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Last Updated: Oct 18, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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UHCC Strategic Plan & OER

The 2015-2021 UHCC Strategic Plan explicitly mentions lowering the cost of textbooks through adoption of Open Educational Resources (page 27):

Reducing the Cost of Education for Students

The tuition, fees, and book cost of attending a community college should be eliminated as a barrier or consideration for all students. Analysis of unmet need shows the UH Community Colleges to be approximately $3 million short of delivering on this commitment to its current students. This gap will be eliminated through:

• Expanded private fundraising for need based scholarships;

• Expanded partnerships with other organizations or employers who can support the direct costs experienced by students;

• Further expansion of student use of available federal and other non-UH sources of support; and

Adoption of Open Education Resources to replace textbooks, with most textbooks replaced by the year 2021.

Learn More About OER


What Are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

                                                                                             OER Europa

OERs are online educational materials, including textbooks,  that are specifically designed to be openly available at no, or low, cost and are often licensed, usually through Creative Commons. They can be downloaded, reused, modified, and re-distributed.  


Why Use Open Educational Resources?

                                               OER UBC

The costs of textbooks has been steadily climbing and have become a financial obstacle to many students. Average college textbook/supplies costs per year per student are between $1200-$1300 (College Board, 2015).  According to a 2015 Leeward Community College survey, the cost of textbooks has a large impact on courses taken and the decision to purchase textbooks for enrolled courses.

Where to Find Open Educational Resources

  • OpenStax College Textbooks
    Offers peer reviewed customizable college texts. An initiative of Rice University, Hewlett Foundation, Gates Foundation and others.
  • Open Textbook Library
    A collaboration among universities such as Purdue and Cal Poly, this site offers peer-reviewed, open college texts from a variety of sources.
  • Open Education Consortium
    Offers materials from consortium members such as MIT, Yale and UMass and MERLOT. (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning & Online Teaching).
  • College Open Textbooks
    The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges.
  • Open Washington:Open Educational Resources Network
    Created by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Offers links to textbooks, videos, images and course materials designed for community colleges.
  • The Teaching Commons
    The Teaching Commons showcases high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities and makes them available to educators and students around the world. Searchable by institution, subject area, and by type of resource.
  • BC Campus Open Ed: Find Open Textbooks
    Links to 144 open textbooks
  • California OER Council List of Courses & Texts
    In 2012, the California State Legislature directed the public higher education systems in the state to create an online library with open educational resources and textbooks in order to increase faculty adoption of high quality, affordable or free materials to save students money. This list includes courses/open resources used in the UC, CSU, and CCC systems.

OER in the UH System

The UH System OER Committee shares information and resources with the UH community to support the growth of OER in order to ease the expensive burden of textbook expenses for students. Check out their presentation at Kapiolani Community College in Spring 2015.

Leeward Community College OER Initiative 

The Leeward OER initiative progress list covers a timeline from information gathering  in Fall 2014 through program development and community building in Spring 2016.

In Spring 2016, Leeward had 148 $0 textbook CRN sections in their class schedule, accounting for 14.35% of all CRN sections, covering 63 different subjects taught by 49 instructors.

Check out their FAQ on $0 Textbook designations and the Spring 2016 Leeward CC Convocation presentation on the OER initiatives at LCC and Kapiolani CC.  


Creating Open Educational Resources

OER Commons 

Offers  publishing tools to build OER, lesson plans, and courses. Use Module Builder to create interactive content or Open Author to create course materials using text, files, images, etc. 

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Their  copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice.

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Courseware 

A 22 page guide to current best practices for the use of copyright material in OCW, drawing on the actual activities of educators and educational staff who prepare courses for distribution.

Guidelines for Creating and Sharing Open Educational Resources 

From the University of Texas, this sites offers information on design, licensing, publishing, and sharing of OER.


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