Overview of what was covered at “Lower Cost Barriers for All Students with Free Online Textbooks” panel discussion
Wisconsin Equity Summit May 4, 2021 presented by The Diversity and Inclusion Services at Fox Valley Technical College. May 4, 2021, 2:20 PM - 3:20 PM
Kathryn Johnston, chat/QA monitor.
Valerie Magno, panel moderator
Bob Butterfield is the Director of Instructional Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Instructional Resources is a campus program to advocate for students in the area of textbook affordability. Bob has been actively involved in a host of textbook affordability initiatives for the last decade. At UW Stout, their system of a flat fee for textbooks has been in place since the beginning. It has served them well with regards to OER, because there is a cost incentive for the institution to invest time, money, and energy in free textbooks so that the institution saves money.
Cindy Domaika is the Manager of Open & Instructional Resources at Nicolet College and has been working in the Open Education space for close to 5 years. The Nicolet faculty have converted all of their Oral/Interpersonal sections over to “Communication in the Real World” which is by far the most popular Free textbook for Communication Skills that I have seen online.
Vince Mussehl is the library director and Open RN librarian for Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire. As a Wisconsin technical college graduate, Vince knew there was room for improvement in the student affordability landscape. Since he started at CVTC in 2014, he has worked with faculty from a variety of disciplines to incorporate cost-savings techniques such as technology checkout, textbooks on reserve, and open or affordable educational resources.
Questions & Responses
Recommendations for finding Free Textbooks and other Open Educations Resources (OER)
Best practices for using no-cost or low-cost textbooks or resources in courses.
OER makes equity through and with teaching materials an easier and more realistic goal.
When faced with choosing a textbook, it is logical that a faculty member might choose the textbook that covers the most learning objectives.
However, when using OER, that need not be an issue, since chapters from different textbooks can be as easily used as from one textbook.
Free OER materials provide
Practicing open pedagogy
What makes a course is a good candidate for switching to a free textbook option?
Lots of students taking course, textbook cost over $40
When there is faculty interest or student interest
When there is a need to make textbooks more attuned to the audience or topics needed
When you want to use problems and issues that are local and relevant for exercises and assessment
When is the best time to consider switching to a free textbook option?
Any time there is an interest
Natural times for considering a new textbook (at least every 5 years)
When course is up for textbook review and would reasonably expect to change textbooks in any case.
When favorite textbook goes out of print
Why have an OER steering committee?
Continuity – Needs to be long term commitment.
Organization – Keep track of who is using free or low-cost
To oversee branding, logo, and materials for marketing & promotion
Knowledge sharing – Experienced users can advise & train others.
Who should be on committee?
Faculty & Students: Get feedback from stakeholders.
OER Heroes: Early adopters in committee can promote peer to peer.
Librarians: To help find free and low-cost resources & review licenses.
Other stakeholders: Course designers, registrar, etc.
UW- System Open Educational Resources https://researchguides.library.wisc.edu/srch.php?q=OER
CVTC - Open Educational Resources (OER) https://libguides.cvtc.edu/OER
Nicolet - Faculty Guide to Open Educational Resources: OER Home https://nicoletcollege.libguides.com/oer
EDUCAUSE Horizon Report | Teaching and Learning Edition 2021
p.25-27 talks about OER & education outlook
Fall 2020 edition of STUDENT MONITOR’s twice annual LIFESTYLE & MEDIA Study
FIXING THE BROKEN TEXTBOOK MARKET
Organizations & Members
“Z degrees” mean zero textbook costs
ZTC or Zero-Textbook-Cost Courses and Certificates lower cost barriers to getting students on the education ladder.
UW-Milwaukee psychology “OER materials are used in all sections of Psychology 101”
Nicolet College: Criminal Justice Program Now has Zero Textbook Costs
ZTC & LTC Courses https://www2.palomar.edu/pages/calm/ztc-ltc-courses/
End Note: Setting up a panel and actually doing it has been interesting. I will never look at a panel the same way again! If I were to do this again I would not have a script, and I would choose only 3 questions. That way the emphasis would be more on the panelists discussing the topic together, rather than trying to get in the most questions possible. -Val firstname.lastname@example.org 5/26/2021
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