Template Sections for completion:
Case Study Title: Community College Consortium for Open Educational
Resources and the CCOT project
Case Study Country: USA
Type of organisation described by the case study, address of organisation,
hyperlink to organisation, hyperlink to case study source: HE
Case Study Contributed by: Gráinne Conole (GC)
1. Mandatory - A brief summary of the institution to be used as a case study
About 500 words please on a description of the institution, its OER history
• CCCOER website: http://oerconsortium.org/about/
• Educause article
• CCOT website http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/
• Baker et al. IRRODL article
• Connexions website - http://cnx.org
The primary goal of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
is to identify, create and/or repurpose existing OER as Open Textbooks and make them
available for use by community college students and faculty. We are seeking the
support of faculty to identify, review, evaluate, and make available high quality,
accessible and culturally relevant model Open Textbooks. CCCOER was established in
July 2007 by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA).
Also includes the CCOT project which acted as a proof of concept for the production of
open text books. The proof-of-concept served to document a workflow process that
would support adoption of open textbooks.
2. Quality – OER/OEP
How does the institution approach quality in OER? Is there any current
indication of a quality concept or process? Does the institution perceive
quality from the perspective of the quality of open educational resources or
the quality of open educational practice? How does the institution show
quality through OEP versus quality of OEP? What methods, concepts and
practices are used to enhance the quality of OEP?
The CCOT Project's collection of open textbooks currently under
provides educators with an opportunity to share their own reviews and to
find reviews submitted by others. MERLOT supports creative collaboration
and sharing of learning resources with its searchable database.
The CCOT Project's Content Review Committee and Technology Standards
Committee developed review processes and review criteria that can serve as
models for other open textbooks projects. The purpose of the review process
and criteria are to establish standards by which open textbooks can be
evaluated for quality, relevance, comprehensiveness, accessibility, and
interoperability, thus providing faculty and administrators with information
to guide their decision to adopt open textbooks.
The content review process includes reviewing self-selected chapters of the
textbook, writing a reviewer's statement, evaluating the textbook using an
online (public) rating system, and contributing to an online discussion forum
with other faculty reviewers. The rating system developed by the Content
Review Committee is based on eleven evaluative criteria such as the
comprehensibility of the text, its accuracy, its modularity, and its cultural
Nice model for reviewing quality of open text books, includes marks for the
following criteria: clarity and comprehension, accuracy, readability,
consistencey, appropriateness, interface, content usefulness, modularity,
content errors, reading level, cultural relevance. See
http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/thereviews/art.html for an example.
CCOTP modelled a workflow process for developing, identifying, reviewing
and disseminating open textbooks suitable for community college instruction.
How can OER/OEP innovate educational practices? What current innovative
practices are there in the institution? Please do not regard innovation from
just a technology perspective!
Includes the Campus promo kit, which is a set of materials suitable for
promoting the use of OER. This includes marketing materials, guidelines and
tutorials on OER, an open textbook adoption worksheet, OER needs
assessment survey, policies and models.
The promo kit seems to be the primary vehicle for encouraging uptake and
use of OER across the community college sector. Vision is that community
college educators can benefit from knowing what other colleges have done
to promote OER: What resources did they use?, What materials did they
develop?, What programs worked? And What samples do they have?
Also provides link to over 150 members of the CCCOER and over 30
CCOT provided a proof of concept around the value and use of open text
books. Close alignment with existing community and tools associated with
the Connexions project are important success factors.
An important aspect of CCCOER and CCOTP is challenging deeply ingrained
use of published textbooks and moving towards increased awareness of
What are the current OER/OEP policy arrangements at institutional and
national level across Europe/the World?
Three main parts:
• The Foothill-De Anza Community College District policy supports use
of public domain materials for instruction.
• Exemplary Collection of Institutions with OER Policy – links to a
• Reviewed Collection Best Practices – links to the DLESE collections
best practices site (http://www.dlese.org/Metadata/collections/drc-
What actors are involved in OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to show that
OER actors do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
Community college members
CCOT team members
Faculty and learners more generally
What OER/OEP initiatives can be evidenced? Is there any evidence to show
that OER initiatives do not always promote OEP but “only” access to OER?
