
Stop Sign via Wikimedia Commons is in the public domain.

Content in the About the Publisher is provided by Mavs Open Press. Authors should not edit this section.

This page presents information about Mavs Open Press, OER, Pressbooks, and print providers. It also includes an OER Adoption Form for instructors who use the OER at other institutions.

19

Accessibility Statement

Red stop sign
Stop Sign via Wikimedia Commons is in the public domain.

This content is provided by Mavs Open Press. Authors should not edit the content.

This page presents information about the Mavs Open Press accessibility policy, options and restrictions for accessing the book, and known accessibility issues.

20

About This Project

Who

The author and project team are responsible for adding and updating the About This Project section.

How

Example

The example below is from The Human Anatomy Lab Manual.

OVERVIEW

This is a lab manual for a college-level human anatomy course (BIOL 3446 at UTA).  Despite the abundance of information readily available via Google, the mastery of anatomy requires a fair amount of memorization for quick recall.  The activities in this manual encourage students to engage with new vocabulary in many ways, including grouping key terms, matching terms to structures, recalling definitions, and written exercises.

As the majority of college campuses do not have easy access to a cadaver, most of the activities in this manual utilize anatomical models. Also included are several dissections of animal tissues, and a significant amount of histological examinations.

Each unit includes both pre- and post-lab questions and six lab exercises designed for a classroom where students move from station to station during a three-hour period.  Effort was put into equalizing the time required to perform each lab exercise, to facilitate class flow.  The vocabulary terms used in each unit are listed at the end of the manual and serve as a checklist for practicals.

CREATION PROCESS

When Malgosia Wilk-Blaszczak began teaching human anatomy at UTA she realized that while there are many commercially available manuals which incorporate a lot of human physiology, none of them focus solely on anatomy. She decided to create a manual for anatomy labs that could fill that void. The first version of this work was created and used in anatomy labs at UTA.
The idea of publishing the lab manual as an OER came to her courtesy of Michelle Reed, Open Education Librarian at UTA. To make this leap to an open platform, she enlisted the help of some of her best students. In Fall 2017, one year prior to the publication of this work, Wilk recruited a group of three excellent undergraduate teaching assistants. These students worked with UTA Libraries to identify openly licensed images and incorporate them into the text. Libraries’ staff assisted in migrating the resource to Pressbooks, where it could be easily exported into a variety of formats. Furthermore, we conducted student surveys to gather feedback. Wilk’s teaching assistants have always been an important part of her pedagogy. With their assistance, she was able to complete and openly publish this anatomy lab manual. The students put in the hard work to change all illustrations to Creative Commons licensed images and ensure proper attribution of all the images used. The student contributors, Kevin Alford, Andrea Compo-Valez, and Victoria Dorch, now alumni, reviewed and edited the resource, and are listed as co-authors of this manual.

Ultimately, open manuals reduce the cost to students while customizing the information and visuals required for class.  In addition, the digital copy of the manual allows students to access homework and exercises wherever they are and is easily obtainable on the first day of class. Open manuals are also dynamic works that can be adapted to suit the needs of other institutions or groups that wish to explore the topic but do not have a solid framework to do so. The resulting OER is being piloted in human anatomy labs in Fall 2018 and will be revised following the pilot period with input from current students and lab instructors. It is our hope that this extension of Wilk’s class will open the door to connecting our courses to broader collaborations and student input.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In the International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, IL

Dr. Malgosia Wilk-Blaszczak has taught human anatomy and human physiology courses for 30 years to medical and nursing students, and currently to undergraduate students at University of Texas at Arlington.  She holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Warsaw Medical University. Ever since she discovered her father’s anatomical fold-out “manikin” as a child, Dr. Wilk has has been enamored by all aspects of the human body. In addition to teaching, she loves old medical illustration and never misses the chance to see them in museums when she travels.

 

21

Acknowledgements

Who

The Mavs Open Press team will remove the UTA CARES Grant Program description from any OER not funded by the program. We will also include information about the book’s cover in this section and list library staff who supported the book’s creation.

The author and project team are responsible for adding and updating all other acknowledgements.

How

Most acknowledgments are presented in the following format: Name – Title, Institution (e.g., Michelle Reed – Director of Open Educational Resources, University of Texas at Arlington)

Example

The example below is from Human Anatomy Lab Manual.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

I would like to dedicate this section to all my undergraduate teaching assistants, past and present. Every semester, I pick the most gifted students from previous semesters to serve as teaching assistants. I appreciate your commitment, passion, and hard work, but most of all, the amazing times we have had together. Special thanks to Clint Hassell and Natalie Winter who have served as my teaching assistants for many semesters, and have been good friends ever since. You have always done more than what was expected, and have given so much of your time and effort to support students to really grow and surprise us.

LEAD AUTHOR AND EDITOR 

Malgosia Wilk-Blaszczak, M.D., Ph.D. – Professor of Instruction, University of Texas at Arlington

CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS

Kevin A. Alford, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumnus

Andrea Campo-Velez, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumna

Victoria Dorch, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumna

EDITOR

Kevin A. Alford, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumnus

ILLUSTRATORS

Andrea Campo-Velez, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumna

Victoria Dorch, B.S. – University of Texas at Arlington alumna

ADDITIONAL THANKS TO…

Michelle Reed and Thomas Perappadan of UTA Libraries for assisting in the publication of this resource.

