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Cover page of White Paper: OER Adoption Study: Using Open Educational Resources in the College Classroom

White Paper: OER Adoption Study: Using Open Educational Resources in the College Classroom


Executive Summary

Signed into law in September 2012, SB 1052 (Steinberg, 2012) specified that the California Open Education Resources Council (“CA-OERC”) be established under the administration of the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (“ICAS”) of the University of California (“UC”), the California State University (“CSU”), and the California Community Colleges (“CCC”). CA-OERC was duly assembled and held its first meeting in January 2014. Representing 145 campuses across the three public systems of higher education, the CA-OERC initially set out to survey 10,000 UC, 24,000 CSU, 59,000 CCC full-time, part-time, and temporary faculty about their awareness, adoption, and use of Open Educational Resources (“OER”) textbooks.


Based on the survey responses, the CA-OERC identified several impediments to adopting OER textbooks and concluded that rigorous peer review was ultimately the first step towards advocating for adoption of OER textbooks. The Council quickly identified 50 highly-enrolled courses with expensive textbooks across the three public systems of higher education and, over the following two years, collected more than 160 existing OER textbooks for these courses, established a rigorous peer review process, recruited faculty reviewers from the three systems, managed more than 450 reviews, and helped to curate the resulting high-quality, peer-reviewed collection of OER textbooks at COOL4ED, an online repository featuring reviews and case studies. Throughout, the CA-OERC’s work was supported by State monies, as well as grants from the Gates Foundation and Hewlett Foundation secured and administered by the CSU Chancellor’s Office.


In addition to supplying OER textbooks for California university and college faculty and students to consider, the Council undertook several research efforts to understand OER awareness, adoption, and use. These included: intensive feedback -- via surveys, webinars, and e-portfolios

-- from a cohort of 16 CCC and CSU faculty who adopted OER in their Fall 2015 Semester courses (students in these classes were also surveyed); focus groups, composed of CCC and CSU faculty, which explored barriers to OER adoption and strategies for increased adoption; an additional set of focus groups, comprised of CCC and CSU student leaders, which focused on how these students used OER and e-textbooks in their courses.


Findings from CA-OERC’s research indicate that in terms of:


Quality: Most faculty were highly positive about all aspects of textbooks that they selected to adopt for this Ratings for subject matter, design of chapter(s) and use of editorial conventions were very high. For the most part, faculty felt that the OER materials were thorough and complete and that students learned as well with the OER materials as with the traditional textbook for the class. Seven faculty of sixteen felt that the OER textbook was superior to the traditional textbook for the course. Five faculty rated the OER as equivalent to the traditional textbook. More than three-quarters of students (77%) said the OER chapter(s) used in the study met their expectations. (3% said OER did not meet expectations and 20% were neutral.)


Pedagogy: Fourteen faculty reported that using the OER textbook chapter(s) encouraged them to reflect about their teaching


Technological issues: Faculty found it easy to explain how to use the OER textbook chapter(s) and had very few technical problems with students accessing the


Ancillary materials: Faculty were not as positive about the support materials (PowerPoints, test banks) available with the OER Half of the faculty felt that the support materials lacked quality. 25% of faculty felt that implementing the support materials took a significant amount of time.


Student access: Of the 351 students in the survey, 71 printed the A PDF was used by 209 students. 16% of students wanted to have the option to purchase a printed copy of the textbook from the bookstore for a small fee. 10% of students wanted to print the textbook themselves. The predominant platform for reading electronic textbooks

(“e-textbooks”) is a laptop computer. Only 7 of 351 students reported reading from their cell phones.


As California’s OER textbook initiative enters a new phase (with passage of AB 798 [Bonilla] in 2015), more research will be needed to further understand and support OER textbook adoption and use on a massive scale, especially with regard to issues like cost savings and OER impact on local curricula and on student retention and success. Our initial findings, however, are highly encouraging, especially with regard to the quality of and access to OER materials now available to faculty and students in California’s public universities and colleges.

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Cover page of Final Progress Report - California Open Educational Resources Council

Final Progress Report - California Open Educational Resources Council



SB 1052 (Steinberg, 2012) specified that the California Open Education Resources Council (“CA-OERC”) be established under the administration of the Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates (“ICAS”) of the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges. The bill called for the addition of §66409 to the California  Education Code to define the makeup of the CA-OERC and its responsibilities.


