2015 Grant Projects Complete

By | July 13, 2016

The 2015 Open Educational Resources grant projects are complete. The descriptions below outline the innovative projects that faculty at Oregon’s community colleges completed over the past year. To review the OER created by grantees, visit the 2015 Grant Cohort Folder in OER Commons.

Taken together, the 8 projects represent collaborations with 22 different institutions. 707 students saved $77,234.30 in the 2015-2016 academic year as a result of the grant projects. Next year 1646 students are projected to save an additional $166,179.25 as the grantees and their colleagues continue to use these OER in their courses.

Two grant projects were not associated with a specific savings goal, but instead created infrastructure that makes it possible for faculty to more easily create and adopt OER for their math and writing courses.

Congratulations to our grantees and thank you for your hard work!

Many thanks to the Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association for sponsoring this grant funding.

OW!: An Oregon Writing OER Collection
Jennifer Kepka, Instructor, English, Linn-Benton and Academic Learning Skills, Lane Community College

This proposal created the Oregon Writes Open Textbook, a scalable collection of currently in-use Open Educational Resources for first-level composition courses. It also supported the creation of a Canvas Commons faculty guide to using and adapting the text. The grant enabled Linn-Benton Community College to host a one-day disciplinary conference for writing instructors to celebrate, share, and create exciting writing resources for Oregon college students; a followup webinar further spread the word. Materials are posted on our website, www.oregonwrites.org.

Jenn Kepka received an additional grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to extend the work begun on her project. The new funding will expand open course materials to both WR 121 and WR 122, as well as paying instructors to pilot OER for these courses. The initial project funded by Open Oregon did not have a specific savings goal; rather, it lays the groundwork for writing instructors to easily adopt OER for writing courses in the future. Questions? Want to get involved? Interested in the faculty guide? Email Jenn at coordinator@oregonwrites.org.

Enabling Successful, Accessible OER in Mathematics with a WeBWorK-MathBook XML Bridge
Alex Jordan, Instructor of Mathematics, Portland Community College; Michael Gage, Professor, University of Rochester; Geoff Goehle, Professor, Western Carolina University; Rob Beezer, Professor, University of Puget Sound; Davide Cervone, Portland Community College

This project built inter-connectivity between two powerful open resources for mathematics education. The work makes it possible for an open textbook author to simultaneously use MathBook XML software to write their book, while using WeBWorK to write interactive example and homework exercises directly into their book. In the eBook, exercises can appear as interactive examples as in this demonstration. The same exercises can easily be uploaded into WeBWorK for more traditional use in assigned homework sets. All this software is openly licensed under the GNU GPL.

This project didn’t aim to replace textbooks in any specific course; rather, it creates infrastructure for math instructors to write and adopt fully accessible open math textbooks. Several MathBook XML projects are already underway that will use this new technology at Portland Community College, University of Puget Sound, Mt Hood Community College, Virginia Military Institute, and Grand Valley State University. The first should be in use starting Fall 2016. Alex Jordan is also the lead on a HECC grant to create an open MTH 251-254 sequence using the software developed through his Open Oregon grant.

University of Puget Sound provided a matching grant for this project.

Teaching Technical Writing with OER
Annemarie Hamlin, Associate Professor of English, and Chris Rubio, Associate Professor of English, Central Oregon Community College; Michele DeSilva, Public Services Manager, Deschutes Public Library

During the 2015-16 school year, we developed nine chapters of an OER for technical writing: “Professional Communications,” “Audience Analysis,” “Proposals,” “Information Literacy,” “Citations and Plagiarism,” “Progress Reports,” “Outlines,” “Creating and Integrating Graphics,” “Document Design,” and “Ethics in Technical Writing.” Using, remixing, and revising materials from several sources, we created chapters that directly relate to typical assignments we teach in our sections of technical writing. This work is freely and openly available available at Technical Writing. Michele DeSilva hosted a webinar on Adapting and Authoring OER that describes the team’s work process.

During the fall and winter terms, we piloted the use of several chapters and launched the fully online text for spring term. During the spring pilot, 52 students saved $4,394.00. The final project for that course was a review of the OER. A student wrote:

This text is a wonderful replacement for an expensive standard text. I can find no downside to using it. In fact, I hope the success of this text leads to others like it in every genre. The costs of texts is probably the number one complaint I hear from students. It seems as if texts change for no apparent reason except to sell more texts. The texts with accompanying passwords that expire have been a real sore spot for us students. It has felt as if we were held hostage by the publishers—and the school has looked like an accomplice. We students all understand that publishers must make money and that selling a new text to a higher percentage of students increases profit margins. This new Technical Writing text has improved the college’s image in my mind, as I am sure it will in others’ as well. It has been very much appreciated.

We plan to continue developing this OER, adding material—especially visuals to enhance the text—as time and energy allow. We are also pleased to have a team of faculty from PCC developing additional chapters that will supplement what we have begun this year with the continued support of Open Oregon Educational Resources grant funding. In the coming year we project that 286 students will save an estimated $24,167.00.

PCC Health Studies OER Team
Valerie Limbrunner-Bartlett, Alissa Leavitt, Shari Rochelle, Rachelle Katter, Michael Meagher, Sasha Grenier, Toni Veeman, Glenn Johnson, and Eldon Lampson, Portland Community College

The Portland Community College Health Studies department redeveloped the Personal Health course with OERs as a basis for course material, which meets the Health Studies graduation requirement. The project team developed the course into 17 topic modules that cover a broad range of Personal and Public Health health topics. Each topic has a Google Slides Presentation, Instructor Resources, Student Resources, Topic Study Guides, an In-Class Activity, Discussion Questions, and any other additional OER resources available. Materials are available via HE 250: Personal Health.

