Using student cost ($) savings as a primary metric for gauging success in an OER important is common, as it should be. But a word-of-mouth average is only as good as its supporting information and statistics. How did we get this figure?
Amy Hofer at OpenOregon went through the trouble of summarizing the supporting evidence for the widely-used $100 per textbook figure.
Amy goes on to describe the different methods various folks have used to calculate student cost savings, being sure to mention that the most useful calculation will depend on which data is actually available. Having a reasonable median figure to refer to when discussing realistic cost savings is key, so this roundup of supporting evidence is greatly appreciated.
At the end of 2015, two senators of the Associated Students of the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) submitted a resolution supporting the adoption of OER. As something that sort of flew under the radar for some, I believe it is important to note this milestone and recognize the two undergraduate students who put the resolution forward.
Senate Resolution 14-16: In Support of Incorporating Open Educational Resources into General Education Curricula passed the ASUH senate vote unanimously in December of 2015.
The resolution states that ASUH:
Recognizes the rising cost of educational resources as a barrier to college affordability and student success.
Recommends that the UHM further utilizes open educational resources and other zero-cost materials for general education courses.
Understands that the extensive implementation of OER will help reduce the cost of education, expand the use of internet and digital technologies in education, and transform teaching and learning by fostering academic innovation through increased curriculum options.
As we build our bottom-up OER efforts, having complementary support from the student body will help us carry maintain momentum into the coming years.
Props to Eugene Lao, Senator of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Maggie Hinshaw, current ASUH Treasurer for introducing this important resolution.
You can read the full text of the resolution here.
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.
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!
Student Caucus delegates Kelly Zakimi (UHM-ASUH) and Trong Dang (Leeward CC) recently attended an All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs (ACCFSC) meeting where they shared news on UH System progress and presented a unified student vision for OER.
This past May, Leeward CC students were surveyed on textbook costs. 987 students took the survey.
55% of students said they decided not to buy a required textbook for a course.
58% of students reported the cost of textbooks determined whether they took a course.
One of the primary reasons instructors adopt OER is to benefit their students. The videos below feature Christina Kaleiwahea and Rhonda Craig, both Leeward CC students who share the student perspective on how the high cost of textbooks affect them.