March 6, 2018
by Rachael Inake
The following is a special guest blog post by: Kimo Burgess, Leeward CC student, Student Government Senator Fall 2017 – Spring 2018.
There are many benefits when it comes to taking OER or $0 cost textbook courses. When I first entered Leeward Community College several semesters ago, I didn’t realize how outrageously expensive textbooks could actually be. I thought textbooks would generally cost around $20 to $30, but I was flabbergasted to realize that textbooks can cost up to $150 and above. Having to pay for books in addition to tuition is ridiculous. As an average college student, I have to pay for a bus pass that is priced at $250 a semester and tuition that is $2500 every year. The most I have spent on textbooks during one semester was $500. That $500 can be better spent on transportation and even alleviate the cost of living.
OER and $0 cost textbook courses offer many benefits such as financial and academic freedom, the unburden of carrying heavy textbooks, and not having to worry about whether it’s in stock at the bookstore or on Amazon. Though there are benefits with $0 cost textbooks and OER courses, access to computers or an online device can be difficult for some.
When I entered an OER course during my second semester at Leeward Community College, I felt liberated not having to carry a heavy textbook with me every time. It’s efficient and cheaper for professors to go OER. It can be irksome for both the professor and the students if they need a required reading/textbook that can be possibly out of stock in the bookstore or even unavailable at the library. Having Ebooks (electronic books) introduced as course material can make school life a lot more simple and sustainable, too. Ask yourself this question, “Why would I need to buy an expensive book when I can just read it for free?” I hope in the future that Leeward Community College offers more OER courses because it makes college life and work a whole lot easier.
Here are some statistics on Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 courses for Spring 2018. Let’s help more of our students, like Kimo, by offering more textbook cost: $0 courses!
January 26, 2018
by Rachael Inake
Here’s a quick re-cap on what’s happening with Open Educational Resources (OER) at Leeward CC.
Open Textbook Network
The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is an alliance of over 600 higher education institutions promoting access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. OTN maintains the Open Textbook Library, a collection of 453 peer-reviewed open textbooks. The UHCC system recently joined this growing community of open education advocates. Our membership allows UHCC OER advocates to participate in discussions with regional and national leaders, share best practices with other members, and tap into the collective expertise of the network. A highlight this year is an upcoming visit by two presenters from OTN coinciding with HSSI, March 28-29. A presentation is planned for Day 1 and a train-the-trainer workshop on Day 2. The all-day workshop at Honolulu CC is for individuals who will return to their home campuses as open textbook advocates and provide faculty with training opportunities. We are excited to participate in this network and share our successes with colleagues around the U.S.
Spring 2018 Textbook Cost: $0
Preliminary, we now have 273 sections at Leeward that are “textbook cost: $0” leading to a savings of $459,826 and a total savings to-date of $2,087,575. “Textbook cost: $0” “is a designation for a class that does not require students to purchase any course materials out-of-pocket. Classes may use a variety of Open Educational Resources (OERs), online resources, library resources, and faculty-authored materials to replace commercially-produced textbooks” (Go Open, Go Free).
“Go Open, Go Free Using OER” Spring 2018 Workshop
Are you interested in OER or going OER? Register today for the upcoming workshop series from February 13 to March 20 at 1:00 PM -2:30 PM. In this six-week workshop series, participants will learn about no-cost and Open Educational Resources (OER) which have the potential to replace costly commercial textbooks and other course materials.
- Articulating the value of OER in higher education
- Defining OER
- Distinguishing between openly licensed, public domain, and copyrighted materials
- Finding OER in your subject area
- Evaluating OER
- Understanding the differences in Creative Commons license types
- Combining different types of Creative Commons licensed materials
- Adding a Creative Commons license to your own work
- Giving proper attributions to OER