The Sustainability of Open Education at U.S. Community Colleges


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A panel of community college leaders discuss OER funding and adoption trends in the U.S. that are leading to sustainable open educational policies and practices. Affordability of education remains a significant barrier for students as instructional material and tuition costs have risen dramatically in the last decade. Community and technical colleges in the U.S. are increasingly advocating for open educational practices and policies to fulfill their mission of expanding access to education. Initial outreach to private foundations resulted in support for colleges to implement the pedagogical innovations and effectiveness research of OER usage in teaching and learning.

These early pilots have shown the use of open educational resources (OER) to be effective in lowering costs while maintaining or improving student learning outcomes. As these proof-of-concept pilots have matured, policy support and funding from within the public sector has emerged. College districts, state and federal government programs and policies have begun in earnest to support faculty and administrators who are promoting the adoption of OER to enhance teaching and learning while lowering costs through openly sharing of materials. As this public funding grows and becomes part of operational budgets, sustainability and institutionalization of open policies and practices can become a reality.

This panel will discuss recent publicly funded case studies such as the Maricopa College District’s OER Steering Committee Project, California State’s Higher Education Open Textbook legislation, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Assistance Adjustment Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) program.

• Una Daly, Community College Outreach Director, OpenCourseWare Consortium;
• James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean, College of the Canyons, California; and Community College Consortium Advisory Board President, OCWC Board Member.
• Paul Golisch, Dean of Instructional Technology, OER Steering Committee Co-chair, Paradise Valley College, Arizona;
• Dr. Lisa Young, Instructional Designer, OER Steering Committee Co-chair, Scottsdale Community College, Arizona

The Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources was founded in the Foothill–De Anza College District in 2007. Its focus was to create awareness and build a community of practice around OER at the public two-year colleges. It became an associate consortium of the OpenCourseWare Consortium in 2011 and now has over 240 colleges in 15 U.S. states and the province of British Columbia who are members through individual college memberships or regional and statewide memberships.

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  • Just like any resource, there are areas of strengths and areas of challenges. To some. The work involved in finding, modifying and creating OER and no longer relying on the textbook is like a weed, while to others the use of OER and the promise that this movement has to offer will have an impact on the future. Like a dandelion, some may see a weed, while others may see that promise.We would like to give attribution to Quill West from Tacoma Community College for the concept of growing OER from seed.
  • At the Maricopa Community Colleges, OER started with small scale projects – isolated flowers being completely cared for by the faculty using them. We had a number of disciplines, faculty and colleges who were experimenting with OER, including mathematics, english, psychology, biology, geology and more.
  • Then they began to sprout all over in different college and disciplines. In an attempt to scale the use of OER, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost assembled a team of faculty to research OER and make a recommendation on how our District should proceed with OER. This team drafted a proposal to create a 5-year project with the ultimate goal of saving students $5 Million in 5 years through the use of low cost and no cost learning materials. The Project, titled the Maricopa Millions plans to accomplish this through the following objectives:Creation of an OER support team/strategic team to carry out the initiatives of the OER project (completed). Determining the current state and build awareness of OER in MCCCD (in progress).Creation of MCCCD OER Standards and guidelines for development and reuse.Conducting a pilot project that integrates OER into transfer degree courses and their prerequisite developmental education courses that can serve to model a process that can be adapted elsewhere in the curriculum (in progress).Development of methodology and conducting ongoing assessment of effectiveness and impact of the OER Project (in progress, see below).Supporting the integration and sustainability of OER across the curriculum (in progress).Maintaining current and establishing new connections with national OER initiatives/groups (in progress).
  • So the initiative has been working hard to develop roots through the sponsorship and support of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, the OER Steering Team which is comprised of 2 College Presidents, a Vice President of Academic Affairs, a Dean of Instruction, and faculty from many disciplines including math, English, library, instructional design, reading, geology. The strategic plan is also a main component of the project.
  • The Maricopa Millions project has been tended to through the leadership of the Co-chairs of the OER Steering Team, the foundation provided through the strategic plan, outreach efforts which include bringing in prominent speakers on OER, holding workshops, and an internal grant program to coordinate and encourage the adoption and use of OER.
  • OER is becoming a collaborative process within the Maricopa Community Colleges. Through the internal grant process, faculty are encouraged to work across colleges to find, remix, create and use OER course materials. By having multiple colleges collaborate, it is hoped that the impact on students will be greater. In some cases, entire departments are adopting OER for their classes.
  • The courses need to have editing cycles, review periods, and more to ensure that the materials are up to date and of sufficient quality.
  • The Maricopa Millions project would not be this far along with out the seeds that were planted by others. So many organizations and higher education institutions have shared their expertise including the use of an open homework system named MathAS developed by David Lippman, the work conducted through the Kaleidoscope project and Lumen Learning, the groundwork that Quill West provided from Tacoma Community College and the work that Cable Green did with both the Washington State System and Creative Commons.
  • And as we have learned lessons in OER scaling, we have shared them with others, conducting presentations and workshops for Mohave Community College, Central Arizona College, OpenStax and presenting at many conferences including (ICT elearning conference, League for Innovations in the Community College, Educause Learning Initiative, OpenEd, AZ Human Capital Conference, and many more.
  • Many excellent OER projects are being developed and showcased in the US that are of high quality including:The ACHIEVE rubricOpenStaxKaledioscopeTextbook Zero project by TideWater Community College
  • As more faculty are adopting OER, students are requesting it as an option. Some faculty have students create and evaluate OER materials.
  • Becoming sustainable. More people using adopting and remixing, becomes more sustainable. Mention use of CC-BY, Affordable textbook act, etc.Also discuss that Slovenians celebrate Spring with Dandelion Salad.
  • 3 public higher education systems in Calfornia working together to find and curate high-quality OER to make college more affordable and give faculty more choices.
  • Context of 2012 – still in recovery from recession
  • The Sustainability of Open Education at U.S. Community Colleges