Jodi Wiley, B.S, UTA alumna, for creating and formatting class handouts that became the foundation for this OER.

Bradford Dimos, UTA graduate student, and Collin Funkhouser, UTA alumnus, for class-testing the previous version of this resource.

ABOUT THE COVER

Kyle Pinkos, UTA Libraries’ Marketing Coordinator, designed the cover for this OER. The images used are in the public domain. Featured images, from Ontleding Des Menschelyken Lichaams by Govard Bidloo, are available from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

22

Glossary

Who

A glossary can be created automatically by adding glossary terms to the body of your OER in the text editor. The author and project team are responsible for adding and editing glossary terms. This  section is optional.

How

The glossary  is a brief dictionary or alphabetically-ordered vocabulary list pertaining to the words used in explaining various topics covered in the book. It can be added in the back matter of the OER.

Example

The example below is from Marking Open and Affordable Courses.

Achieving the Dream
An organization that assists community colleges with sustainable institutional transformation to increase student success, especially of low-income students and students of color. One initiative for their network of community colleges focuses on the increased adoption of OER.

Affordable Educational Resources
Also called Affordable Course Content or Affordable Course Materials: course materials that are significantly more affordable for students than traditional commercial textbooks and other course materials. Generally each institution defines what “affordable” means in their context, with costs ranging from $25 to $50 and $40 being the average threshold for the “affordable” designation.

Course Catalog
Also called Course Timetable or Course Schedule Platform: a college or university’s exhaustive listing of courses and programs currently and historically offered, including course titles and descriptions; course catalogs may also contain information about an institution’s policies and procedures.

Course Markings
Also called attributes, designations, tags, flags, labels: specific, searchable attributes or designations that are applied to courses, allowing students to quickly identify important information to aid in their decision making and allow them to efficiently plan their academic careers. Course markings may include letters, numbers, graphic symbols, or colors and can designate any information about a course, including service learning status, additional costs, course sequencing requirements, and whether the course fulfills specific general education requirements.

24

Bibliography

who

The author and project team are responsible for adding and updating the content in the Bibliography or References section. This section is optional.

how

example

The example below is an excerpt from Foundations of Social Work Research.

Adelman, C. (1993). Kurt Lewin and the origins of action research. Educational Action Research, 1, 7-24.

Adler, E. S., & Clark, R. (2008). How it’s done: An invitation to social research (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth

Agar, M., & MacDonald, J. (1995). Focus groups and ethnography. Human Organization, 54,78–86

Ainsworth, M., Blehar, M., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Alexander, B. (2010). Addiction: The view from rat park. Retrieved from: http://www.brucekalexander.com/articles-speeches/rat-park/148-addiction-the-view-from-rat-park

25

Image Credits

Who

The author and project team are responsible for adding and updating the About This Project section. When your OER is created, the Mavs Open Press team will include a placeholder in this section. Mavs Open Press will also update the introductory copyright statement if necessary. Learn more about best practices for attributing work under a Creative Commons license in Best Practices for Attribution.

How

Example

The example below is from Introduction to Industrial Engineering.

Chapter 5

Diagram of Model use and Development” by Jane M. Fraser is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Chapter 6

Edwards Deming” by FDA via Wikimedia Commons is in the public domain

Chapter 7

People are an Important Part of any System” by GDJ via Pixabay is licensed under Pixabay license

Ergonomic Design” by Bolumena via Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Learning Curve” by Randy McDonald via flickr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

26

Derivative Notes

who

The author or the project team is responsible for adding derivative notes to the back matter. This section is required for any text that is modified from existing openly licensed content.

how

example

The example below is from Guide Book For Social Work Literature Reviews And Research Questions.

This open textbook is based on the open textbook Scientific Inquiry in Social Work by Matthew DeCarlo. Licensing information can be found in the front matter. The following index details where content was used in this manuscript.  New content (as noted below) indicates major additions, such as chapters, sections, subsections, or key concepts that I created.

Minor revisions not noted below include editing language for clarity, length, and flow as well as corrections to and additions of hyperlinks and citations.  Other revisions not listed below include removing first person language and references to sections of the DeCarlo text that were not included in the guidebook.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Appendix A & Appendix B

more

Refer Attributing OER to get some insight on derivative notes.

 

27

Accessibility Rubric

Red stop sign
Stop Sign via Wikimedia Commons is in the public domain.

Content in the About the Publisher is provided by Mavs Open Press. Authors should not edit this section.

Mavs Open Press will complete an accessibility evaluation and provide a pass/fail rating for the OER’s Organization, Images, Tables, Hyperlinks, Multimedia, STEM Content, Font, Color Contrast, and Interactive Elements with additional notes about the evaluation. Accessibility issues and recommendations for improvement will be shared with OER authors prior to publication. Though all accessibility issues do not have to be addressed prior to publication, authors should aim to revise inaccessible content in another iteration of the OER or work with the Mavs Open Press to develop a workaround to be included in the book’s front matter with the accessibility statement.

