This post was contributed by Michaela D. Willi Hooper, OER/Textbook Affordability Librarian, Linn-Benton Community College, and LBCC’s Textbook Affordability Team.
Each year Linn-Benton Community College faculty adopt more library ebooks, OER (open educational resources), and other free and affordable materials. The Textbook Affordability Steering Committee reports that:
- 62% of full-time faculty have used OER or other free/library resources to replace commercial materials in at least one course. This is up from 52% last year.
- 46% of spring 2020 part-time faculty have used OER or other free/library resources to replace commercial materials. This is the first year we’ve collected this metric.
The COVID-19 pandemic created an emergency situation in spring term: many students experienced substantial difficulties affording and accessing course materials, particularly expensive print books. In response, faculty used more free and affordable, digital-first solutions to meet their students’ needs.
One indication of steps that faculty took on behalf of students this spring is that more course sections used library ebooks, OER, and other free resources than in any other prior term. This is an unusual pattern for a spring term. Savings from library e-textbooks increased 72% compared to spring 2019. Between March 1 and May 31, 2020, LBCC students and employees read 16,631 ebooks and watched 4,093 streaming videos through the library.
Our ambitious goal was to save students $5 million by fall 2019. We achieved this one term later, in winter 2020. This academic year alone, faculty saved students $1,586,895. The graphic below showing student savings over time is shared widely at LBCC. (Note that institutions calculate savings in many different ways. LBCC has based our savings calculations on new textbook prices since 2015. So, this number is useful for seeing progress over time, but can’t be compared across institutions.)
LBCC Faculty OER Projects, 2019-2020
Each year more faculty members adopt, remix, or create OER. Projects funded by internal grants at LBCC are listed below. You can browse examples of faculty work in this area at the Textbook Affordability Steering Committee’s Faculty Textbook Affordability Projects page. In addition, LBCC received two statewide Open Oregon Educational Resources grants for CIS 135S (Sisi Virasak and Norah Wang) and CS 275 (Sisi Virasak, Norah Wang, and Dave Becker).
|Course||Grant Recipient(s)||Project Summary|
|BA101B||Mindy Bean||Fix errors in BA 101B Excel OER|
|BA 226||Keith Tierney||Create test bank, hypotheticals, cases and statute summaries to complement text|
|BI 231, 232, 233||Charlene LaRoux||Align curriculum with Openstax Anatomy & Physiology OER|
|CH 121, 122, 123||Ommidala Pattawong||Remix existing materials into a custom OER text|
|CS 120||Sisi Virasak and Norah Wang||Improve the current CS120 OER to include the computer skills that are cited most often in job postings and the required qualifications of employers|
|CS 225||Ziko Rizk||Remix existing textbook and create assessments|
|GS 108||Katharine Solada||Create a Moodle shell and incorporate existing videos|
|HDFS 201||Liz Pearce and students||This is LBCC’s first open textbook written with students to incorporate their voices, give them the opportunity to build skills, and reflect the diversity of families in our community|
|HE 220||Kristi Murphey||Create a workbook and interactive tutorials, as well as updating videos and text to match the latest version of Excel|
|PH 104||Ben Stanley||Create online quiz questions in Moodle to replace commercial homework platform|
|TA 248||Tinamarie Ivey||Remix and supplement existing OER resources|
|WR 227||Will Fleming||Remix existing tech writing OER to provide consistency and promote across program|