Social Justice

Inside Higher Ed 11/01/2017 — OER: Bigger Than Affordability

Thoughtful reflections on the diminishing federal and state support of higher ed which leads to private interests taking hold on campuses ($$$), increases in costs for students ($$$), and how faculty are now engaging in many ways to help students get that education AND still have a bed to sleep in and food to eat. OER and other open practices is a gateway to this new reality where faculty are key change agents. ~Kathy

Logo for Inside Higher Ed publication

OER: Bigger Than Affordability

Open education resources can catalyze a much-needed national conversation about what we mean by “public” higher education, Robin DeRosa writes.

By Robin DeRosa

November 1, 2017

. . .

I began considering the larger role of open in a social justice agenda targeted at public higher education in the United States, where I live and teach. First, I looked to Sara Goldrick-Rab’s research on how the hidden costs of attending college make college graduation an unattainable goal for such a large portion of our nation’s population. If 50 to 80 percent of the total sticker price of college is coming from nontuition costs, as she demonstrates, we need to confront the complete set of material conditions that constrain students.

Not only can OER drive down the real cost of college, but thinking about textbook costs can propel faculty, in particular, to think about how course and program design can be adapted to make access — more broadly writ — a priority. Is food insecurity on the radar of your chemistry department? If OER is appealing because they can help make knowledge more accessible, then we must care about the myriad issues — from child care to transportation — that prevent our potential students from even coming to our classrooms in the first place.

. . .

Read the entire entry at https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2017/11/01/oer-catalyst-national-conversation-about-public-higher-education

Open: so much more than saving money

From the Digital Pedagogy Lab written by two intensely open engaged writers, Rajiv Jhangiani and Robin DeRosa.

Logo for the blog Digital Pedagogy Lab

When faculty use OER, we aren’t just saving a student money on textbooks: we are directly impacting that student’s ability to enroll in, persist through, and successfully complete a course. In other words, we are directly impacting that student’s ability to attend, succeed in, and graduate from college. When we talk about OER, we bring two things into focus: that access is critically important to conversations about academic success, and that faculty and other instructional staff can play a critical role in the process of making learning accessible.

Read the entire post at Open Pedagogy and Social Justice