In April 2008, the CCCOER launched the Community College Open Textbook (CCOT)
Project (http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org), funded by The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation (http://www.hewlett.org/Programs/Education/OER/) as a one-
year feasibility study. The goals of the CCOT Project are to centralize critical open
textbook information for use by community college professors and other interested
parties and to document sustainable workflow approaches for producing,
maintaining, and disseminating open textbooks.
The purpose of the CCOT Project is to explore the feasibility of creating high-quality,
accessible, and culturally relevant open textbooks at low cost for community college
students and faculty.
Early work included a major survey of members which found there was a large gap
between those willining to use OER in their classes (91%) and those actively using
7. Open Educational Practices
Can you identify some case studies/ descriptions which form the illustrative
base for a more general model of OEP?
The CCOT Project has identified four potential approaches to open textbook
production as exemplified by four member organizations: UCCP
(http://www.uccp.org/), FWK (http://www.flatworldknowledge.com), Connexions
(http://cnx.org), and MITE (http://www.montereyinstitute.org/).
• UCCP develops open-access, online, high-quality educational courses at the
high school advanced-placement level and plans to leverage innovative
technologies and expertise within the University of California by providing
existing course material in Connexions.
• FWK is a commercial textbook publishing company that seeks to cover the
costs of producing textbooks by providing ancillary materials to students at
• Connexions provides a versatile tool and repository where faculty can share,
collaborate, remix, develop, and disseminate open learning content.
• MITE, an educational nonprofit organization that manages projects for the
distribution of open educational content, recommends developing a detailed
"how-to kit" for creating open textbooks, including step-by-step instructions
for developing and publishing open textbooks compatible with the
8. Tools and Repositories
What tools and repositories are being used to deliver OER/OEP? For example
Are there any other special tools for OER/OEP? e.g. Cloudworks, in
which practices can be discussed and validated?
Are there any tools for Visualisation? e.g CompendiumLD
Are there any tools for Argumentation? e.g. Cohere
Connexions toolset – this was key to the success of the project. Connexions
(developed by Rice University) provides an effective means for educators to
contribute and to share open textbooks. It provides authors with a way to copy,
customise, share and disseminate open textbooks.
The CCOT Project plans to further deploy various Web 2.0 social networking
strategies—such as its network on Ning (http://collegeopentextbooks.ning.com)—to
promote and solicit market informatio
Can you identify any strategies for organisations to use OER/OEP? Can you
identify any business models that promote OER/OEP?
Aim is to replace expensive textbooks with onling interactive resources and
personalised learning environments. Open textbooks are seen as a strategy towards this.
Value of shifting teaching practice and culture away from traditional published text
books to more innovative and interactive learning materials. Production and promotion
of open text books seen as a first step towards this.
Recommendations arising from CCOT project
(1) using Connexions as the common repository for open textbook content, in
an effort to provide greater national and even international access;
(2) using Connexions as the tool for sharing, reusing, customizing, and
disseminating open textbook content;
(3) further examining FWK as a sustainable business model for open textbook
(4) considering corporate funding, in return for branding, to sponsor the
development of content for specific disciplines;
(5) approaching publishers to donate content that is going out of print; and
(6) identifying the process for storyboarding the development of open
10. Current barriers and enablers
What are the barriers to the use of OER/OEP? Is there any evidence to how
these barriers have been overcome? What are the enablers to the use of
Challenges identified In the CCOT project
1) faculty members' and students' expectations of high production quality
and ancillaries for open textbooks; (
2) faculty members' expectations of free printed desk copies of open
(3) colleges' reluctance to mandate the use or adoption of specific open
textbooks to the exclusion of other books;
(4) the potential for loss of revenue stream by campus bookstores;
(5) methods for articulating and transferring credit assurances for courses
using open textbooks;
(6) the need to meet accessibility standards;
(7) methods for documenting and maintaining control over various versions;
(8) copyright issues; (
9) the process of converting existing open content to digital and accessible
(10) the fact that student financial aid for textbooks is not set up for online