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Education With Moodle and Open-Source Textbooks (Open Access)

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  • Transforming the traditional classroom with Open Education

    The Tamarind Tree school in Dahanu, India, encourages self-learning through open educational resources and open technology

    At Tamarind Tree, the traditional classroom and traditional teacher role do not exist. Using open source software and open educational resources, the school has developed an entire digital ecosystem, with their LMS built on Moodle “My Big Campus” in the centre.

    Each day, students access the learning content and go through activities independently, nurturing their curiosity and self-assurance. In this setting, the role of the teacher is not as someone who delivers content, but more like a facilitator who mentors the children during their learning journey. As well as guiding the children through what they’re learning, when a teacher detects that a student is having difficulties with a topic or concept, or requires help, they will schedule one-on-one meetings where they both research and learn together.

  • Beaufort County Community College saves students over $50,000 on new textbooks

    New textbooks, called Open-Source Textbooks, are saving students more than $50,000 per semester at Beaufort County Community College (BCCC).

    Open-Source Textbooks are licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by students and teachers.

    Some professors at BCCC are using Open-Source Textbooks to decrease the cost of student's education and help them stretch financial aid or scholarships.

    Professors seek out Open-Source Textbooks from a curated online library developed by academics from all over the country, then add additional material.

Open Access in the UK

  • Plan S does the wrong things to the wrong people

    UK researchers may worry about the effects of leaving the European Union on their research, but a bigger peril may be the united front that the UK continues to present with other EU countries over open access.

    The aim of the dozen or so mostly European funding agencies that have signed up to Plan S is to turbocharge the transition to full open access. UK Research and Innovation is very much on board with this and, last week, launched a consultation on its own open access policy that, it says, “aligns with the ambition of Plan S”.

    In its original formulation, Plan S would have required work funded by any of its signatories to be made immediately open access from this year.

  • Humanities scholars warn over UKRI’s plan for open-access books

    Proposals that would require academic monographs to be made freely available within 12 months of publication could harm the careers of UK arts and humanities scholars by stopping them from publishing, critics have warned.

    Under proposals published on 13 February, UK Research and Innovation will require all scholarly monographs, book chapters and edited collections by authors who are supported by its funds to be made open access from January 2024, unless a contract has been signed before this date that prevents adherence to the policy.

    The proposed change is most likely to affect those working in the arts and humanities, where the longer-form publishing format is more common; in the 2014 research excellence framework (REF), books and book chapters accounted for 53 per cent of submissions in history and two-thirds in Classics, according to a British Academy position paper published in May 2018.

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