OpenStax experts to provide tips on promoting equity, engagement in online learning


Jeff Falk

Avery Ruxer Franklin

OpenStax experts to provide tips on promoting equity, engagement in online learning

HOUSTON – (April 22, 2020) – Online learning may continue as the new normal in American education into the next school year, and experts at Rice University-based OpenStax are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting faculty and institutions with the tools and resources they need.

The nonprofit will present a webinar this Friday, April 24, at noon CDT with experts Richard Baraniuk and Anthony Palmiotto discussing how to promote equity and engagement through online education. Both of them are available to discuss the unprecedented transition with the news media. The webinar is part of OpenRICE, a free series offered by Rice’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.

OpenStax develops high-quality, openly licensed content and educational technology that anyone can access for free. It has served 3.4 million students this academic year.

Since March 9, more than 51,000 new accounts have been created. This includes more than 2,500 faculty new to OpenStax who now have access to free faculty-only resources, and nearly 49,000 students who can now highlight, take notes and create study guides from free OpenStax books. Faculty and students at 138 institutions have reported they’ve started using OpenStax since March 9, adding to the 7,600 institutions that were already using one or more OpenStax textbooks.

Learn more about how OpenStax is supporting faculty and students here:

Baraniuk is the Victor E. Cameron Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice and the founder and director of OpenStax. He is among the pioneers of the open education movement, starting with Connexions (now OpenStax CNX) in 1999. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Inventors, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has received the IEEE James H. Mulligan Jr. Education Medal. His current focus at OpenStax is developing new machine learning algorithms to drive the personalized learning functions in OpenStax Tutor.

Palmiotto is the editorial director of OpenStax and is leading its COVID-19 response efforts. He started his career in commercial publishing and educational technology and now works closely with educators to develop OpenStax’s textbooks and related resources.

To schedule an interview with Baraniuk or Palmiotto, or for more information, contact Avery Franklin, media relations specialist at Rice, at or 713-348-6327.


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OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. As a nonprofit ed tech initiative that is part of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low-cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn. For more information, visit

The Glasscock School offers personal and professional development classes, online and hybrid courses and certificate programs, as well as offerings from the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Foreign Language program, the English as a Second Language program, the Master of Liberal Studies program, the Diploma in Liberal Studies program, the Master of Arts in Teaching program and School Literacy and Culture program. For more information, go to

About Avery Ruxer Franklin

Avery is a media relations specialist in the Office of Public Affairs.