    1. 1. Sustaining Open Education At U.S. Community Colleges April 25, 2014
    2. 2. Welcome to CCCOER Lisa Young Scottsdale College James Glapa-Grossklag College of the Canyons Una Daly OpenCourseWare Paul Golisch Paradise Valley College
    3. 3. Mission of community colleges • Open Access • Teaching vs. Research • Degree Completion 1200 U.S. community colleges
    4. 4. Undergraduate students who attend community colleges: 45% Students who attend in California: 20% Students aged 25-39 years: 45%
    5. 5. Students who study part-time: 60% Students who are employed full- time:40% Students who are first in family to attend college: 40%
    6. 6. Rising Cost of Textbooks
    7. 7. OER Sustainability Perspectives • Maricopa college district in Arizona • Public higher education in California • National workforce training for colleges
    8. 8. Photo by JasonPedersen - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck Dr. Lisa Young Paul Golisch Maricopa Community Colleges
    9. 9. Photo by Elizabeth Thomsen - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck
    10. 10. Photo by - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
    11. 11. Photo by henna lion - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
    12. 12. Photo by ecstaticist - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck
    13. 13. Photo by foxypar4 - Creative Commons Attribution License Created with Haiku Deck
    14. 14. Photo by jaarons - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
    15. 15. Photo by mira_foto - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
    16. 16. Photo by Vvillamon - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck
    17. 17. Photo by olfiika - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck
    18. 18. Photo by Gidzy - Creative Commons Attribution License Created with Haiku Deck
    19. 19. Photo by htomren - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License Created with Haiku Deck
    20. 20. Photo by ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser - Creative Commons Attribution License Created with Haiku Deck
    21. 21. 3 Million Students Affected California Open Textbook Initiative
    22. 22. Open Textbook Legislation • Signed late 2012 to help students affected by cut backs from recession.
    23. 23. State Bills 1052, 1053 • Establish faculty council to identify top 50 courses and peer review process. • Establish a curated collection of OER for California faculty and students.
    24. 24. Unique Funding • Legislation required matching funds with California State up to $5 million • Initial matching funds were identified at the Hewlett Foundation end of 2013.
    25. 25. Current Status • Top 50 courses: articulation & impact • Peer review process in-design • Faculty, student surveys online • Faculty OER Adopter ePortfolios
    26. 26. Faculty Adoption e-Portfolio
    27. 27. National Workforce Training with OER
    28. 28. U.S. Department of Labor • National Workforce Retraining • Global Economy – Outsourced jobs – Low paying jobs – Obsolete skills Licensed by Paul Stacey CC-BY
    29. 29. Funding Model • $2 Billion over 4 years starting in 2011 • Grants provided to community colleges • Create certificate programs that can be completed in under 2 years • Lead to “mid-skill” level jobs with living wages.
    30. 30. College/Employer Partnerships
    31. 31. Open License Requirement • CC-BY licensing ensures that materials developed with grant funds result in work that can be freely reused and improved uponeused and improved by others.
    32. 32. Current Status • First-wave TAACCCT projects complete fall 2014 • Last-wave applications due soon • OER Repository solution in-process
    33. 33. Questions for Panelists Contact Information Una Daly, James Glapa-Grossklag, Paul Golisch, Lisa Young,
    34. 34. Image Attributions Image licensed by FromtheNorth CC-BY-NC-SA Image public domain: Image licensed by reeding lessons, cc-by-nc-sa