Rubric

Web version evaluated on DATE
Accessibility Standards Passed – XX/10

Evaluation Criteria Pass/Fail Additional Information
Accessibility Documentation:
  1. The organization providing materials has a formal accessibility policy.
  2. The organization providing materials has an accessibility statement.
Pass Accessibility statement is present in the front matter.
Content Organization:
  1. Chapter titles and section headers should be marked as headers and distinct from body text.
  2. Table of contents should be present and allow navigation.
  3. Page numbers should be present and correspond with print numbers.
  4. Content should remain organized after user ‘reflows’ page.
Images:
  1. Non-decorative images should be marked with alternative text.
  2. Images should be compatible with screen reader and magnification software.
  3. Decorative images should be marked with null alternative text.
Tables:
  1. Tables should be simple and compatible with screen readers and magnification software.
  2. Tables should be single celled and contain ordered lists.
  3. Tables should include markup that identify their rows and columns.
Hyperlinks:
  1. In-book links should function and connect to their correct location in the text.
  2. Hyperlinks should connect to a working webpage. Hyperlinks should preferably open pages in the same window.
  3. All links should be distinct from body text. They should be descriptively titled and a different color or italicized.
Multimedia:
  1. Closed captions should be provided for any video content.
  2. Descriptive transcripts should be provided for any video content.
  3. Audio or video player used for multimedia content should be compatible with assistive technology.
  4. No content should flash more than 3 times per second.
STEM Content
  1. STEM formulas and equation should be created with an editor compatible with screen readers such as LaTex or MathML.
  2. If equations are inserted as images they should be described in an alt tag.
Font
  1. Font should be adjustable and compatible with screen readers, magnification software, and colored displays. Text must remain accessible when any font size is selected.
  2. All font should have zoom capabilities to 200%.
  3. Font should meet standard size requirements (12 pt. body, 9 pt. footnote).
  4. Alternative color and line spacing adjustments should be available.
Color Contrast:
  1. All information presented in color should also be conveyed in text or other images.
  2. Headers should meet WCAG AA contrast standards.
  3. Body text should meet WCAG AA contrast standards.
  4. Simple images should meet WCAG AA contrast standards.
Interactive Elements:
  1. Interactive elements such as menus, examples, practice questions, etc., allow keyboard only operation with and without assistive technology.
  2. All instructions, error messages, and prompts are in text and compatible with assistive technology.
  3. Text should allow for keyboard only operation.
  4. Text should be accessible on mobile devices.

28

Errata and Versioning History

who

Anyone who edits an OER after it is published by Mavs Open Press is responsible for updating the Errata and Versioning History section. This page provides a record of edits and changes made to the web version of this book since its initial publication. All updates, even minor ones, must be logged after the work is published.

how

This section is enabled post publication. Changes logged here are reflected in the web text only until a new version of the resource is released, at which point the file downloads are also updated by Mavs Open Press. Version updates are noted in the Status field.

example

The example below is from Creating Online Learning Experiences.

The peer review process for Mavs Open Press resources varies by publication and author. We strive for transparency and describe the creation process in the front matter of each text so readers may evaluate the work on its own merit. Because we offer web-based services, we can quickly and easily address any errors that arise after publication. This page provides a record of edits and changes made to the web version of this book since its initial publication.

Changes logged here are reflected in the web text only until a new version of the resource is released, at which point the file downloads are also updated. Version updates are noted in the Status field below.

If you have a correction to suggest, submit it to oer@uta.edu. We will contact the author then make and log necessary changes here. Below is a list of Correction Types we currently update:

  1. Typo
  2. Broken link
  3. Addition
  4. Other factual inaccuracy in content
  5. Incorrect calculation or solution
  6. General/pedagogical suggestion or question
 
Date Submitted Format Correction Type Location Description Status
6/22/18 Web Text + Exports NA NA Initial release Beta launch – V 0.1
6/25/18 Web Text Typo Chapter 13 “or even non-linear at” Updated web text on 6/28/18
6/25/18 Web Text Typo Chapter 1 “cMOOc” Updated web text on 6/28/18
6/25/18 Web Text Addition Introduction Add OER Adoption text and LINK Lab logo Updated web text on 6/28/18
6/28/18 Web Text  Typo  Acknowledgments  Changed Dellinger title from “Assistant Director” to “Associate Director”  Updated web text on 6/28/18

V

Pilot Semester

Submit Milestone Report

The OER Milestone Reporting form is for OER creation and modification projects to be published with Mavs Open Press. It is used to communicate your readiness to formally move the publication process forward on your OER. Milestones include requesting a preliminary accessibility evaluation, setting preferences for cover design and print distribution, reporting the start of your pilot period, requesting a formal accessibility evaluation, requesting publication, and requesting new exports post-publication.

During your pilot semester, you will continue to work with the Mavs Open Press team to complete the activities necessary to officially publish your resource. The final stages of the publishing process include finalizing content, undergoing an accessibility evaluation, and indexing and archiving your OER. Requests for evaluation should be submitted a minimum of two months before your requested publication date.

29

Report Resource Use

Federal and state law requires all instructors of record to report your use course materials.  through the university’s free resource reporting form. This allows us to associate your course with the appropriate educational cost attribute in the schedule of classes and ensures that your effort to make resources more affordable is captured in university data.

How to Check

Ensure your course has been tagged by searching for it in the schedule of classes.

How to Correct

Report your use of the OER through the university’s free resource reporting form. Adoption of open/free content should be reported as early as possible to be of most value to UTA students. Resource use reported after the reporting deadline may result in delays in the course marking process.

