In 2002, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) first adopted the term open educational resources (OER), setting the scene for the learning landscape to embrace the reusing, revising, remixing, and redistributing of content. But in 2019, the use of OER in the UK is still very much localised, relying on specific projects for support.
“So far there is no long-term decision or reciprocal deal on how UK students in the EU, or EU students in the UK, will be treated post-Brexit.” With the future of the United Kingdom’s position in the European Union still unclear, institutions and professional bodies are speculating on the impact leaving the EU may have on widening participation efforts, particularly in terms of economic slowdown.
In the first piece of our change management series, we discussed how to overcome factors that may be causing resistance in your institution during the transition to digital. One of the key underlying takeaways of which was maintaining strong lines of communication.
Findings from the Higher Education Statistics Agency released in February 2019 show that the percentage of full-time first degree students coming from state schools in the UK dropped in the 2017–2018 academic year. The decrease from 90% to 89.8% sees the first dip in this number for eight years.
Transitioning from either a pilot eTextbook programme to business as usual—or immediately from print to digital provision—will undoubtedly result in a great deal of change. And this change comes in many, sometimes unexpected, forms for students, instructors, and librarians. With librarians often taking the lead on the implementation of digital learning on specific courses and across an institution as a whole, the transformation of their role can be immense. From handling journals and print budgets to ordering reading lists, working on strategic projects, and allocating new budgets, the university librarian is increasingly becoming one of the most important partners in the eTextbook landscape. But managing this change effectively can be daunting, and often isn’t done successfully during the initial stages.