Leeward

Michelle Igarashi – Pass the Point of No Return or Regrets

This is a special guest blog post by Michelle Igarashi, English instructor at Leeward CC.

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I started using OERs in 2014 when a publisher’s representative informed me that my textbook would be undergoing yet another round of “updating” and thus my students could no longer purchase used copies.

During a conversation with one of Leeward’s fine librarians, I discovered a wonderful new type of online text known as an “Open Educational Resource.” The clincher? These books were FREE!!!

I was dubious at first and thought there was no way a no-cost, and, gasp, online textbook could be as good as its bound counterpart. Also, I worried about accessibility. Socio-economic discrimination weighed heavily on my mind as I considered whether going 100 percent online would be appropriate and fair to all students. Therefore, for my first OER semester, I offered the students the option of printing chapters from our classroom printer (We have some tech in the room thanks to a grant.) if they so desired. No one took me up on it. I have been “textbook cost $0” from that point on, and every semester I offer students the printing option and not one has printed a single page.

My students have commented in class and on my evaluations that they love the online resources. I teach Career and Technical Education designated classes; many of my students spend their mornings in shop or in kitchens. Pupils have shared how they love having their textbook in their pockets, and how easy it is to pull out during breaks. Moreover, a couple of weeks ago, my classroom flooded, and we were relocated into the D building portables. I was concerned we’d have reading issues since we were without our usual classroom tech. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when, without missing a beat, students sat down, pulled out their phones and began reading. One even read from a flip! I captured the moment in the photo above. It looks like I have no classroom management, but as I walked around, every student had the OER pulled up, and, with no prodding, the day’s assignment was well done and completed on time.

Since adopting OERs, my students’ reading comprehension scores have gone up. Discussions are fuller as more students complete homework. No one “forgets” his/her book at home. Students like the interactive nature of OERs with clickable links as opposed to footnotes or having to flip to other parts of the book. Besides having to hide whenever a publisher’s representative walks through the Language Arts’ hallway, all is well.

 

Posted by Leanne in Faculty Leaders, Leeward, OER, Open Access Week

Kelsie Aguilera’s OER Journey with Anthropology

The following is a special guest blog post by Kelsie Aguilera, Anthropology instructor at Leeward CC.

kelsie-aguilera-oer-2016-2jn0m6d-300x258I first became aware of Open Access (OA) my first week working here at Leeward CC. My office mate at the time was Jayne P. Bopp, instructor in Sociology. Over the course of that first week sharing an office with Jayne, I noticed that she seemed to have found a magical way to avoid all the customary beginning of the semester drama revolving around textbooks. The customary beginning of the semester drama revolving around textbooks includes, but is not limited to, the following student gripes:

  • “Not knowing” what book is needed even though the syllabus clearly indicates the required textbook.
  • Not being able to afford the textbook.
  • Lamenting about not only having to buy an expensive textbook, but also having to read the textbook in spite of being far more adapted to acquiring information on demand (like a Google search) and via more interactive avenues (like educational videos on YouTube).
  • Seeing little value in textbooks. This idea is so pervasive among students that many avoid buying their required textbooks all together. For example, my older brother recently graduated from a well-known community college on the mainland and always boasts that he managed to acquire a B.S. in Education with a ‘B’ average, without ever buying a single required textbook!
  • Unwillingness to commit to my course with full 100% effort in the beginning of the semester because of “not having the book yet”.

Mind you, this list does not even touch upon the multitude of possible instructor gripes!

I soon learned from Jayne that this seemingly magical way of avoiding textbook drama was through providing Open Educational Resources (OERs) to students rather than assigning a traditional (paid) textbook. She then showed me how to search for free, open textbooks as well as how to make them available to my students. Unfortunately, I could not find an anthropology OER textbook, as anthropology is not one of the more “popular” college disciplines like psychology, math, and writing. I quickly abandoned my OER dreams until last Spring semester, when I took the Go Open, Go Free Using OER workshop series at Leeward CC, facilitated by the EMC and Library. If you’re interested, this workshop series will be offered again in the spring semester. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/go-open-go-free-using-oer-spring-2017-registration-28872347970.