30

Canvas Integration

In most cases, we cannot make a Pressbooks-hosted OER public before it is ready for publication, as doing so can result in copyright infringement when third party content is used without proper attribution (even when marked as a draft). Exceptions to this policy may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions require confirmation that all content is original and/or completion of all licensing and attribution information. If you have concerns about your book’s privacy settings, please contact us by emailing oer@uta.edu.

You can make private Pressbooks content available to students by importing it into Canvas. There are different instructions for working with Canvas based on whether your content is public/private and whether you intend to use graded H5P assignments.

option 1: Access to private oer – No Graded H5P content

You can make private Pressbooks content available to students without requiring a Pressbooks login by importing it into Canvas. Use this option if you have a private book that does not contain  automatically graded H5P content.

Export Content as a Common Cartridge File with LTI links

  1. Go to Export from the left sidebar menu
    Export in Pressbooks
    Fig 29.1: Export in Pressbooks
  2. Select Common Cartridge 1.3 (LTI Links) from the Other Formats list in the Export Options panel
    LTI Links export option
    Fig 29.2: LTI Links file export option
  3. Click Export Your Book and wait for the file to appear in your list of ‘latest exports’.
    Option to download the LTI export
    Fig 29.3: Downloading LTI export
  4. Click on Download to download the file to your device.
  5. Another way to download your export is from your OER’s home page.
    Download exports from landing page
    Fig 29.4: Download export from landing page

Import CC file to canvas

  1. Open Canvas and access your course settings
    Canvas Settings
    Fig 29.5: Canvas Settings
  2. Select Import Course Content from the right sidebar menu
    Importing Course Content
    Fig 29.6: Importing Course Content
  3. Open the Content Type menu and select Common Cartridge 1.x Package
    Content Type Menu
    Fig 29.7: Content Type Menu
  4. Click Choose File and select the Common Cartridge file you’ve downloaded to your device
  5. Click Import
  6. Screen after successful import. Click on Module
    Modules option
    Fig 29.8: Modules

The course will populate with the structure of the book. The Parts, as well as Front Matter and Back Matter sections will appear as modules, and Chapters within those sections will appear as items within the module.

Canvas view of the book
Fig 29.9: Canvas view of the imported book

 

Click on the Publish icon to make your book visible. They turn green once activated as shown below:

Publishing content in Canvas
Fig 29.10: Publishing content in Canvas

Verify Student’s view of the book by clicking on Student View:

Student View Icon
Fig 29.11: Student View Icon

When a student clicks on a chapter, a live version of that chapter in the public webbook will display within the LMS interface. Users can use LMS navigation tools to move to other content or activities within the module or the course.

Student View of Chapter
Fig 29.12: Student View of Chapter

Option 2: Access to public oer – No Graded H5P content

If your OER has been published or you have received permission to make the resource public before formal publication, you are encouraged to link to the book’s landing page. From the landing page, students will have the option to use the web version or download the text in the format that best meets their needs. We discourage uploading PDFs and other files directly in Canvas for public texts, as doing so negatively impacts usage statistics for OER published by Mavs Open Press.

Option 3: using oer with Graded H5P assignments

H5P content developed in Pressbooks can be set up in Canvas to be automatically scored and integrated with the Canvas gradebook. Please contact oer@uta.edu to ensure this feature is enabled in your OER if you wish to use it for formal course assessment. After receiving confirmation that we’ve enabled this feature in your text, follow the directions outlined below:

  1. The instructor (or someone who knows the content and desired grade outcomes) first configures the chapter activity/grading scheme in Pressbooks.
  2. Then, the instructor completes setup in Canvas.

31

Communicating with Students

If you’ve adopted OER, library-licensed content, or course reserves in your course(s), it’s important to clearly communicate this to students as early as possible. Below is sample language you may include in your syllabi, which you are free to reuse and revise without attribution. It can be helpful to spend a few minutes on the first day of class discussing course materials and clarifying the options available to students for accessing required resources.

Sample Language for OER

Your textbook for this class is an open educational resource (OER), meaning it is available for free online. You can access the web version of the text from the book’s landing page [link text] or from within Canvas. You may visit the book’s landing page to download the text for free in the format that works best for you (including PDF, MOBI, and EPUB). The OER is openly licensed and DRM-free, so you may also print individual chapters or the entire text without restrictions. If you prefer, you may opt to purchase a professionally bound print version at a low cost from the UTA Bookstore or XanEdu.

Additional templates for syllabi are available for communicating use of other types of free content.

Communicating a Pilot

It is vital to tell your students if your OER is in a pilot period and how content changes may be addressed in the web version during the semester. We recommend sharing this message in the course syllabus as well as in the OER itself. The summary on the book’s landing page is an ideal place for sharing this information, as is the About This Project section. Develop a strategy for communicating with students about any changes that affect the OER and approach this task with transparency and consistency.

The following language about the draft status of your work will appear in the book’s landing page until your book’s publication date:

This open educational resource is currently in development. Please be aware that there might be updates throughout the semester as we continue adding and editing content, testing for accessibility, and incorporating feedback from pilot semester(s). If you need an accessibility accommodation or have questions about the use of this text, please contact UTA Libraries’ OER Department at oer@uta.edu.

