Posted by Una Daly Una Daly

by: Rodney Powell, Executive Director Center for Academic Excellence and Tara Lucas, Director of Library Services

On January 3, 2019, the Center for Academic Excellence at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) hosted the first-ever OER Bootcamp and it was attended by over 50 CCCC faculty.  Use of OER (Open Educational Resources) is a growing international trend as the cost of textbooks and course materials has far outpaced inflation.  The number of students who choose to attempt courses without purchasing books is staggering.   Many institutions are choosing OER options as an attempt to remediate this trend.  CCCC supports the use of OER and is encouraging faculty to consider low or no-cost options for their courses.

Una Daly, Director of CCCOER  (Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources) gave the keynote sharing research on how the cost of textbooks is driving many students to take fewer classes, drop classes, or attempt to take classes without purchasing expensive materials.   OER provides access for students on the first day of class and also gives instructors more flexibility in customizing their courses to enhance student learning and engagement.  She also congratulated Central Carolina Community College and Mitchell Community College for being the first two colleges in North Carolina to join the leading consortium for open education at community colleges.

CCCC students answer questions from Dr. Rodney Powell regarding the use of OER in their history courses which were taught by instructor Bianka Stumpf.

This was followed by a panel of faculty OER adopters and advocates from CCCC, Wake Technical Community College, Forsyth Technical Community College, and Mitchell Community College.  They answered questions from eager faculty for over 45 minutes on why they chose to adopt OER in their own courses, how they use it with their students, and what supports faculty need to get started.

The final presentation was from Tara Lucas, CCCC Director of Library Services, and Caroline Hallam, NC LIVE OER Librarian,  who demonstrated available resources as well as answered questions concerning grants available to faculty who adopt OER in their course.

The Center for Academic Excellence is ready to help all faculty who want to implement OER in their course. Instructional design and library support are available for redesigning courses and finding OER and library resources to replace traditional textbooks.  An OER faculty toolbox has also been developed. (http://cccc.libguides.com/oer)

Dean of Student Learning, Jairo McMican, one of the organizers of the OER bootcamp, was very pleased with the curiosity and enthusiasm emitted by participants, “I’m extraordinarily excited for what the future holds and the benefits that will be reaped by our students.”

BREAKING NEWS:  Sandra Bowen and Rhyme Song have been awarded a grant from NC LIVE to use OER in their Public Speaking course!  Lisa Knight has received a grant for Physics 110 and the 151/152 sequence!  These are in addition to the grant awarded to Kay Harris and Holly Schofield last semester for their development of PSY 150.

Text and photos adapted with permission from Dr. Rodney Powell, http://www.cccc.edu/cougarbytes/

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