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Curated List: College Success OER

We are already mid way through summer 2020. Many faculty are running full steam to prepare for an unpredictable fall term. In full appreciation of the shifting and re-working that college and university instructors have done to set the stage for success, we should also consider how the first-year experience is changing during this heightened moment in history. In an effort to support the reuse and remixing of OER, we offer a curated list of courses and textbooks on college success and the first-year experience that you might find useful.

Each of these resources has strengths in content or form that are worth borrowing or building from, and many are published using Pressbooks, which makes it easy to copy and adapt them in whole or in part. If you are a UH instructor and want to find out more about starting up a Pressbook for OER, please drop us a line.

OpenSem: A Student-Generated Handbook for the First Year of College

Rebus Community: Robin DeRosa

Veteran Open Pedagogy educator Robin DeRosa engaged students in creating this textbook through an OpenSem, an open seminar using principles of open pedagogy. This meant the learning process and outcomes were driven and owned by the students. The content covers tips for students orienting themselves to the college experience, and student-written articles about issues for students in higher education.

Screenshot of Opensem OER textbook

English Composition: Connect, Collaborate, Communicate

UH Mānoa: Ann Inoshita, Karyl Garland, Kate Sims, Jeanne K. Tsutsui Keuma, and Tasha Williams 

This book was written at UH Mānoa by educators from across the UH system during one of our May 2019 OER sprints. In situating its focus on first year student writing, this book opens with a chapter on student success. The authorship represents five campuses in the UH system, bringing together a passionate group of instructors who have worked with thousands of students.

Screenshot of English Composition OER textbook

Strategies for Academic Success

University of Saskatchewan: Liv Marken 

This textbook is an adaptation of a previous College Success title, reworked for the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts and Science to support their first year course. The chapters are constructed around themes that address the transition to college, social skills and communication, healthy lifestyle choices and more.

Screenshot of Strategies for Academic Success OER textbook

Blueprint for Success in College and Career: v 1.3

Rebus Community: Dave Dillon 

This book is the recipient of a Textbook Excellence Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association, and is one of the more comprehensive resources in this list. The early chapters are dedicated to preparing for launch, and then branch out into an array of topics around college success.

Screenshot of Blueprint for College Success in College and Career OER textbook

University 101: Study, Strategize and Succeed

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres 

This textbook was published by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres and focuses on the skills and habits associated with student success. The chapters are organized similarly to other books but are titled assertively as learning outcomes. This book is also meant to be useful to returning students and international students, and includes downloadable worksheets at the end of the book.

Screenshot of University 101 OER textbook

College Success

OpenStax: Multiple Authors: Amy Baldwin, University of Central Arkansas et al 

This book is published by OpenStax, and includes work from a team of authors focusing on student success and wellness. The text can be read online and downloaded for free, and a low cost print order option is available. The text is available with accompanying instructor and student resources, and has an attached OER Hub on OER Commons.

Screenshot of College Success OER textbook on OpenStax

Before You Go

This is only a handful of the OER available for college success. The great thing about the open license on each of them is that they can be used and remixed immediately. We can even make a customized version of any or all of them for you to use with your students. Have fun exploring and let us know if we can assist you in any way. Also let us know if you decide to use or remix these resources or have other resources to share. With new challenges come new opportunities for learning, and we wish you the best as the semester begins!

Featured image/header photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

Posted by Billy Meinke