To establish the CA-OERC and the accompanying California Digital Open Source Library (COOL4Ed), the Senate Bills apportioned $5,000,000 and directed the California State University, Office of the Chancellor to seek private funds to match the State budget. The CSU, directed to administer the funds, was awarded grants in Fall 2013 by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Gates Foundation to match the State’s funding, as mandated by SB 1052 (Steinberg, 2012) and SB 1053 (Steinberg, 2012). Per state legislation, the California State University (CSU) facilitated collaboration among the three segments of California public higher education to design and deliver intersegmental services for the faculty and students of California’s public colleges and universities. The CSU’s leadership and support enabled the

CA-OERC to operate effectively and allowed for the necessary flexibility among the three segments.


The CA-OERC first met in January 2014 with meetings scheduled every two weeks. Through both valuable in-person meetings and conference calls, the CA-OERC has made significant progress on the issues surrounding adoption, implementation, and use of open educational resource (“OER”) textbooks by faculty and students.


Achievements January 2014-December 2015


Developed criteria for selecting 50 highly-enrolled courses common across the three segments (Winter 2014) Canvassed the publicly available Course Identification Number System (, statewide campus bookstores, and segmental website information (CCC, CSU, UC) about high-enrollment courses likely to involve standard textbooks (Winter 2014) Canvassed the anglophone landscape of extant open educational resources (“OER”) repositories and their policies (Winter 2014) Compiled a list of 50 courses for which to identify OER (Spring 2014) Developed rigorous rubrics and training material for OER textbook reviewers (Spring 2014) Identified and contacted administrative leadership (CCC, CSU, UC) who may help with awareness of OER (Fall 2014) Identified more than 160 appropriate OER textbooks for the 50 courses that will result in approximately 450 textbook reviews to be displayed on COOL4Ed (Spring 2014~Fall 2015) Surveyed CCC, CSU, & UC faculty for feedback on adopting OER textbooks Performed extensive research on the adoption, implementation, and use of OER textbooks with findings specific to CCC, CSU & UC (Spring 2015-Fall 2015) Continued outreach and education by presenting at conferences and regional governance meetings (Spring 2014-Fall 2015) Established an online presence via CA-OERC website and a social media presence with Facebook and Twitter (Spring 2014-Fall 2015)


The CA-OERC represents an unprecedented collaboration among three disparate segments of California public higher education, a collaboration unparalleled by any other large state-funded system of universities and colleges. With 113 CCC campuses, 23 CSU campuses, and 10 UC campuses, the scale of CA-OERC’s work cannot be underestimated. The Council’s success has been contingent upon representing the diversity of each segment as well as discovering where the segments’ missions coalesce.

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Cover page of A moving-barber-pole illusion.

A moving-barber-pole illusion.


In the barber-pole illusion (BPI), a diagonally moving grating is perceived as moving vertically because of the shape of the vertically oriented window through which it is viewed-a strong shape-motion interaction. We introduce a novel stimulus-the moving barber pole-in which a diagonal, drifting sinusoidal carrier is windowed by a raised, vertical, drifting sinusoidal modulator that moves independently of the carrier. In foveal vision, the moving-barber-pole stimulus can be perceived as several active barber poles drifting horizontally but also as other complex dynamic patterns. In peripheral vision, pure vertical motion (the moving-barber-pole illusion [MBPI]) is perceived for a wide range of conditions. In foveal vision, the MBPI is observed, but only when the higher-order modulator motion is masked. Theories to explain the BPI make indiscriminable predictions in a standard barber-pole display. But, in moving-barber-pole stimuli, the motion directions of features (e.g., end stops) of the first-order carrier and of the higher-order modulator are all different from the MBPI. High temporal frequency stimuli viewed peripherally greatly reduce the effectiveness of higher-order motion mechanisms and, ideally, isolate a single mechanism responsible for the MBPI. A three-stage motion-path integration mechanism that (a) computes local motion energies, (b) integrates them for a limited time period along various spatial paths, and (c) selects the path with the greatest motion energy, quantitatively accounts for these high-frequency data. The MBPI model also accounts for the perceived motion-direction in peripherally viewed moving-barber-pole stimuli that do and do not exhibit the MBPI over the entire range of modulator (0-10 Hz) and carrier (2.5-10 Hz) temporal frequencies tested.

