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Advantages of Adopting OER in the Era of COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic creates greater urgency for high quality, customizable, no- and low- cost instructional materials designed with remote instruction in mind.
OER has four advantages over traditional textbooks in the COVID-19 learning environment June 9, 2020
- Remote-instruction friendly. Almost all OER is born digital, available for free online or in print at low cost. Much OER comes pre-loaded in a format that is compatible with the most commonly used learning management systems.
- Adaptable. In contrast to traditional textbooks, which are locked by copyright, OER can be customized by instructors as they adapt their courses to remote instruction.
- Accessible forever. Given the economic impact and potentially long duration of COVID-19, students are more likely than ever to take extended periods to complete their degree paths. Being able to reference materials from prerequisite courses months or years later will help them persist. Unlike commercial ebook access codes that expire at the end of the semester, students can retain OER permanently.
- A good investment. These are times of tight budgets for both students and institutions. OER adoption is one of the few interventions that both saves students money and generates additional revenues for institutions. OER has saved higher education students nearly a billion dollars in textbook costs in the US and Canada. Research shows that there is also a positive financial return on investment (ROI) for institutions that adopt OER, as students who save money on texts take additional credits.
Accelerating Adoption of OER in the Era of COVID-19 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at https://www.doers3.org/covid19.html. Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS3) is a collective of 22 higher education systems and state/province-wide OER initiatives in the U.S. and Canada.
Impact of OER: quick facts
OER in Action at Community Colleges
Tidewater Community College
Launched in Fall 2013, TCC was the first to offer a degree in which students pay nothing for required textbooks. Named “Z-Degree”, this program awards an associates degree in business administration with zero textbook cost to students.
Maricopa Community Colleges
Dubbed "Maricopa Millions Project," this is a partnership between the eight community colleges in Phoenix, Arizona with the goal of saving students $5M in 5 years in textbook costs.
Scottsdale Community College
Started the Math OER program in 2012 where faculty used OER materials such as open textbook, interactive workbook, online homework software, and tutorials to teach mathematics to their students.
Lane Community College
Launched the OER Faculty Fellowship that provides support and opportunities for faculty to create and use OER in their courses, save students money, and increase the number of textbook-free courses.
Washtenaw Community College
Big savings: Textbook alternatives have kept $1.79M in WCC students’ pockets; college committed to more
Types of OER
OER include learning materials such as:
- open textbooks
- full courses
- homework assignments
- lab activities
Organizations Supporting OER
Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
CCCOER is a growing consortium of community and technical colleges committed to expanding access to education and increasing student success through adoption of open educational policy, practices, and resources.
With the internet, universal access to education is possible, but its potential is hindered by increasingly restrictive copyright laws and incompatible technologies. The Open Education program at Creative Commons works to minimize these barriers.
Michigan Community College Association
Michigan Colleges Online is an initiative of the Michigan Community College Association and the 28 Michigan community colleges.
An independent, not-for-profit organization that provides leadership, international networking and support for educators and educational institutions to achieve their objectives through open education.
Open Professionals Education Network
Provides free support and technical assistance to all grantees of the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program from the U.S. Department of Labor.
SPARC is a global coalition committed to making Open the default for research and education.
Nationwide organization of Student Public Interest Research Groups that advocates for free and affordable textbook access to students.
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Foundation supports mainstream adoption and effective use of openly licensed educational resources that provide students around the world greater access to a world class education.
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