In the workshop series, I was guided through the process of curating a set of my own free, OERs. I learned that I no longer had to wait around for a perfect OER textbook to materialize; I could collect my course OERs myself! I loved the freedom and creativity involved in being able to pick and choose my course materials. With a traditional textbook, I disliked that so much of the content covered in the textbook was content that did not align with my Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), and therefore, I would never assess. Why assign a dense textbook chocked full of material that is irrelevant to the goals of the course? With OERs, I was able to choose a set of relevant and diverse resources – academic journal articles, podcasts from NPR, latest blogs from professional anthropologists currently out in the field, and information from credible anthropological websites like National Geographic. I am lucky that in my discipline of anthropology, many of us have made a commitment to Open Access. In fact, many anthropologists are starting to avoid the traditional publishing route and make their research openly available. And yes, much of these resources that I now assign as part of my set of OERs have earned the esteem of being “peer reviewed”. And no, not a single student from any of the six course sections that I have transitioned to OER in has complained about not having access to online resources.

I personally believe that my ultimate goal with my introductory level anthropology courses here at Leeward CC is to inspire students to have a life-long appreciation and understanding of anthropology, whatever their academic or career paths may be. I personally believe that adapting to student needs by providing curated, relevant, and credible OERs in a variety of content types was an important step in helping me work towards this goal.

Posted by Leanne in Faculty Leaders, Leeward, OER, Open Access Week

OER Benefits for Students

By: Cara Chang, Writing Instructor at Leeward CC. Video produced by: Michele Mahi, Speech Instructor at Leeward CC. Special thanks to Michele’s COM 210H students for sharing their views on OER.

Students from Speech Instructor, Michele Mahi’s COM 210H class, candidly share why they appreciate using Open Educational Resources (OERs) in her class. In sum, students appreciate Michele’s incorporation of OER materials in the course because:

  • The text is available 24-7, so there is no excuse as to why students can’t do their homework.
  • It is free, which means students can focus on paying for their classes and not the added cost of textbooks.
  • The textbook is tailored to the course.
  • It is relevant for the class and provides many different perspectives.
  • It encourages the instructor to curate excellent materials for the content of the course, which means that he/she is involved and invested in the making of the course.
  • It is more fun than reading a textbook.
  • It is convenient and easily accessible.
  • It is easy to share information with others.
  • It is reflective of the “real world” which requires the use of technology.
  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It is exciting and encourages learning!

View the video to see Michele’s students’ testimonies of why they like and how they have benefited from using OER in their COM 210H class.

Posted by Leanne in Faculty Leaders, Leeward, OER, Open Access Week, Student

Go Open, Go Free Using OER begins May 16 at Leeward

For a second year in a row, the Leeward CC Educational Media Center and the Library are facilitating a week long OER training at the annual Pacific Region Learning Summit on Leeward’s Pearl City campus .  The Go Open, Go Free Using OER track provides faculty with an intensive introduction to OER. Participants learn the benefits of adopting OERs, where to find them, how to license and attribute them, and how to share OERs in the UH OER repository. Throughout the week and beyond, individualized support is provided by Leeward instructional designers and librarians.

The ability to reduce higher education costs for students continues to be the main motivating factor for Leeward CC faculty switching from expensive commercial publisher materials to OERs.  In the process of transitioning to OER, faculty discover the benefits to adoption can go far beyond just the cost savings. The flexibility inherent in OERs offers them an opportunity to transform their teaching and free themselves from the restrictions and limitations of the traditional textbook model. This is the true power and greatest potential of the OER movement today.

