PALNI Joins the Open Textbook Network

PALNI and Open Textbook Network

PALNI recently joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN) in order to further its initiatives for affordable education and student success across the state. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, and is well known for helping organizations to advance the use of open textbooks and practices on their campuses. They’ve had great success with their initiative: OTN members have saved their students over 8.5 million dollars!

To read more about this partnership and hear more about our new PALSave Team, navigate to the news release here:

Call for PALSave System Leaders

The Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) seeks applicants for four System Leaders for its PALSave: PALNI Affordable Learning program. The PALSave team will work across PALNI in support of open and affordable learning.

The System Leaders will:

  • Attend the Open Textbook Network Summer Institute (OTNSI) July 23-27, 2018 in Minnesota to gain open education strategies under OTN’s Train-the-Trainer model. Registration, travel, and accommodations are provided
  • Act as PALNI’s ambassadors to the Open Textbook Network (OTN) community of practice
  • Serve on the administration team for PALSave. As a team:
    • Work with the PALNI Scholarly Communications Director to design and implement programming to collaborate with librarians, instructional designers, and faculty in support of open access textbook adoptions and use of library content in the classroom
    • Develop and train campus leaders across PALNI
    • Partner with campus leaders to facilitate and support faculty-focused workshops throughout Indiana
    • Implement elements of the program plan identified by the PALNI Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force
    • Advocate for open and affordable education
    • Have opportunities for additional training and/or conference attendance to advance affordable learning across PALNI institutions

The selected System Leaders mus:

  • Have support from their home institution for the time commitment to serve
  • Be able to travel to an out-of-state intensive Open Textbook Network Summer Institute (OTNSI) from July 23 – 27, 2018
  • Make travel arrangements to attend the OTNSI the week of June 4, 2018 and submit receipts for reimbursement
  • Be able to travel within the state about three times per semester in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
  • Have strong organization and communication skills
  • Have a keen interest in open education

Preferred candidates will have experience, knowledge, and interest in one or more of the following:

  • Open access and open education
  • Faculty outreach
  • Curriculum design
  • Library instruction
  • Creative Commons licensing

Total time commitment will be in the range of ten hours per month. Funds for travel will be provided.

For consideration:
Please submit a brief personal statement (no more than 500 words) that describes why you are interested in the PALSave System Leader opportunity, along with a current curriculum vitae by May 25 to Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director at

Librarians, instructional designers, faculty, and others with a direct connection to affordable education at a PALNI-supported institution are invited to apply. Notification of those selected will be made by June 1, 2018.

For more information, including other opportunities to get involved in PALSave, should be directed to: Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director at Subscribe to project updates at

Presentation to PALNI | Tech Tools Focus

We had such a productive meeting last week for our gathering of the PALNI Instructional Technology Advisory Group meeting. During our time together, we identified needs within PALNI for future task force work (accessibility compliance, group purchasing options for various systems and tools, etc.). Our current task force chairs also presented their work to date for both the Affordable Education Initiatives (AEI) and the Learning Management System (LMS) Evaluation groups.

For more information and to view our key takeaways from the day, please visit the PALNI Community’s Instructional Technology discussion area where the slides from the day are posted along with our key takeaways document.

NOTE: If you are not a member of the PALNI Community (newly released during our meeting), you can click “Sign Up” from the top right menu. You must use a Google account that is tied to your institutional email, so please follow THESE INSTRUCTIONS prior to going through the signup process.

Fort Wayne Teaching Conference Presentation Highlights PALNI Instructional Tech Initiatives

The recent Fort Wayne Teaching Conference highlighted an instructional technology and scholarly communications presentation co-presented by:

  • Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director
  • Andrea Cohn, University of Saint Francis Teaching and Learning Services Team Coordinator
  • Rebecca Johnson, Manchester University Virtual Instruction & Emerging Tech Librarian

The presentation centered around bringing awareness to and engaging with faculty to create affordable and effective learning opportunities that simultaneously utilize the newest technologies and reduce costs for private colleges in Indiana.

To read more, navigate to PALNI’s official news release: Recent Fort Wayne Teaching Conference Presentation Highlights Consortial Scholarly Communications, Affordable Education, and Instructional Technology at PALNI

Resource: Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) – 2018 Key Issues in Teaching & Learning Report

Each year, ELI surveys the higher education community to determine key issues and opportunities in post-secondary teaching and learning. These key issues serve as the framework, or focal points, for our discussions and programming throughout the coming year. More than 900 community members voted on the following key issues for 2018.

Download the infographic below and share with colleagues, or explore each of the issues more deeply with the resources below the infographic.

Many of PALNI’s Instructional Technology Advisory Group strategic plan action items fall into the categories within this report. For more information, visit the following link: 

Upcoming Affordable Education Initiatives Webinars

Interested in exploring Open Educational Resources at a PALNI-supported campus?  Attend an upcoming webinar to learn more about statewide efforts and effective strategies from experts in this field, presented by the PALNI Affordable Education Initiatives Task Force.