New file exports are recommended only between semesters unless you’ve established and communicated a schedule for releasing new content throughout the semester. Contact oer@uta.edu if you encounter a need to generate new exports after classes begin for guidance on replacing and communicating the new exports.

 

Disclosure on OER reads, "This open educational resource is currently in development. Please be aware that there might be updates throughout the semester as we continue adding and editing content, testing for accessibility, and incorporating feedback from pilot semester(s). If you need an accessibility accommodation or have questions about the use of this text, please contact UTA Libraries' OER Department at oer@uta.edu."
Notice on book landing page that book is in development.

 

Consider using the About This Project section in the book’s front matter to share additional information about the project’s progress and how it impacts students. The example below was used in Teamwork: An Open Access Practical Guide during its pilot period.

This guide will help students better understand what a team is and how they can contribute effectively to the success of their teams. In doing so, student experience in the classroom and workplace settings will be more fulfilling, and students will be able to more fully evaluate and understand the team experience and communicate it to future employers.The text is currently in the pilot stage with an anticipated publication date of January 2020. We recommend that you use the Chrome web browser at this time. Please be aware that there might be some cosmetic tweaks throughout the semester as we continue testing for browser support, accessibility, and export type.

32

Involving Students

Open pedagogy is the practice of engaging with students as creators of information rather than simply consumers of it. It’s a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate understanding through the act of creation. The products of open pedagogy are student created and openly licensed so that they may live outside of the classroom in a way that has an impact on the greater community. These types of projects frequently result in the creation of OER.

Practitioners of open pedagogy embrace collaboration, student agency, and authentic audiences while recognizing the differences in privilege and progress that impact how students balance the benefits of sharing and a need for privacy. This open educational practice challenges traditional teaching roles and has the power to transform the educational experience for both teachers and students.

Students can also contribute to an OER by identifying typos, suggesting examples, curating primary source material, drafting case studies, drawing illustrations, locating openly licensed image for reuse, and more. Hypothesis can be used by students to annotate the text both before and after the OER’s publication.  Sometimes extra credit is awarded to students who contribute improvements to the text. However, students should always be given agency over how (or whether) their work is shared publicly. A copyright agreement and/or MOU is required for all student contributors who submit original content to the work, and they should be acknowledged in the book as appropriate.

Unlocking the Classroom

“Unlocking the Classroom: Maximizing the Potential of Open Educational Resources” was presented by David Wiley at UTA Libraries in June 2017. The recap below was originally published by Michelle Reed in UTA Libraries’ blog.

 

Thumbnail for the embedded element "Unlocking the Classroom: Maximizing the Potential of Open Educational Resources"

A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=55

David Wiley addresses challenges of OER adoption, discusses the transformational experience of creating renewable assignments that allow students to create and openly share content, and predicts what lies ahead for open education in this recorded presentation.

 

“Unlocking the Classroom: Maximizing the Potential of Open Educational Resources” began with a definition of “open.” Those new to OER sometimes conflate open resources and public resources. Though both are free for the end-user, creators of resources that are truly open also grant users the permission to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the content. After establishing this definition, David discussed renewable assignments/assessments and their impact on teaching and learning. Here are five takeaways:

  1. The vast majority of the assignments we ask students to complete are disposable. The ultimate destination for this kind of assignment is the trash or, as David noted as the best-case scenario, a recycle bin. He estimates that undergraduate students in the United States spend about 40 million hours each year producing work that is promptly tossed away after it is graded. This approach may suggest to students that their work is not valued.
  2. Renewable assignments, on the other hand, offer an opportunity for student work to live beyond the classroom in a way that adds value to the world. The key to renewable assignments is the integration of open licensing. When we remove the restrictions of copyright, we can think about teaching and learning in new ways. An emphasis on sharing student work (rather than disposing of it) allows teachers, future students, and others to build on, revise, and improve student-generated content.
  3. When students are asked to share their work openly, the way they approach their coursework changes. Students consistently report that they are motivated to spend more time on renewable assignments because they know their work will make a difference for someone else, and they tend to worry less about their grades. Engagement skyrockets. Learning becomes a genuinely fun and collaborative activity.
  4. Teachers sometimes assume that only graduate-level or advanced students are capable of engaging meaningfully with renewable assignments. David demonstrated that this assumption is false by sharing multiple examples from graduateundergraduate, and middle school levels. He emphasized that every group of students can do this kind of work if given the right opportunity.
  5. David warned against dictating that students openly license their work. Rather, teachers interested in incorporating renewable assignments in their courses are encouraged to discuss licensing with students and to provide alternate options for students who do not wish to share their work. This provides an opportunity to have a conversation with students about their digital identities and about how what they share online shapes the way they are perceived by others.

 

"Students will never do exactly what you expect them to do. They will always do something more awesome than what you imagined they would do."
Quote from David Wiley regarding the impact renewable assignments have on students. The image for the pull quote was created by Starline (Freepik.com).

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Student Surveys

Each semester, students enrolled in UTA courses supported by the UTA CARES Grant Program and by Mavs Open Press are surveyed about their experiences using OER or other educational content available at no cost. All grantees are required to survey students enrolled in courses impacted by the program, and former grantees are asked to distribute the survey each semester the OER/alternative resources are used. If the OER you created is being used by a different UTA instructor, please consider forwarding the survey request to them.