Process evaluations from the spring pilot show strong promise for the success of this course. The students have given positive feedback about the course format and materials so far. Outcome evaluations will be used to determine any adjustments needed for future sections of this course. The 30 students in the pilot course saved $3,040.50. A number of HE 250 instructors are interested in adopting this course format, while some others need to learn more about what OER is first, but we can estimate that next year over 300 students will save approximately $17,736.25. We believe this OER course will be a success in our department!

OER and Eastern Promise
Jacquelyn Ray, Director, Library and Media Services, Blue Mountain Community College; Theresa Pihl, Adjunct Instructor, History and Social Science, Eastern Promise Professional Learning Community (PLC) Leader; Aaron Davis, Faculty, Hermiston High School and Eastern Promise Instructor; Kris Pepera, Faculty, Baker High School and Eastern Promise Instructor

This project adopted an OER text and supporting resources for U.S. History courses taught by both Blue Mountain Community College and the local high schools through the Eastern Promise program, posted in our PLC LiveBinder. The pilot was much more widely adopted than we expected, reaching 280 students at 10 schools and saving $32,104.60 in one year. Hermiston HS print shop was able to provide the full course text for just $3.50; their old textbooks cost $75 each. Partial adopters were also able to use the OER text when their textbooks arrived late. The team reported that pass rates for registered BMCC students jumped from 55% last year to 90% this year for the same teachers, suggesting that having a carefully evaluated text aligned with the course outcomes is a likely contributor to the increase in student success. They expect to see similar savings next year, with the addition of one more section.

Theresa Pihl will be participating in a HECC grant in the coming academic year to expand the use of OER in the US History course sequence.

College Now/CGCC OER Collaboration
John Schoppert, Director of Library Services, Columbia Gorge Community College; Chauna Ramsey, Eng/WR instructor, Hood River Valley HS and Columbia Gorge Community College; Jennifer Hanlon-Wilde, Eng/WR instructor, Columbia Gorge Community College

This project was a collaboration between Hood River Valley High School and Columbia Gorge Community College. English/Writing department instructors from both institutions redeveloped American Literature courses used for College Now high school students and CGCC students, many of whom are first-generation college students. The open curriculum is available at Survey of American Literature: Eng 253 and Survey of American Literature: Eng 254.

Over the course of the pilot, 94 students saved $13,067.20 during the 2015/16 school year, as well as learning about ethical use of copyrighted materials. The team expects to see similar savings next year along with the possible addition of a new instructor adopting the open content. When students were asked if they would take another class with this same Open Educational Resource, a full 100% of survey respondents said they would.

Chauna Ramsey, John Schoppert, and Jen Hanlon-Wilde, along with Mandy Webster, are currently working on another grant project funded by Open Oregon’s 2016-17 grant program. They are developing an OER textbook that will teach the grammar, punctuation, and usage concepts and skills necessary to succeed in academic and employment settings, and will be used both at CGCC and the College Now program at Hood River Valley High School in WR 90 and WR 115.

Geology and Environmental Science sequence redevelopment
Alexandra Geddes, Adjunct Instructor, Lane Community College

This grant enabled a group of adjunct instructors in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at Lane Community College to re-evaluate the textbooks used in our two main undergraduate sequences: Geology and Environmental Science. As part of the project, we revamped our environmental science sequence in order to bring it more in line with other Oregon schools and help our students get transfer credit. We streamlined the lower division environmental sequence from 4 classes to 3, and created a 200 level project-based Environmental Science class. We created a Google folder of resources organized by topic with the OER materials that are relevant to these course sequences. As a result of that process, we made decisions to stop requiring a textbook in the Geology sequence, and one instructor adopted the BCcampus Physical Geology open textbook instead.

Approximately 250 students saved $17,886-$23,628 during the pilot year. 200-250 students per year are expected to take the classes in the newly reorganized Environmental Science sequence, and thus benefit from classes which are more closely aligned with both the available OER materials, and with statewide articulation agreements.

To Be Free: An OER Project for Rock Creek Developmental English Online RD 115 Courses
Theresa Love, Department Chair, Faculty; Robbie Pock, M.F.A, PT Faculty, Developmental English; David Pontious, M.S., M.A., PT Faculty, Developmental Education Instructor, Portland Community College – Rock Creek campus; Phyllis Nissila, Instructor, ALS/ABSE Departments, Lane Community College

This project looked at course materials for RD115, a developmental reading course taught at PCC. The PCC team developed a chapter structure and Robbie Pock shared out three modules: Inference, Analyzing Arguments – Rhetorical Analysis, and Analyzing Arguments – Propaganda.

The project was then passed to Phyllis Nissila at Lane Community College, where the content is being adapted and further developed for EL115. When the course is piloted this summer it will save at least 9 students an estimated $1,000, with the potential to save over 400 students up to $45,000 per year. Access the evolving open textbook at How to Learn Like a Pro!

One thought on “2015 Grant Projects Complete

  1. Claire Dannenbaum

    Thank you, Amy, for providing fantastic administration and the ongoing encouragement needed to bring these projects to fruition!


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