Posted by Wayde Oshiro in Leeward, OER

OER and Student Success

Recent studies show that Open Educational Resources (OER) may have an impact on student success. The UHCC has adopted OER as a strategy to support student success by reducing educational costs for students. In step with national trends, a Spring 2015 survey of students at Leeward CC revealed that fifty-five percent of the 987 respondents had chosen, at least once, not to purchase a required textbook due to cost. A 2014 Babson OER report showed that cost is the least important factor when faculty select teaching resources; proven efficacy is the most important factor for faculty.  The report also shows that 73.4% of the faculty feel OER is either superior or equivalent in quality to traditional resources.  Based on recent studies, it appears that OERs have a positive impact on student completion, retention, and achievement.

Kapiolani CC Librarians, Susan Kazama and Sunyeen Pai, and Leeward CC Librarian, Wayde Oshiro, shared the results of recent studies examining the impact of OER and student success with attendees at the 7th Hawaii Strategy Institute on March 4-5 at Kapiolani Community College.   A list of the referenced studies is available at the end of the presentation.

Open Educational Resources and Student Success

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Posted by Wayde Oshiro in Kapiolani, Leeward, OER, Zero Textbook Cost

How OER is saving students money at Leeward CC

Leeward CC starts 2016 with 148 Textbook Cost: $0 classes with a combined enrollment of 2,643 students.   Estimated cost savings for students this semester is $131,334.

A Textbook Cost: $0 designation means that an instructor does not require students in their class to purchase textbooks, supplemental course materials, or access codes.  Faculty teaching a Textbook Cost: $0 class incorporate Open Educational Resources (OERs) and other freely available materials to replace costly commercial textbooks.  Leeward CC faculty use OpenStax and other OERs, library-purchased e-books and streaming videos, faculty-authored materials, and a variety of open web resources to use the Textbook Cost: $0 designation.

The money Leeward CC students are saving through the Textbook Cost: $0 program reduces the overall cost of their education. Students can immediately apply any cost savings towards their living expenses and it reduces the need for part-time jobs or having to work more hours.  Students can even use the savings to help pay for additional classes which potentially reduces time to completion.

Since Leeward CC faculty started replacing commercial textbooks with OERs and zero-cost resources students have saved nearly $300,000!

Leeward CC Textbook Cost: $0 Classes

Leeward CC Student Testimonials and Survey Results

Open Educational Resources @ Leeward CC website

Posted by Wayde Oshiro in Leeward, OER, Student, Zero Textbook Cost

Open Educational Resources @ Leeward CC

As part of Convocation activities two weeks ago at Leeward Community College, Wayde Oshiro (Head Librarian) and Leanne Riseley (Educational Media Center Coordinator) shared Leeward’s progress on the Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative. Here is a recap of the session highlights.

OER-@-Leeward-Convocation-2016-10zumjuLink to Presentation

Student Survey

Last Spring (May 2015), 987 Leeward students responded to a survey on their purchasing decisions for required course textbooks. Data from the survey showed that 55% chose NOT to purchase a required textbook for at least one of their classes. 58% said that the cost of required textbooks determined whether they took a course.

Student Benefits

One of the main benefits of OER for students has been to lower or eliminate their textbook costs. In this video, Leeward CC student Christina Kaleiwahea, describes how OER affects her financially as a full-time student who also works full-time.

ChristinaOER” by Christina Kaleiwahea

This semester, 150 Leeward classes (CRNs) were designated as “Textbook Cost: $0” in the class listing. Additionally, a No Cost Textbook page has been added to the campus website so students may easily access the information.

OER Fellowship Program

In Fall 2015, John Morton’s Office of the VP for Community Colleges awarded Leeward CC and Kapiolani CC $100,000 to further our OER campus initiatives. The initiative is being spearheaded by Wayde Oshiro and Leanne Riseley at Leeward and Sunny Pai and Susan Kazama at Kapiolani.

 The funding for the project has been roughly allocated as:

  • 60% capacity building for the Library and EMC/CELTT (student help)
  • 20% professional development
  • 20% incentives and marketing.

