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May 24 / Veronica Bielat

US Dept of Ed Open Licensing Rule Takes Effect

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) announced that beginning this fall, educational resources and other works created through Department of Education competitive grants will be required to be openly licensed and shared with the public. It is hoped this rule will increase access to the educational resources, program materials and other deliverables produced through grant funded projects.

The US Department of Education ‘s Open Licensing Rule took effect on May 22, 2017, and will be fully implemented for applicable grants starting in Fiscal Year 2018.  You can find full details of the rule on the SPARC policy page:

Are you interested in Open Textbooks, Open Educational Resources or Creative Commons licensing? For more information, see the Wayne State University Library System’s Guide to Open resources, or contact your Liaison Librarian.

Dec 22 / Veronica Bielat

Digital Polarization Initiative–Looking for a course assignment?

The Wayne State University librarians support building information literacy skills in our students, including the ability to evaluate all types of information sources.

The Digital Polarization Initiative of the AASCU’s American Democracy Project, is a collaborative wiki project where students fact-check, annotate and provide context to the different news stories that show up in their Twitter and Facebook feeds. “It’s like a student-driven Snopes, but with a broader focus”

If you would like your class to participate, contact

If you would like to collaborate with a librarian to integrate this activity into your course, please contact Veronica Bielat, Instruction Services Coordinator, at or 313-577-4217

More information about the Digital Polarization Inititative

Nov 21 / Veronica Bielat

iPOLL Databank now available through Wayne State University Libraries

The Wayne State library system has subscribed to a new database, iPOLL Databank. Find it on the library’s Article Database list.

You can search over 650,000 public opinion survey questions on topics including economics, quality of life, health and more from a variety of reputable sources including Gallup, NYT, CNN, Pew and more.You will need to create a free personalized Roper account after you have accessed iPOLL through Wayne State to download datasets, use RoperExplorer, or download up to 500 iPOLL questions at once.

You might also consider using iPOLL to support learning objectives and assignments in the courses you teach.

A brief introductory video on iPOLL

More help on using iPOLL and its resources at

Want to know more? Contact your liaison librarian

Oct 18 / Veronica Bielat

Public High School Graduation Rates at a New High

The National Center for Education Statistics has released the public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR), by race/ethnicity and selected demographics for the United States, the 50 states, and the District of Columbia: School year 2014–15.

According to the NCES Newsflash

“The national graduation rate for public high school students rose to a new high of 83.2 percent in 2014-15, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics. This adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) measures the percentage of students who graduate with a regular high school diploma within four years of starting 9th grade. The ACGR has risen by about four percentage points since the data were first collected in 2010-11.”

Sep 29 / Veronica Bielat

Forecasting Future Student Enrollment? The NCES Projections of Education Statistics to 2024 includes data on graduates

The new NCES Projections report states the number of high school graduates increased by 22 percent between 1999-2000 and 2011-12, and is projected to increase 3 percent by 2024-25.

Read about this projection and more at Projections of Education Statistics to 2024

Aug 30 / Veronica Bielat

ICPSR in the Classroom: Data-driven learning experiences

ICPSR has created resources to make it easy for instructors to set up intriguing data-driven learning experiences, particularly for undergraduate students. This webinar on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT will introduce and demonstrate ICPSR’s teaching and learning resources including: Data-Driven Learning Guides & Instructor Tools, Student Research Paper Competitions, ICPSR Undergraduate Internship and ICPSR Summer Program.

Sign up for this and other ICPSR Data Fair webinars at

The Wayne State University Library System provides full access to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) database. Click here to access ICPSR, or search ICPSR in the QUICKSEARCH box on the library homepage. Select the Teaching & Learning link at the top of the website for teaching resources, or go directly to their site for teaching resources, including lesson plans, activities, visualization tools and reading lists.

Jul 19 / Veronica Bielat

ICPSR Research Paper Competition Winners Announced

ICPSR is the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. Its licensed data archive of over a half million files of research in the social sciences is made available to the Wayne State University community through the University Library System. Every year, ICPSR holds a Research Paper Competition for Undergraduate and Master’s students. Each paper must analyze data held in the ICPSR archive or one of the Thematic Collections.

Click here to access the ICPSR data archive.

ICPSR also provides data management & curation services. Contact the Library System’s Research Data Services for more information.

Want to incorporate data in your course? ICPSR’s Teaching with Data has lots of pedagogical resources including lesson plans, lectures and tools for analysis, visualization and course development.

Jul 15 / Veronica Bielat

Curious about Open Textbooks? Read this article from the Chronicle

On July 12, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured the article As Free Textbooks Go Mainstream, Advocate Says Colleges Should Do More to Support Them. The article presents an interview with Hal Plotkin, a senior open-policy fellow at Creative Commons USA and longtime supporter of open educational resources. In the interview, Plotkin talks about Zero Textbook Cost degree programs, and the role of faculty and administration in supporting the adoption of open textbooks and open educational resources, to reduce financial barriers to student seeking degrees.

Open Textbooks are:

  • openly-licensed
  • available online for free via internet connection
  • provide for personal download at no additional cost

There are several quality, peer-reviewed open textbooks produced by such programs as Rice University’s OpenStax. You can locate quality, faculty reviewed open textbooks through sources like the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library.

Why adopt an Open Textbook? 

According to a U.S. Public Interest Research Group survey, textbook costs can equal 14% of the tuition and fees at a four-year public university. Students may not purchase textbooks due to their cost, and unprepared students may not succeed in class, ultimately dropping the class and extending their time to graduation. If you notice students in your course have not purchased the required course textbook, or are not prepared for class because they have not completed the readings, this may impact the student retention and success in your course.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Wayne State University Library Systems Open Educational Resources guide for more information Open Textbooks and Open Educational Resources at

If you need help locating appropriate open resources for your course or locating and connecting to library resources in your course, please contact your Liaison Librarian. We are here to help!

Jul 14 / Veronica Bielat

New Report for NCES: Postsecondary Institutions and the Price of Attendance in 2015-16

From the National Center for Education Statistics, this First Look report is a preliminary report of the data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) fall 2015 collection. Ther report includes three survey components: Institutional Characteristics for the 2015-16 academic year, Completions covering the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, and data on 12-Month Enrollment for the 2014-15 academic year.

View the full report here.

Jul 6 / Veronica Bielat

Learn to Use NCES data: Introducing the Distance Learning Dataset Training System

“The Distance Learning Dataset Training System, or DLDT, is an online, interactive tool that allows you to learn about NCES data across the education spectrum and evaluate it for suitability for particular research purposes. The DLDT computer-based training modules are designed to introduce you to a multitude of NCES datasets, their design, and considerations for analysis to facilitate successful analyses. The modules provide information about the specific datasets and tools needed to find published reports, explore and acquire data, create data files, and conduct analyses in selected statistical software packages. It provides instruction in how to properly use NCES public-use and restricted-use datasets. NCES data, and the DLDT modules, are appropriate for use by researchers, students, policy specialists, education professionals and anyone who is interested in student and school outcomes at all levels. The DLDT allows you to access the information you need at no cost and at your own pace.” Description from the Distance Learning Dataset Training System site