Title

Affordable Learning Engagement and Publishing Strategies: Empowering Opportunities for Open-Access Publishing

Document Type

Book Chapter

Conference or Event Name

Chapter 25 of the book: THE EVOLUTION OF AFFORDABLE CONTENT EFFORTS IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION ENVIRONMENT: PROGRAMS, CASE STUDIES, AND EXAMPLES

Publication Date

7-26-2018

Original File URL

https://open.lib.umn.edu/affordablecontent/chapter/affordable-learning-engagement-and-publishing-strategies-empowering-opportunities-for-open-access-publishing/

Abstract

As shown by a current $1.4 trillion in student loan debt (Experian, 2017), the affordability of a college education is one of the most crucial needs for students and the future of higher education. An increasing amount of that debt comes from textbook costs, which rose 812% from 1977 to 2012 (Perry, 2012). Studies by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund and the Student PIRGs (Senack, 2014), the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Textbook Affordability Workgroup of Oregon (2015), Florida Virtual Campus (2016), and VitalSource Technologies (2017) have reported the deleterious effects on student success when students are not able to buy required textbooks.

Humboldt State University (HSU) Library has worked to address this issue by encouraging the replacement of commercially produced textbooks with open educational resources (OERs). The UNESCO website (2017) defines OERs as follows:

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.

As part of this campaign, HSU Press has encouraged faculty and lecturers to develop their own OER textbooks to address gaps in current OER offerings. This chapter describes the efforts of Humboldt State University Press to develop OER textbooks, including:

A grant project to directly incentivize authors to publish open-access textbooks.

  • Collaboration in a grant project to incentivize faculty and lecturers to attend OER adoption seminars.
  • Collaboration in a grant project to incentivize departments to redesign their courses and adopt OERs.
  • Collaborations with faculty to publish student-authored open-access works.

This chapter addresses the benefits and drawbacks of each effort as they pertain to our university, including the use of incentives and publishing as a transformational pedagogical tool. It also discusses the challenge of maintaining OER production, and the value of adopting a broader open access publishing model. In the context of HSU Press, open access refers to content—including educational material, scholarship, research, and creative works—that has been made available for free download and re-use under a Creative Commons license.

Publishing through open access supports the mission of libraries to facilitate the equitable dissemination of knowledge to all people. Open access publishing services also support the HSU campus community by creating and empowering campus authors, providing experiential learning opportunities, developing community outreach, and facilitating the university’s social justice mission. These successes not only justify the services of an open-access press, but allow for continued OER conversations and development on campus.

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