This post was contributed by Tina Hovekamp, Barber Library Director, Central Oregon Community College.
Central Oregon Community College will host an OER Day on June 5 at the COCC campus. This event promises to provide practical, hands-on experiences for faculty who wish to explore open educational resources for course implementation. COCC’s OER Day will feature presenters Dianna Fisher, Director of Open Oregon State at OSU, and Amy Hofer, Statewide OER Coordinator. Registration is open to everyone so please join us in Bend!
Kathy Frazer, COCC writing instructor, attended the Blue Mountain regional OER workshop and reported back about the great success of the event. She plans start teaching her WR121 and WR122 courses in Fall using exclusively open resources. What does this mean for students? For WR121, the textbooks cost $95.50 used or $128.25 new; for WR122, the textbooks cost $106.50 used or $141.75 new. With an enrollment of 26 students per course, this means a savings of $5,252 to $7,020 just for Fall term! Kathy will present on OER at the Humanities department. A cohort of 14 additional COCC faculty, students and staff plan to attend the April 24 workshop at Lane Community College.
In the meantime, Tina Hovekamp, Barber Library Director, and Michele DeSilva, Emerging Technologies Librarian, have presented on OER at Chairmoot (committee of all departmental Chairs, Deans and Vice President for Instruction), ASCOCC student Council and general membership, Science Department, and the President’s Management Team. Additional announcements have been made college-wide about the importance and impact of open resources.
COCC students are getting involved in OER efforts and want to see the campus moving forward with OER adoption. Student government representative Todd Munroe writes:
We have a growing number of students that are interested in dedicating time and energy to encourage our college community to incorporate OER into our culture. The cost of education is unbelievably high, forcing many students to take out astronomical loans while working one, two or even three jobs, all while attending college. The most powerful signal I’ve received from students at COCC is their desire to take time out of an already PACKED schedule to support lowering the cost of education and education-related expenses, like textbooks.
The students at COCC have collaborated with students from colleges and universities all over the state to send a united voice to Salem demanding a tuition freeze as not to add to the problem of the cost of higher ed. While this fight at the state level is important and will yield results, students aren’t going to stand idling by and wait for someone else to act. OER is a way that students can directly influence the overall burden of higher education costs, on their own campuses!