Open Educational Resources (OER): What is it and why is it important?
Jan. 23, 2017Coast Canvas Boot CampPresenter: Lori Cassidy, Instructional Design Librarian & OER Coordinator
This work is licensed under:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Textbook affordabilityOpen Educational Resources (OER)Coast Grants
Goal of Textbook Affordability
Day One access to the textbook for all students
The State of Textbook Prices
In the California Community Colleges, students can pay as much or more for textbooks as they do in tuition. What is the result of this?Students delay the purchase of their required textbooks or simply never buy them.Not all students have the book on day one, putting themselves at a disadvantageMany professors delay important coursework for the first week or two of class due to students waiting for their copy to come in the mail from cheaper online sources.Professors field a lot of questions like, “Are we really going to use the book?” or “Do I have to buy it?”Students find creative ways around purchasing, such as piracy or sharing a book with their friends. These ways can inhibit a student’s access to the material.
Why do this?
Increase student equity by ensuring everyone has access to the materials at the same timePotentially improve student retention and successReduce student debt
How Have We Tried to Solve this?
OCC has several programs to help studentsLibrary textbook reserve collectionEOPS textbook programIndividual professors’ efforts, such as loaning individual desk copies to needy studentsThese are all focused on physical copies and don’t solve the problem of day one access for all. They help alleviate the issue but we can do better!
What Can We Do Differently?
Tools in our beltOpen educational resourcesPublic domainLibrary resources
Open Educational Resources (OER)
What is an Open Educational Textbook?
Open Educational Resources (OER)are free educational resources, such as textbooks, learning objects, videos, etc., that are in the public domain or are licensed for use and repurposing by others.A free, legal copy is always available online. A print copy can often be ordered for a small cost.Typically, OER textbooks are self-published by the faculty who wrote them or published by an organization such as a college or non-profit.Must have a Creative Commons license that allows you to distribute and reproduce the book. Ideally, it will also allow you to remix, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Licensing and Copyright
Copyright law confers rights to creators for the distribution and reproduction of their work.These rights can be superseded by licenses or public domain.Public domain applies to works published before 1923 or works created by the United States governmentLicenses are agreements for the creator to give up certain rights for a work. This can be for a fee or free.Fee: Library licenses, song licenses, public viewing licenses, etc.Free: Creative Commons licensing
Internationally recognized legal license that allows a content creator to assign a legally binding license to a work that they create and facilitates sharing of contentWhich license is chosen determines which rights are given up.DistributionRemixing6 licenses:https://creativecommons.org/licenses/Attribution must always be given!Look for the grey CC box:
Why is this important?
Creative Commons lets you freely redistribute and, sometimes, remix educational content.There are many copyright restrictions for educators to follow. CC licenses let you bypass them.Since it’s legally binding, you are protected as long as you follow the terms of the license.It allows academia to share knowledge freely, while still giving professors credit for their hard work.
Downsides to OER
OER vary in quality (as do traditional textbooks).OER typically do not have the support structure that published textbooks haveSalespeople, graphic designers, supplemental websites, etc.However, there is a new industry rising of “value-added OER”. They usually charge a fee but it is much less than traditional textbooks.May not be updated as regularly. Varies by book.Not all subjects have a quality OER textbook available.May be more DIY, depending on teaching style
All digital materials used in a college class must be accessible, including online textbooks.Accessibility = making materials usable to people with disabilities. This can include anything from using colors that color-blind students can see to adding notations for students using screen readers.There are different levels of accessibility. Many materials do not follow the most stringent standard, even those created by publishers.Publishers are required to provide a VPAT statement on request. OER materials do not have this requirement.This is an issue for ALL educational digital materials, not just OER. The adoption of Canvas should help OCC to be more compliant.Many OER textbooks have already been made accessible. If you’re not sure, send it to me and I will run an accessibility check on it.
Finding OER Textbooks
Many places to look – best place varies by discipline.I can assist! I can send you books to review, based on your COR.Must make sure that you follow all licenses, grant requirements, laws, etc. when adopting
Places to Start Looking
Openstax:https://openstax.org/Great for science & math; some genedOpen Textbook Library:http://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/Great for everything; has reviewsCool4Ed:http://www.cool4ed.org/courseshowcase.htmlAligns with C-ID; has reviewsOER Commons:https://www.oercommons.org/Great for everything; has reviewsLumen:https://courses.lumenlearning.com/catalog/lumenBased on multiple OER sources. Also has paid option that imports into CanvasMerlot:https://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htmDifficult to search because of the overwhelming amount of content; has reviewsVery specific search required
If you have a book or resource that you feel is ideal for your class but it’s not OER, talk to me about if the library can purchase itSomeebookscan be bought with multiple user licenses, which allows us to make it free to every student.Articles, essays, and videos may also be available for free to students under library licensingWe are restricted by what is available to us to buy. Many items are not available for a library to purchase electronically, even though you can buy a personal copy.Email me the resource you want and I will see if we can license it
Initiatives - Overview
Two grants: AB798 and Z Degree PathwaysDifferent requirements for each grant, but there is some overlapAB798 focuses on reduced textbook costs using OER & library resources. All 3 colleges have this grant.Z Degree Pathway requires $0 cost to the students for all textbooks & supplemental materials; focuses on a zero cost degree pathway. OCC has the Planning grant. If that goes well, we’ll apply for an Implementation grant later.SB1359: New law that requires community colleges to list classes with no- or low-cost textbooks assigned to them in the online schedule
Grants – AB798 Requirements
Must show 30% savings for all required materials over current bookstore costs to the student.New textbooks must be adopted by June 2018."All new open educational resources developed and available that are adopted as course material pursuant to this program shall be added to the California Open Online Library for Education established in Section 66408.“ I will handle this part.Students must be able to purchase a print version of the adopted textbook in the campus bookstore.Books adopted must be OER or library resources (and free to the student). OER definitions vary by grant. See next slide.
Grants – Z Degree Pathways Requirements
Planning grant requires a degree pathway be identified and underlying structure set up.Looking for classes that qualify for transfer certificate/degree, as well as a qualifying major. Please spread the word!Adopted textbooks must be free to the student. Includes supplemental textbook-like materials as well (lab manuals, software, etc.).“All open educational resources used as learning materials for a degree developed pursuant to this section shall be added to the California Digital Open Source Library.”“…other community college districts can use or adapt, and post each degree, and the contents of the degree, on the online clearinghouse of information…” I will handle this.Books do not have to be OER – the most important component is that they are sustainably free to the student. In other words, you can’t provide the book for free one semester and charge the next. Also, courses with no textbook count.
Interested in Participating?
Coast OER Coordinators
OCC: Lori Cassidy (email@example.com)CCC: Scott Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)GWC: Noah Levin (email@example.com)
For Further Information
http://libguides.orangecoastcollege.edu/c.php?g=495365Lori Cassidy, OER Coordinator/Instructional Design Librarian:firstname.lastname@example.orgI’m available to meet individually or present at department meetings.Talk by Cable Green at District onFebruary 13Times: 9:30-11:30am & 1:30-3:30pm