Open to everyone at PALNI-supported institutions.

Tuesday, 2/27, 11am
Scaling Up OERs in Louisiana: A Statewide Plan for Building a Sustainable Library Effort
Teri Oaks Gallaway, Emily Frank


In Louisiana, OERs have recently become a strategy used by the state legislature to address the rising cost of higher education. This process began with advocacy work led by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, the statewide consortium, and directed at the Board of Regents, the governmental body charged with planning, coordinating, and budgeting public higher education in the state. The Regents provided funds to LOUIS that have allowed the consortium to build capacity and infrastructure needed to support the development of OERs in the state. LOUIS used funds to launch scalable programs and easily adaptable solutions. Using a train-the-trainer model, they quickly built capacity at universities and colleges in the state. Then, they created a structure to provide funds and support for individual academic libraries to begin developing the OER culture locally. Local institutions were able to apply this model to the degree to which they had the capacity and interest to support it. We will review this approach and discuss how this model has allowed multiple stakeholders take ownership of an element of the project and apply leadership at their level while working towards a shared success in the state.

Teri Oaks Gallaway, Associate Commissioner of LOUIS, serves in the capacity of Executive Director for the statewide consortium as well as the project lead for the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative. Emily Frank is the Coordinator of Scholarship and Open Access for Louisiana State University Libraries. She leads the library’s affordable course materials projects, including coordinating local projects under the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative spearheaded by LOUIS.

Tuesday, 3/27, 11am
Effectively Encouraging the Use of OER on Your Campus
Nicole Finkbeiner, OpenStax


Add to your calendar

Nicole Finkbeiner of Rice University’s OpenStax draws on her experiences working with faculty and schools across the U.S. to highlight the most effective strategies that encourage faculty to adopt, adapt, and create OER while protecting academic freedom. She also walks through a strategic planning model to plan, track, and produce effective and measurable results for our OER initiatives.

Nicole is the Associate Director of Institutional Relations for Rice University’s free textbook initiative, OpenStax, where she focuses on coaching colleges and universities through the process of developing an OER initiative. She is also the founder of the national Institutional Partner Program, a network of institutions who work together to increase OER use on their campuses while protecting academic freedom. A graduate of Kellogg Community College, Western Michigan University, and Michigan State University, she worked in college relations for community colleges prior to joining OpenStax. When not promoting Open Educational Resources, Nicole fills her time reading, working out, and attending cultural events.

***cross-posted from the Schol Comm @ Scale blog***

Register: Instructional Tech Advisory Group In-Person Meeting Day


The Instructional Tech Steering Committee is sponsoring the next Instructional Tech Advisory Group meeting on Friday, March 9th. The location and tentative schedule is below. We hope many of you will be able to attend in person!

REGISTER HERE: Instructional Tech Advisory In-Person Meeting (virtual option available)
LOCATION: Indiana Wesleyan University North Indianapolis Campus | 3777 Priority Way South Dr. Indianapolis, IN  46240


Time Topic
9:00 – 9:30 Arrival & Continental Breakfast
9:30 – 9:45 Welcome From the Instructional Tech Steering Committee
9:45 – 10:45 Action Items Progress To-Date

  • Advisory Group-specific Action Items
  • Steering Group Progress
10:45 – 11:00 Break & Tech Tool Setup
11:00 – 12:00 Lightning Round Tech Tool Presentations
Sign up to present your tool on the registration form
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch w/ Q&A for Tech Tool Presenters
1:30 – 2:00 Task Force Updates

  • Amanda Hurford: Affordable Education Initiatives
  • Carla Harper: LMS Evaluation
2:00 – 2:15 Break
2:15 – 3:15 New Task Force Opportunities
3:15 – 3:30 Adjourn & Goodbyes

For questions regarding this event, contact Rebecca Johnson.

Task Force Volunteers Needed

PALNI’s Instructional Technology Steering group is in the process of forming 2 NEW! Task Forces as we kick off 2018. We’re looking for volunteers on a first come, first served basis, so if you have interest in either area mentioned below, please send your interest to Rebecca Johnson ( Our hope is to have a first meeting either at the end of January or beginning of February. Many thanks for your continued support of our work!

PALNI Instructional Tools Task Force – Proposed February – June Timeline
This task force is charged with developing a collaborative process to assess and document instructional technology tools using commonly defined criteria for PALNI campuses and provide a clearinghouse for materials created. Work will include:

  • Defining parameters to identify instructional technology tools to be assessed (i.e. pedagogical application, functional and technical support, implementation, fees, etc.)
  • Defining a tool assessment process with consideration to the above
  • Developing documentation standards/templates for assessment data, user education, and use cases
  • Creating a clearinghouse portal from which materials can be managed and disseminated

PALNI Course Assessment Task Force – Proposed February – June Timeline
This task force is charged with identifying key course measures, developing a rubric or other assessment instrument, establishing a collaborative process for assessment, and providing resources for support and implementation available to all PALNI institutions. Work will include:

