Library News and Much More!

March 30, 2016
by Wayde Oshiro

Are You Ready for Open?

Questions to ask yourself when considering Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Do you want to improve student success?
  • Do you want to reduce/eliminate course material costs for students?
  • Do you have the required computer and Internet skills?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you are ready to start exploring the materials that are available in your subject.



Learn more at Go Open, Go Free Using Open Educational Resources @ Leeward CC

Start looking for open textbooks from our Open Educational Resources Guide

March 8, 2016
by Wayde Oshiro

Textbook Cost: $0

Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 program is saving students real money.  This semester’s estimated savings for students in classes taught by 25 faculty who switched from commercial texts to OER or zero-cost resources is $131,000.  Any course can be designated TC:$0 by the instructor.  Go to the Textbook Cost: $0 page for more information.

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For more information about the Textbook Cost: $0 program at Leeward, go to the OER @ Leeward Textbook Cost: $0 page and look for Frequently Asked Questions.

February 9, 2016
by Wayde Oshiro

Impact of Textbook Costs on College Students

OER_Covering_the_CostLast week, Student PIRGS released, Covering the Cost: Why We Can No Longer Afford to Ignore High Textbook Prices, a report exploring the impact of high textbook prices on the financial well-being of students.*

Key findings relevant to our student population:

  • Fifty percent of community college students use some form of financial aid to pay for their textbooks (vs. 28% at 4-year public colleges)
  • Sixty-five percent of community college students use financial aid to cover 100% of their textbook costs (vs. 50% at 4-year schools)

The financial burden of higher education has a greater impact on our students. We know that faculty are very concerned about costs and bend over backwards to make course materials available to their students as inexpensively as possible by using older editions, in-class buy back programs, customized versions, course reserves, and other methods to help save money.  But no matter the time and effort you and your students put into reducing textbook costs, none of these really go to the root of the problem which is a textbook publishing market run amok.

The OER movement provides an opportunity to opt-out of the broken marketplace for textbooks.  OERs are not always perfect–is there a perfect textbook?  The available materials may not be as diverse or as in-depth in some subject areas or fields as you may be used but, then again, it’s not built on a profit-driven model.  OERs are created by educators like yourselves seeking to make teaching materials available online and free to everyone.  Moving to OER is not easy but it can be done and you have our Leeward OER faculty leaders to show you the way.  And you can always count on the EMC and Library to answer your questions and help you get started.

*Findings are based on a survey of 4,704 students at 132 schools in 26 states conducted September-October 2015.  

April 14, 2015
by Wayde Oshiro

Open Textbooks

Open textbooks are complete, no-cost textbooks with nonrestrictive licenses allowing you, the instructor, to adopt, adapt, redistribute, or remix the materials as you please.  Using an existing open textbook is often the easiest and quickest way to implement OER in the classroom.

View this video to learn how a Leeward professor has successfully adopted an open textbook in her classroom:

Librarians are building lists of open textbooks for you to evaluate.  Go to the OER LibGuide at for open textbook libraries and librarian-curated subject lists.  Place your cursor over the Find Open Textbooks tab to view the drop-down list of available subjects.  If your subject area is not represented, please let us know and we’ll be more than happy to start a new subject list.


Contact Wayde Oshiro (x378) or Junie Hayashi (x680) to learn more.


March 3, 2015
by Wayde Oshiro

New Student PIRGS report on open textbooks

A recently released report by the Student PIRGS, “Open Textbooks:  The Billion Dollar Solution,” examines the potential savings for students when faculty move to open textbooks.  By analyzing five pilot projects around the country, the researchers determined that a student saves $128 when a course uses an open textbook instead of a traditional publisher’s textbook.  The institutions included in this study were UMass Amherst, Kansas State University, Tacoma Community College, University of Kansas, and University of Maryland.

The open textbook and open educational resources movement is gaining momentum around the country.  Outreach College is leading the initiative at UHM with over 50 “zero textbook cost” courses on the summer session schedule.  The Library and the EMC at Leeward are working with faculty in several divisions to identify quality OER and turn their courses into “zero textbook cost” courses.  See OER@Leeward for more info.

January 5, 2015
by Wayde Oshiro

Why go Open?

A 2014 U.S. PIRG Educational Fund survey of 2,039 students at over 150 campuses found that

  • 65% did not buy textbooks due to the high costs
  • 94% who did not purchase a textbook were concerned it would affect their grades
  • 48% said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many and which classes they took

Escalating textbook costs are forcing students into making decisions which negatively impact their academic success.

What is OER?OER

OER, or Open Educational Resources, are free online learning materials which are licensed for anyone to reuse, revise, remix, or redistribute.  OER includes complete courses, textbooks, modules, videos, tests, simulations, and other learning objects.

Why go open?

  • Reduce or eliminate textbook costs for your students
  • Ensure every student in your class can access course materials on the very first day
  • Increase student engagement and success
  • Participate in the growing global open access movement

Who is going open?

Many institutions around the U.S. and the world are moving towards open resources.  Since spring 2014 the University of Hawaii System has made a commitment to supporting the development and use of OER.

How do I get started?

Leeward CC has adopted the team-based approach to using OER in courses. The team consists of at least one Librarian, one Educational Technologists and one faculty (subject matter expert) working together using a systematic, project-based approach for each course adoption of OER.

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