One of the outcomes of receiving the funding was it allowed the team to launch the OER Fellowship Program as a way to recognize faculty’s effort in implementing no-cost or OER in their course as well as to provide a small incentive to do so. The purpose of the program is to increase student success by promoting alternatives in educational resources and creating a community that actively encourages, supports, and sustains the use of no-cost or OER.

 The goals of the program are:

  1. Equip instructors with skills so they can properly integrate no-cost or OER materials into their class.
  2. Provide tools for instructors to assess no-cost or OER materials used in their class.
  3. Examine the impact on the use of no-cost or OER materials on students.
  4. Engage instructors in reflecting on the impact of using no-cost or OER materials in their teaching.
  5. Grow the number of OER champions who will advocate for adoption across the UHCC system.

Leeward/Kapiolani faculty and lecturers teaching at least one 3-credit course and those who completed the Go Open, Go Free Using OER Professional Development Training are eligible to participate in this program. The Go Open, Go Free Using OER was offered last summer as a track of Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS). It is being offered this semester as a 7-week flipped workshop series and will be offered again as a PRLS 2016 track this coming summer.

Faculty who choose to participate in the OER Fellowship Program work toward achievement or champion level according to this rubric. Upon completion, faculty are awarded technology in recognition of their accomplishment toward using and promoting the use of no-cost or OER.

OER Fellowship Participants at Leeward CC include P. Jayne Bopp (Sociology), Susan Wood (English), Ann Inoshita (English), Lani Uyeno (English), and Michelle Igarashi (English). Kelli Nakamura (Ethnic Studies) is participating from Kapiolani CC. We look forward to adding more to this list in the near future.

As part of the OER Fellowship Program, instructors encouraged their students at the end of the Fall 2015 semester to complete a survey. 125 students from five different Leeward classes participated in the survey. From that, we were able to draw some preliminary findings on the impact of OER on students.

94% said they saved money by the instructor adopting no-cost or OER resources

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92% reported having access to a device and the Internet to access the resources.

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87% felt the quality of the no-cost resources were just as good as a traditional textbook.

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78% felt they did better in the course because they had access to the resources from the first day of class.

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The most powerful part of the session was the sharing of reflections by Susan Wood (English), Ann Inoshita (English), and Jayne Bopp (Sociology). They shared their reflections on the impact of using no-cost or OER materials in their teaching. Below is a summary of their sharing:

Susan Wood

Share, what difference, if any, using open educational resources has made to your teaching.

1) I feel more in control of the material. When I used a traditional textbook, I had to teach whatever was in the chapters. I suppose I could have skipped parts of each chapter, but usually I would not since I felt obligated to use as much of the textbook as possible, so the students would feel like they were getting their money’s worth. With OER, I can adapt materials (as permitted by the license) so that I am including only the material I want to include. I have really enjoyed this part the most. 2) It’s much easier to adapt the course material to meet the needs of my students. If I see a number of students are struggling with some concept, I can modify material or add material or even delete material. Several times over this semester, I modified my course content to make it clearer based on feedback from students. While it is also possible to modify content when using a traditional textbook, for me it meant I needed to find some non-textbook resource to fill in where the textbook was not sufficient. 3) In the past, I was not able to use the textbook until at least the 2nd week of the semester since many students did not have the text until then. Now, we jump right into the course material and everyone has access.

Share comments students have made to you about using of OER.

My students have been very positive about OER. One student recently told me he bought a $100 textbook for a class, but they only used one chapter of it during the semester, so he was so glad he didn’t have to buy a book for ENG 100 as well– it offset the cost of the other textbook. This is an email I received from an online student: “I have completed the OER survey and have attached a screen shot from the completion page. I really appreciate not having to purchase a textbook for this class. Any money I can spend on my family instead of on a book I will use for five months is a good thing.” Here is another email: “I just finished the other evaluation! I hope more classes uses these types of textbooks in the near future.”