The OER team will share a link to the QuestionPro student survey several weeks before the end of classes to be distributed to students at the end of the semester. If you would prefer to distribute the survey in print (this sometimes results in a higher response rate), you may do so using the provided PDF. Grantees who choose to distribute hard copies of the surveys must provide UTA Libraries with a spreadsheet of the data and submit the original hard copies of the surveys to the Libraries OER Department. Surveys are anonymous, but if you wish to offer extra credit for completion you may ask them to submit a screenshot of the confirmation page after submitting their response. Please do not ask students to add their name or university ID to surveys distributed in print.

Survey results should be incorporated into your final report. The anonymous responses from your students will be shared with you via email after the deadline for submitting grades for the semester.

The student survey is available in the UTA ResearchCommons.

VI

Publication

Whether faculty modify existing open materials or write completely new content, the creation process is a collaborative effort that involves various library departments who support their work. We also work with the marketing department to design book covers and make OER look polished and appealing. When faculty are ready to publish their OER, we give the book one last check to make sure everything is formatted correctly, multimedia is working, and no further cleanup is needed. After authors have completed the substantial task of taking an OER from idea to publication, we ensure print copies are available, if requested, and index OER in the university and state repositories to make it discoverable by the community.

34

Requesting Publication

Submit Milestone Report

The OER Milestone Reporting form is for OER creation and modification projects to be published with Mavs Open Press. It is used to communicate your readiness to formally move the publication process forward on your OER. Milestones include requesting a preliminary accessibility evaluation, setting preferences for cover design and print distribution, reporting the start of your pilot period, requesting a formal accessibility evaluation, requesting publication, and requesting new exports post-publication.

Once all required accessibility remediation is complete and content is stable, you may request formal publication of the OER.  At this time, Mavs Open Press will remove draft disclosures from the text, update the publication information, archive a PDF of the OER in the UTA ResearchCommons, and index the OER in relevant open repositories, such as OERTX and the Open Textbook Library. We will contact you when the publication process is complete. Following formal publication, all changes made to the text should be logged in the book’s Errata and Versioning History page located in the back matter.

Print Publications

UTA Libraries partners with XanEdu and the UTA Bookstore to provide optional print copies of OER published by Mavs Open Press. It takes approximately three months between finalizing and publishing digital content and making it available for sale through XanEdu. Though digital OER can be updated at any time, print copies may not be updated for two calendar years following publication. Please share your print preferences using the Milestone Reporting Form.

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Post-Publication Updates

Submit Milestone Report

The OER Milestone Reporting form is for OER creation and modification projects to be published with Mavs Open Press. It is used to communicate your readiness to formally move the publication process forward on your OER. Milestones include requesting a preliminary accessibility evaluation, setting preferences for cover design and print distribution, reporting the start of your pilot period, requesting a formal accessibility evaluation, requesting publication, and requesting new exports post-publication.

OER have the advantage of ease of updates. Minor changes to the text can be incorporated by the author at any time post-publication, as long as every change is logged in the book’s Errata and Versioning History page located in the back matter. Major revisions may require a new export and release under a new version number. If you wish to create a new export of your OER, please submit an OER Milestone Form for this request and someone from the OER team will be in touch about next steps.

External Adoptions

If you know other instructors who are using your OER in their courses, please encourage them to let us know by filling out our OER Adoption Form. A link to the form is included in the About the Publisher section of every OER published by Mavs Open Press.

VII

Supplemental Material

This section includes recorded presentations, publications, and additional information about OER at UTA.

36

Conversations with Authors

These videos present experiences of the faculty and students involved and impacted by the OER publishing program at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

 

Thumbnail for the embedded element "Talking OER with UTA Creators | UTA Libraries"

A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=613

“Talking OER with UTA Creators” features Malgosia Wilk, Julian Rodriguez, Habib Ahmari, and Peace Ossom Williamson. It was presented in the 2020 Open Education Conference showcase gallery.

 

Thumbnail for the embedded element "Inclusion by Building Capacity: Advancing STEM and Multicultural Programs with OER"

A YouTube element has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view it online here: https://uta.pressbooks.pub/oercreation/?p=613

“Inclusion by Building Capacity: Advancing STEM and Multicultural Programs with OER” is a recorded presentation by Michelle Reed, Bonnie Boardman, and Julian Rodriguez for OE Global 2020.

37

Mythbusting 101: Reflecting on a Year of Open

This text was originally published by Michelle Reed on UTA Libraries’ blog as part of the Year of Open in 2017.

Earlier this year, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) published “OER Mythbusting.” The document identifies seven common myths related to open educational resources (OER) and presents facts to counter the myths. In my discussions with UTA faculty and administrators about OER over the past year, I’ve been asked to address a few of the myths in multiple conversations. Below I’ll discuss these and others I’ve encountered in my time at UTA.

“OER ARE JUST FREE RESOURCES.”

Conflating free and open is incredibly common. However, the distinction is important. The “open” in open educational resources implies educators and students can access the material for free and ALSO exercise great freedom in revising and reusing the material. Open in this context hinges on authors proactively granting to downstream users the legal permission to engage in acts traditionally prohibited by copyright laws. This includes permission to download and retain the material, to share the material, and to revise or remix the material. These permissions are frequently communicated via a Creative Commons license.