Cover page of "The only one who was thought to know the pulse of the people": Black women's politics in the era of post-racial discourse

"The only one who was thought to know the pulse of the people": Black women's politics in the era of post-racial discourse


Theorizing black women’s high level of participation in contemporary South African protests for public water, electricity, and housing requires attention to the long history of women’s rural and urban revolts against apartheid passes and Section Ten laws, which proscribed black women’s mobility and delegitimized their access to public services. Examining the role of ibandlas (women’s assemblies/prayer unions/mothers unions) in three literary works: Lauretta Ncgobo’s And They Didn’t Die, Sindiwe Magona’s For My Children’s Children, and Njabulo Ndebele’s The Cry of Winnie Mandela, I argue that black women mobilize against enduring conditions of particular vulnerability, as post-racial discourse suppresses the social relations of blackness in the face of the “after-life of apartheid.” Indeed, post-racial discourse misreads the “pulse of the people.”

Cover page of Membrane Biophysics Define Neuron and Astrocyte Progenitors in the Neural Lineage

Membrane Biophysics Define Neuron and Astrocyte Progenitors in the Neural Lineage


Neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) are heterogeneous populations of self-renewing stem cells and more committed progenitors that differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Accurately identifying and characterizing the different progenitor cells in this lineage has continued to be a challenge for the field. We found previously that populations of NSPCs with more neurogenic progenitors (NPs) can be distinguished from those with more astrogenic progenitors (APs) by their inherent biophysical properties, specifically the electrophysiological property of whole cell membrane capacitance, which we characterized with dielectrophoresis (DEP). Here, we hypothesize that inherent electrophysiological properties are sufficient to define NPs and APs and test this by determining whether isolation of cells solely by these properties specifically separates NPs and APs. We found NPs and APs are enriched in distinct fractions after separation by electrophysiological properties using DEP. A single round of DEP isolation provided greater NP enrichment than sorting with PSA-NCAM, which is considered an NP marker. Additionally, cell surface N-linked glycosylation was found to significantly affect cell fate-specific electrophysiological properties, providing a molecular basis for the cell membrane characteristics. Inherent plasma membrane biophysical properties are thus sufficient to define progenitor cells of differing fate potential in the neural lineage, can be used to specifically isolate these cells, and are linked to patterns of glycosylation on the cell surface. STEM CELLS 2014;32:706–716

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Cover page of Examining the Social Porosity of Environmental Features on Neighborhood Sociability and Attachment

Examining the Social Porosity of Environmental Features on Neighborhood Sociability and Attachment


The local neighborhood forms an integral part of our lives. It provides the context through which social networks are nurtured and the foundation from which a sense of attachment and cohesion with fellow residents can be established. Whereas much of the previous research has examined the role of social and demographic characteristic in relation to the level of neighboring and cohesion, this paper explores whether particular environmental features in the neighborhood affect social porosity. We define social porosity as the degree to which social ties flow over the surface of a neighborhood. The focus of our paper is to examine the extent to which a neighborhood's environmental features impede the level of social porosity present among residents. To do this, we integrate data from the census, topographic databases and a 2010 survey of 4,351 residents from 146 neighborhoods in Australia. The study introduces the concepts of wedges and social holes. The presence of two sources of wedges is measured: rivers and highways. The presence of two sources of social holes is measured: parks and industrial areas. Borrowing from the geography literature, several measures are constructed to capture how these features collectively carve up the physical environment of neighborhoods. We then consider how this influences residents' neighboring behavior, their level of attachment to the neighborhood and their sense of neighborhood cohesion. We find that the distance of a neighborhood to one form of social hole–industrial areas–has a particularly strong negative effect on all three dependent variables. The presence of the other form of social hole–parks–has a weaker negative effect. Neighborhood wedges also impact social interaction. Both the length of a river and the number of highway fragments in a neighborhood has a consistent negative effect on neighboring, attachment and cohesion.

Cover page of Media's role in broadcasting acute stress following the Boston Marathon bombings.

Media's role in broadcasting acute stress following the Boston Marathon bombings.