If you were to share your “lessons learned” with an instructor new to OER, what would they be?

OER is a lot of work up front. Finding resources can be a time-consuming challenge. But, it’s fun, too, to see what materials are available. I really enjoyed collecting resources and modifying them to fit my course. Also, I never found the “perfect” textbook to replace my traditional textbook. After searching for awhile, I ended up mashing up several sources and creating course content that really fits the needs of the class. I think the “mash up” approach is certainly worth considering when investigating OER.

 Ann Inoshita

Share, what difference, if any, using open educational resources has made to your teaching.

Students are able to access course content from the beginning of the semester. In the past, some students purchased their textbook late due to delayed funds. Although I provided a few photocopies of important text material, some students were at a disadvantage since they didn’t have the text. Now, there is equal opportunity learning because all students, regardless of their funds, are able to access the OER sources.

Share comments students have made to you about using of OER.

Students love OER. They love accessing course materials via “Weekly Modules” and reading the course content there instead of purchasing a book.

If you were to share your “lessons learned” with an instructor new to OER, what would they be?

Start early when finding OER sources. It takes time to find what you need for your course.

Jayne Bopp

Share, what difference, if any, using open educational resources has made to your teaching.

Its given me more freedom and control over my course materials.  I like not having to put in book orders each semester and not having to deal with the numerous frustrations that can come from working with textbook companies.

Share comments students have made to you about using of OER.

Many students are extremely grateful. Lots of them say that they wish their other classes were OER.

If you were to share your “lessons learned” with an instructor new to OER, what would they be?

Like any other kind of new “technology” the area of OER is rapidly developing. Just because you canʻt find good resources for some classes right now, donʻt give up.  Keep checking each semester. I think that soon most fields and disciplines will have access to quality OER materials.

Posted by Leanne in About, Faculty Leaders, Leeward, OER, Zero Textbook Cost

Zero-textbook cost classes and OER at Leeward Community College

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For Fall 2015, Leeward CC is offering 53 classes that have Textbook Cost: $0 designation* in the online course list. This designation applies to any class that does not require students to purchase textbooks.  These classes include 7 sections of ENG 22, 2 sections of ENG 24, 17 sections of ENG 100, and 8 sections of ENG 200. Other classes include ENG 207 and 209, POLS 110, SOC 100, 151, and 250H, and WS 151. In addition, Leeward CC is offering its first open educational resources (OER) ENG 100 online course. Susan Wood, Professor CC of English, was the first at Leeward CC and in the UHCC system to create an open, online course for English 100.

As part of the UH system initiative, the Leeward Library and Educational Media Center (EMC) have promoted the use of OER, no-cost, and affordable solutions to support student success and make higher education more affordable. A May 2015 survey of Leeward CC students found that, of the 987 students responding, 55% did not purchase a required textbook for a course and 65% said that textbook costs influence their decision to enroll in a course.

This summer, the EMC and Library collaborated to offer a track in the Pacific Region Learning Summit entitled “Go Open, Go Free Using OER.” Participants included teaching faculty, librarians, and instructional designers from Leeward CC, Kapiolani CC, Hawaii CC, and UH Maui College.  Leeward is the first campus in the UH system to design and deliver a professional development series to help faculty find and incorporate no-cost, low-cost, and creative commons licensed resources into their courses as replacements to costly commercial course materials.

The Library and EMC continues its partnership to promote OER as a viable alternative to expensive commercial textbooks and work with faculty members to identify and adapt OER materials for their courses. For more information, please see Leeward’s Open Educational Resources website.

*Textbook Cost: $0 classes are self-designated by the instructor.  An instructor teaching classes that do not require students to purchase any textbooks may request to have this designation added to their classes in the online course list.  Contact your Leeward CC Division Secretary to add Textbook Cost: $0 to the Banner SSA Text field for your classes.

Posted by Junie Hayashi in Leeward, OER