Understanding the permissions component of OER may seem challenging because the boundaries of what is and is not allowable under copyright law are frequently blurry. Generally, in the absence of explicit permissions, it’s best to assume that everything you find on the Web is copyrighted. With copyrighted materials, you have the freedom to view the content, even for free. It’s also legal to link to copyrighted resources that are freely available on the Web. However, that’s generally where our rights as users end. Therefore, if you embed such resources into Blackboard or modify them in any way, you are taking a risk. Working with OER eliminates this risk because OER are intended to be legally shared and reused.

“THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A FREE RESOURCE.”

This one is true—sort of. It’s correct that there is a cost associated with the production and dissemination of resources. Even digital resources have hosting and maintenance costs, and all quality educational resources, regardless of how they are shared, take significant time and resources to produce. What we mean by “free” in the context of OER is “free for the user”—not free of all production costs.

So then, how are such projects possible? OER represent a shift in how publishing educational content is funded. Traditionally, this is how the system works: commercial publishers invest in creating a resource and then recoup the cost (and make a plump profit) through sales to students; textbook authors typically make (far less plump) royalties off of these sales. In this situation, the textbook is almost always fully protected by copyright, which is usually held by publishers rather than authors. This prevents educators from customizing or modifying the content in any way without seeking permission from publishers, who often require payment for the privilege. The most popular OER model shifts the responsibility for funding resource creation from students, who have been footing the bill at an increasing markup for decades, to another organization or entity with the condition that the resulting work is openly licensed. The license requirements mean the resource will forever be free for anyone to use or revise. What the funding covers varies but frequently includes a stipend for authors, peer review and hosting of the content, and production software.

Who are these funders? Libraries, for one. Academic libraries are increasingly funding OER creation through grant programs like the one sponsored by UTA Libraries, and many receive additional support from campus partners, such as provosts’ offices, teaching and learning centers, distance education units, and governing bodies. Some professional societies fund these projects, and others are funded by foundations, as is the case with Rice University’s OpenStax. State governments are also getting involved. This year in Texas, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 810, which establishes a grant program to support OER creation and adoption across the state.

“OER COURSE LABELS PUNISH FACULTY WHO HAVEN’T ADOPTED OPEN RESOURCES.”

Speaking of SB810, the new law requires that institutions of higher education in Texas integrate OER labeling into course schedules or registration systems. In response, some educators have objected on the grounds that doing so punishes faculty who do not use OER or, in another take on the same theme, fails to reward faculty who have successfully reduced resource costs when they do not meet the “arbitrary” price point for the OER label. Arguments in this vein miss the mark on the beneficiaries and purpose of such initiatives. OER course labels are intended to increase transparency in how institutions communicate with students about the cost of required course materials. They are essential in helping students plan for the cost of their education. They are not a punishment for faculty who do not use OER, nor are they a reward for those who do.

Recognizing the goal is to benefit students, some institutions have adopted the plain language of “free,” “low-cost,” or “affordable” resources in place of OER on course labels. Doing so invites a conversation about what constitutes an “affordable” resource. However, it’s important to remember that the legal requirement is related to OER use, not general affordability efforts. Though OER are always free in their digital format, a number of for-profit companies, including Lumen Learning and Cengage, are wrapping this free content with what they call “value-added” services that are usually capped at $25 per student.  Using a price point that reflects what is becoming an industry standard allows faculty to disclose OER use when the cost for students is not free due to these add-on services.

“PUBLISHERS ARE GOING TO FIGHT THIS.”

A far more accurate statement is “publishers are going to co-opt this.” It’s not a secret that the unsustainable pricing model commercial publishers have relied on for years to extract huge profits at the expense of students and their families is failing. Earlier this year, for example, Pearson reported its biggest loss in the company’s history. In the past, textbook publishers have blamed students for the rising prices—pointing to used and rental textbook programs as culprits—while student advocates have spoken out against the captive market, frequently comparing students’ required purchase of textbooks to that of patients purchasing prescriptions drugs. In both situations, the person making the selection isn’t footing the bill.

Publishers have been on the defensive for longer than OER have been making waves, though the availability of open content is certainly driving some change. A recent Babson report reveals use of open textbooks published by OpenStax in “large enrollment courses is now at 16.5%, a rate which rivals that of most commercial textbooks.” Commercial publishers are already experimenting with new models that capitalize on open content—a trend that shows publishers are approaching OER as an opportunity rather than a threat to be staved off.  OER advocates have responded with warnings that branding a product as “open” does not make the product an OER.

“THE BOOKSTORE IS GOING TO FIGHT THIS.”

False. Bookstores have been on the front lines of increasing affordability of educational resources for years, and this experience makes them valuable partners. Bookstore managers will often be the first to tell you that they do not perceive OER as the enemy and they are not fearful that open content will bankrupt campus bookstores, as much of their profit tends to come from the sale of university apparel and other branded merchandise.

Rather, when discussing OER, bookstore representatives tend to focus on the need for early and accurate reporting of resource adoptions so they can stock their shelves appropriately by the start of classes. Sharing information about OER usage with campus bookstores allows them to provide optional hard copies of OER to students who prefer this format. Bookstores cannot accommodate these students, let alone answer questions about textbooks, when they don’t know what resources are required. Improving reporting is one of a number of goals shared by bookstore representatives and OER coordinators, and it’s where we at UTA are rolling up our sleeves.