  • Identifying key course measures to determine what will be more effective in a shared environment
  • Developing a rubric or other assessment instrument that can be shared and adapted to individual campus contexts
  • Establishing a collaborative process for assessment which can be shared, replicated, or conducted in conjunction with other PALNI institutions
  • Providing resources for support and implementation such as guides, best practices, tools, or direct support
  • Hosting webinars and beginning to work with other PALNI institutions directly

PALNI’s Instructional Technology Steering Group’s 2018 Action Items

In recent years, the areas of instructional technology and librarianship have moved closer together and even have begun to overlap. With several PALNI institution LMS systems being supported by the library, conversations began to determine how best to leverage the power of PALNI. As a result of these conversations and the need for deep collaboration beyond PALNI libraries, the Instructional Technology Steering Group was formed and began its work in May of 2017 (Statement of Work). Members include:

Rebecca Johnson [chair], Virtual Instruction & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Manchester University
Noah Brubaker, PALNI Assistant Director
Amanda Hurford, PALNI Scholarly Communications Director
Carla Harper, Instructional Designer, University of Indianapolis
Diane Randall, Library Director, University of Saint Francis
Larry Stoffel, Director of Information Technology Services, Franklin College
Erin Milanese, Head of Learning Technologies, Goshen College

The group has spent the last 7 months crafting an action items plan for 2018 and developing a network of librarians, instructional designers, information technologists, and others working in areas of instructional technology. Our work to date has included the following:

  • Held Kick-off Instructional Technology Summit, March 2017
  • Held Advisory Group in-person meeting, July 2017
  • Updated PALNI Skills Inventory: updated to include skills related to instructional technology, information technology, and instructional design as we welcome non-library members to our PALNI community
  • Established a core instructional technology advisory group
  • Developed Task Forces
    • LMS Evaluation Task Force, Carla Harper [chair]
    • Affordable Education Initiatives (AEI) Task Force, Amanda Hurford [chair]
    • Instructional Technology Tools Task Force [under development]
    • Online & Blended Course Assessment Task Force [under development]
  • Participated in the PALNI-funded Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Accelerate Virtual Conference
  • Began investigation of consortial purchasing opportunities with Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI): For example, TurnItIn, Articulate, Quality Matters, etc.
  • Drafted a “Best Practices in Online/Blended Meeting Facilitation” document

Looking to the new year, there are many areas of work that the Steering Group would like to focus on. Each item directly ties into the overarching PALNI Strategic Plan and initiatives.

2018 Action Items:

Strategic Initiative: Enhance Deep Collaboration Within PALNI

  • Explore collaborative vetting and support for instructional technology tools
  • Determine the feasibility of a shared LMS and complete a needs assessment and evaluation of LMS systems [in progress]
  • Assess the feasibility of shared staffing options for LMS and instructional technology support across PALNI

Strategic Initiative: Support and Enhance Library and Institutional Missions

  • Determine best practices in online/blended course assessment  in regards to instructional technology, design standards, compliance and quality measures
  • Determine best practices for training and support for instructional technology tools [RIO collaboration opportunity]
  • Determine best practices in accessibility (i.e. disability captioning, etc.)
  • Determine copyright and fair use expertise and resource identification for use in an instructional design setting
  • Determine best practices in online/blended course assessment in regards to instructional technology, design standards, compliance and quality measures
  • Collaborate with PALNI’s Development Coordinator to explore LTI course reading/resources tool development options

Strategic Initiative: Support and Strengthen Libraries’ Ability to Communicate Relevance and Value to Stakeholders Within, Among, and Outside PALNI

  • Complete a needs assessment to determine the need and feasibility for a PALNI Instructional Technologist position

The Steering Group would like to thank you for your support and continued participation as we continue our work. If you are interested in being a part of the Instructional Technology Tools or the Online/Blended Course Assessment Task Forces, contact Rebecca Johnson.

For a full list of action items, consult this link.

Introducing the Instructional Technology @PALNI Blog

This blog is an effort to communicate the activities of the Instructional Technology Advisory Group across all of the PALNI supported organizations and was created by Rebecca Johnson, group chair. The blog will feature group activity updates, relevant information from external curated sources, as well as events and opportunities for professional development. Other relevant topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Instructional technology tools
  • Learning management system selection, administration, and support
  • Scholarly communication within the realm of instructional technology (see the Scholarly Communication @ Scale blog)
  • Blended and online instructional design and assessment/compliance
  • Shared methods for enhancing instructional technology across the consortium

To receive information via email as it becomes available, subscribe using the menu link above, or by clicking here. Additionally, a weekly digest will be sent to the PALNI Hub. If you aren’t a member of the Hub, subscribe here. The PALNI Hub is the primary avenue for interaction across the PALNI consortium and will allow you to participate in discussions and be further informed of group efforts.

NOTE: Anyone from a participating PALNI institution with an interest in instructional technology, information technology, and instructional design is welcome to be a part of this advisory group and join the PALNI Hub.

Feel free to contact Rebecca Johnson for more information.