We compared the impact of media vs. direct exposure on acute stress response to collective trauma. We conducted an Internet-based survey following the Boston Marathon bombings between April 29 and May 13, 2013, with representative samples of residents from Boston (n = 846), New York City (n = 941), and the remainder of the United States (n = 2,888). Acute stress symptom scores were comparable in Boston and New York [regression coefficient (b) = 0.43; SE = 1.42; 95% confidence interval (CI), -2.36, 3.23], but lower nationwide when compared with Boston (b = -2.21; SE = 1.07; 95% CI, -4.31, -0.12). Adjusting for prebombing mental health (collected prospectively), demographics, and prior collective stress exposure, six or more daily hours of bombing-related media exposure in the week after the bombings was associated with higher acute stress than direct exposure to the bombings (continuous acute stress symptom total: media exposure b = 15.61 vs. direct exposure b = 5.69). Controlling for prospectively collected prebombing television-watching habits did not change the findings. In adjusted models, direct exposure to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Sandy Hook School shootings were both significantly associated with bombing-related acute stress; Superstorm Sandy exposure wasn't. Prior exposure to similar and/or violent events may render some individuals vulnerable to the negative effects of collective traumas. Repeatedly engaging with trauma-related media content for several hours daily shortly after collective trauma may prolong acute stress experiences and promote substantial stress-related symptomatology. Mass media may become a conduit that spreads negative consequences of community trauma beyond directly affected communities.

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Cover page of Cervical HPV Infection in Female Sex Workers: A Global Perspective.

Cervical HPV Infection in Female Sex Workers: A Global Perspective.


Approximately 291 million women worldwide are HPV DNA carriers. Studies have indicated that having multiple sexual partners may lead to higher HPV transmission. Thus female sex workers (FSWs) may be at greater risk of infection compared to the general population. Herein we review publications with data on FSW cervical HPV test results. We also examine variations of HPV prevalence and risk behaviors by region. Knowledge of prevalent HPV types in FSWs may lead to improved prevention measures and assist in understanding vaccination in high-risk groups.

We conducted a review of the literature by searching PUBMED using the terms "prostitution" or "female sex workers", "human papillomavirus" or "HPV", and "prevalence" or "PCR" to find articles. We excluded studies without HPV testing or HPV type specific results, or unconventional HPV testing.

A total of 35 peer-reviewed publications were included in our review. High risk HPV types 16 and 18 ranged from 1.1-38.9‰ in prevalence. In addition to high-risk HPV types, newer studies reported non-carcinogenic HPV types also of high prevalence. The most prevalent HPV types reported among FSWs included HPV 6 (11.5%), 16 (38.9%), 18 (23.1%), 31 (28.4%), 52 (32.7%), and 58 (26.0%).

Female sex workers have an overall high prevalence of HPV infection of high-risk types as evident through various testing methods. FSWs are thought to be at increased risk of cervical cancer because of high HPV exposure. This highlights the need for HPV and cervical prevention campaigns tailored to FSWs.

Cover page of Distinct processes shape flashbulb and event memories

Distinct processes shape flashbulb and event memories


In the present study, we examined the relation between memory for a consequential and emotional event and memory for the circumstances in which people learned about that event, known as flashbulb memory. We hypothesized that these two types of memory have different determinants and that event memory is not necessarily a direct causal determinant of flashbulb memory. Italian citizens (N = 352) described their memories of Italy’s victory in the 2006 FootballWorld Cup Championship after a delay of 18months. Structural equation modeling showed that flashbulb memory and event memory could be clearly differentiated and were determined by two separate pathways. In the first pathway, importance predicted emotional intensity, which, in turn, predicted the frequency of overt and covert rehearsal. Rehearsal was the only direct determinant of vivid and detailed flashbulb memories. In the second pathway, importance predicted rehearsal by media exposure, which enhanced the accuracy and certainty of event memory. Event memory was also enhanced by prior knowledge. These results have important implications for the debate concerning whether the formation of flashbulb memory and event memory involve different processes and for understanding how flashbulb memory can be simultaneously so vivid and so error-prone.

Cover page of Hierarchical vector auto-regressive models and their applications to multi-subject effective connectivity.

Hierarchical vector auto-regressive models and their applications to multi-subject effective connectivity.


Vector auto-regressive (VAR) models typically form the basis for constructing directed graphical models for investigating connectivity in a brain network with brain regions of interest (ROIs) as nodes. There are limitations in the standard VAR models. The number of parameters in the VAR model increases quadratically with the number of ROIs and linearly with the order of the model and thus due to the large number of parameters, the model could pose serious estimation problems. Moreover, when applied to imaging data, the standard VAR model does not account for variability in the connectivity structure across all subjects. In this paper, we develop a novel generalization of the VAR model that overcomes these limitations. To deal with the high dimensionality of the parameter space, we propose a Bayesian hierarchical framework for the VAR model that will account for both temporal correlation within a subject and between subject variation. Our approach uses prior distributions that give rise to estimates that correspond to penalized least squares criterion with the elastic net penalty. We apply the proposed model to investigate differences in effective connectivity during a hand grasp experiment between healthy controls and patients with residual motor deficit following a stroke.