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2018

Early this year, the Association of College and Research Libraries compiled their top 5 articles about open educational resources (OER). The topics of these five posts focus on how libraries can participate in the integration of OER at their school from simply supporting the integration of these resources to becoming more vocal about their availability to actively engaging in OER adoption and authoring. Each of these topics are relevant to today’s librarians as they work toward ensuring they offer beneficial resources to students as well as faculty to make content accessible. According to an article posted on EdSurge, more colleges are setting up support systems to encourage OER adoption, using the campus library as the pitch center for OER. At the University of Texas at Arlington, a full-time Open Education Librarian is employed on staff. A recent project she did to bring OER to the forefront was create a series of videos promoting professors who replaced commercial textbooks in their courses with OER. These videos also addressed common pain points associated with traditional textbooks and how OER can help remedy those issues. Marilyn Billings, the Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian at University of Massachusetts Amherst, spearheads the Open Education Initiative (OEI), a faculty incentive program that encourages the use of OER to support student learning along with the creation of new teaching materials and the use of library subscription materials. The library has a dedicated space on their website for OER and accepts grant proposals which require an anticipated OER implementation date. The importance of the role of the librarian in establishing OERs into curriculum was evaluated in a study done by the Centre for Academic Practice & Learning Enhancement (CAPLE) and Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS), at the University of Strathclyde. This study looked primarily at higher education OER projects worldwide. The main objectives, according to the study, for these projects were:

 

   Implement repository or content management/publishing system for OER release
   Release existing institutional content as OER
   Raise awareness of OER and encourage its use

 

Findings showed that in three out of four project teams, at least one librarian participated, and from those teams, the library was either leading or a partner of the initiative 50 percent of the time. The expertise librarians are able to offer related to content-focused OER initiatives can greatly benefit teams working to create new curriculum or content management processes as their relate to OER. Advocating effectively for faculty to incorporate OER has many benefits for students and educators, but it can also lead to additional responsibilities for librarians when their workload is already full. In the paper, Librarians and OER: Cultivating a Community of Practice to Be More Effective Advocates, librarians in British Columbia, Canada came together as a community (BCOER Librarians) to focus on education and professional development that would help libraries facilitate the use and decampment of OER. Through a monthly, virtual meeting, the librarians in this group share ways to support the use of quality OER by collaborating on ideas, tools and strategies. To date, according to their website, there are 40 institutions participating in OER and students have saved over seven million dollars. In an article from the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), it’s recommended that librarians integrate open practices and cultivate leaders who can share their knowledge about OER policies and practices. An example of how this works can be seen at Granite State College in New Hampshire where a new Library Media Specialist certification program enables faculty and advisors to integrate open education practice and OER creation and improvement into course creation workflows. Additionally, OER courseware is being utilized for the certificate course itself. Regardless of the educational model being used in conjunction with open content, it’s important to note, says Stephen Downes in Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources, that the nature of the content must be taken into consideration. Content needs to have longevity, and to do so should be flexible and adaptable to local needs. It also needs to be modifiable and adaptable based on licensing models. Think of content in a local context, how it pertains to your school and to the course it will be used for, and whether it requires changes in order to be relevant and appropriate. With so much discussion going on around OER and effectively utilizing it for academic purposes, there’s no shortage of content around these five key topic areas. The common thread, however, when thinking about how you, as a librarian, can bring OER into the curriculum at your school is collaboration. Connect with your local faculty to gain support, but also see what other schools are doing and how their strategies are working for them.

 

This blog was originally posted on the Intellus Learning website on Monday, April 9, 2018.

Collaboration will yield deeper insight into student behaviors and enable actions designed to lift retention and success rates

 

April 9th, 2018, New York, NY – Macmillan Learning, a premier learning solutions company, today announced a strategic partnership between Skyfactor (formerly EBI MAP-Works) and N2N Services. For more than twenty years, Skyfactor has empowered hundreds of higher education institutions to harness data from the college experience in ways that materially impact retention, persistence, and student success rates. The Skyfactor product suite features two award-winning offerings, the Mapworks student success and retention service, and the Benchworks program assessment instrument. This new collaboration with software integration provider N2N Services will provide tools and API’s that automate data exchanges between Mapworks and Learning Management Systems (LMS) or Student Information Systems (SIS). Through this partnership with N2N, administrators, faculty, and student support staff will have even deeper insight into the lives and behaviors of students, which will enable them to better serve their student populations.

 

 

“Too often information about student performance, financial aid, new student enrollment, and fees are stored in disparate data systems found throughout an institution’s infrastructure. Compartmentalizing data in this way, while typical, can be counterproductive to achieving the type of holistic perspective many higher education institutions are seeking to acquire,” explained Macmillan Learning Institutional General Manager, Craig Bleyer. This is why we are thrilled to work closely with N2N, as this partnership provides customers with a 360-degree view of the student experience, which is integral to the mission of Skyfactor and the expectations from the marketplace.”

 

N2N's Illuminate is a turnkey API integration platform specifically built for the needs of higher education. Illuminate includes modules to build, secure, integrate, and share APIs. The platform can be used for integrations of all types and by any sized institution. Illuminate allows institutional business users to easily connect their systems, whether on premise, hosted, or in the cloud easily and securely.

 

“N2N is pleased to partner with Skyfactor to enable real-time data integration. We’re confident that Skyfactor's student success and retention solutions, powered by N2N’s integration strategy, will provide real-time and interactive solutions needed to support students, faculty, and staff worldwide,” said Kiran Kodithala CEO and founder of N2N Services Inc. “N2N is committed to collaborations, such as with Skyfactor, that have a direct impact on student success and student progress towards graduation.”

 

Institutions who utilize the integrated instance of Skyfactor and N2N will always be able to access real-time student data to leverage throughout interventions and remediation actions, with integration available for use beginning fall 2018.

 

For more information, please contact the Skyfactor sales and customer teams at http://www.skyfactor.com.

 

About N2N:

N2N Services Inc. is a leader in enterprise application and data integration for higher education. N2N’s Illuminate platform is a cloud based SaaS platform providing standards based, turnkey integration enabling organizations to plug-in new SaaS applications in a matter of minutes to meet strategic institution goals. Our API integration platform is used by more than 150 institutions to enable enterprises to meet strategic integration objectives. N2N Services Inc. is based in Atlanta, GA. Learn more about N2N Services Inc. and the Illuminate platform by visiting our website at http://www.illuminateapp.com/