38

The Semester You Learn to Walk (a lecture)

This student-authored post by Ursula Abdala was originally published on UTA Libraries’ blog as part of Open Education Week in March 2018.

Photo of cell phone with banking statement that reads "Good afternoon" and displays an available balance of $54.78.

You start a semester with 700 dollars from working all through winter break.

  • 365 (rent)
  • 165 (parking on campus)
  • 105 (car insurance)
  • 10 (month supply of instant noodles)

I’ll save you the trouble of doing math: by the first day of classes, you actually have 55 dollars to last until the next paycheck. None of the books you need for class will fit your 55-dollar budget. You will have to do without at first.

And they have the audacity of wishing you a good afternoon! Dude…don’t even!

Many professors understand the dimension and reality of the “starving college student” with no safety net, but some do not.

First week of classes should be dedicated to finding out who is who in this game: who is going to open office hours for study time, who’s going to let you take their own copy of the textbook home (out of the goodness of their heart), who’s going to make their copy of the book available to read in the study area, and who is not. (It is okay if they don’t; it’s not a teacher’s job to give you a book. It just sucks not to have access to the book, as a struggling college student.)

Second week of classes is when you find out how hard the first test or quiz will be, and you panic. Dr. Smith puts up a slideshow and says, “If you haven’t done the reading for this week, you might as well leave. You won’t be able to follow this class.” You look around, no one moves. You stay, but you panic. (Try not to panic.)

A week passes by, you’re lost indeed.

Quiz on week four? Pull an all-nighter, memorize every single note you’ve made. Listen to the lectures you recorded. Drink some coffee, do your best. You could very well make an A, but maybe it will be a C, or an F—even though you studied as much as you could with the information you had access to. Sometimes it’s just not enough.

Do you drop the class, then? Take it next semester, when hopefully you will have money to buy the textbook (assuming you’ll win the lottery)?

In some cases, dropping isn’t an option and, let’s be honest, the lottery isn’t either. So instead you end up selling your rundown 2001 Buick Century. With those 200 dollars, you rent and buy textbooks after the traumatic first quiz of several classes, and you try to catch up. It is not an ideal solution; in the longterm, your Uber expenses are going to be higher than the value of your old car. But what is the alternative?

About the Author

Ursula Abdala is native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and currently lives in Arlington, Texas. Although her first language is Portuguese, it was in English that she found her passion for writing. Ursula is a student at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she studies Film and Creative Writing.

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OER at TEDxUTA

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Katie Gosa, 2017-18 Student Body President and psychology/history double major at UTA, presented on OER at TEDxUTA in April 2018.

40

Stuck Between a Rock and a Publisher: Impacting Affordability During a Pandemic

Thank you to our colleagues at University of Guelph Libraries for sharing their language documenting these challenges. We have adapted their publication with permission. This text was originally published by Katherine Willeford on UTA Libraries’ blog  in 2020. Many thanks to Michelle Reed, Peter Zhang, Sara Ann Stinson, and Alexandra Pirkle for their work toward this blog post.

Academic libraries across the country are looking for new ways to provide access to course materials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to public health considerations, there is a 7-day quarantine period for all print materials returning to the Libraries. This means providing access to short-term loan print reserves will not be an option for our students during the Fall 2020 semester.

UTA Libraries understands the costs of course materials are significant. As instructors have adjusted their syllabi to a hybrid learning environment, we have worked to identify required course materials that may be purchased to lend in a digital format.

As Libraries staff have attempted to ensure equitable access to course materials for UTA students, we have unfortunately run into barriers that give us limited or no options to impact affordability.

Challenges of the system

Our work is hampered by textbook publishers who do not provide electronic purchasing options for libraries. According to The University of Guelph, approximately 85% of existing course textbooks are unavailable to libraries in any other format than print. This lack of availability exists because textbook publishers have built their profit models around selling e-textbooks directly to students.

The following publishers will not allow us to purchase many e-textbook versions of their publications:

  • Pearson
  • Cengage
  • Houghton
  • McGraw Hill (with the exception of AccessEngineering textbooks)
  • Wiley
  • Wadsworth
  • Oxford University Press
  • Elsevier imprints (especially in veterinary and health science) such as:
    • Elsevier Health Science
    • Mosby
    • Saunders

During a time when many UTA students are deeply concerned with the cost of course materials, we had hoped to significantly impact affordability for our students through strategic purchasing. Although we have the funds, the lack of available options for purchasing has been frustrating. What options we do have are often licenses that only allow for one user at a time to access the online content, limiting the overall impact of this work.

We hope shedding light on this issue will bring about change where it matters most, as this issue impacts those within higher education and our UTA community.

What we can do

Libraries staff are working with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including:

  1. Adopting an open educational resource (OER). OER are freely available educational materials that are openly licensed to allow for re-use and modification by instructors.
  2. Using an existing e-book in the relevant subject area from the Libraries’ e-book collection or requesting that the Libraries purchase one. There are many academic e-books that aren’t considered textbooks and are therefore available for purchase.
  3. Identifying materials for electronic reserves:
    • Posting individual book chapters or excerpts and scanned copies of the content, subject to copyright limitations
    • Linking to content from the Libraries’ existing collection of electronic resources (e-books, journal articles, streaming media, and other digital materials)

Next steps

Instructors are encouraged to reach out to the Libraries for assistance locating alternative course materials: