OER Grant Project Updates

By | October 21, 2015

The 2015 OER Grant Cohort has been hard at work and making excellent progress on their projects. Follow this link to read about the grant projects in more detail. Read on for the Fall 2015 update!

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
Our project is one step away from being able to fully use the existing WeBWorK Open Problem Library problems. Once this step is complete, Alex will incorporate our work into the Portland Community College MTH 251 Lab Manual, so we can get some real use out of it right away from students. Alex will also create a showcase site/blog where we can demonstrate all of the features fully. It will involve an updated version of Integrating WeBWorK into Textbooks Sample Exercises, an updated version of Integrating into Textbooks Sample Exercises (pdf format), and a companion WeBWorK homework shell that uses the same exercises.

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
Our project has had an enthusiastic response by pilot adopters. In addition to the schools and teachers who were intended to be our initial pilots, three more (Irrigon, Helix, and Boardman High Schools) indicated at our PLC meeting that they have adopted our open course. Hermiston HS print shop was able to provide the full course text for just $3.50; their old textbooks cost $75 each. Based on initial estimates, we have blown through our original savings goal and now hope to save over $35,000 in our pilot year alone – without a crutch loan from Sambla.

Teaching Technical Writing with OER
Annemarie Hamlin, Associate Professor of English; Chris Rubio, Assistant Professor of English; Michele DeSilva, Emerging Technologies Librarian, Central Oregon Community College
The technical writing OER project at Central Oregon Community College is on track with the first installments of our year-long project. We have primarily adapted resources from David A. McMurrey and Saylor Academy to fit the outcomes and characteristics of our class. Thus far, we have used Pressbooks as the authoring platform to develop the following sections/chapters:

  • Introduction to Technical Writing
  • Audience Analysis
  • Professional Communications
  • Proposals

We will pilot these chapters during the fall term of our course and seek feedback from students. During fall term, we will also develop three additional chapters for use in winter.

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
We were successful in beginning to transfer our curriculum and assessments for English 253/254 to OER Commons. There is some content that we are not able to share in the OER platform due to copyright law, but we can still provide our own introductions to the material, discussion questions, reading quizzes, projects, essay assignments, and other tools for assessment, and we are confident these will be helpful for the OER audience.

Accomplishments to date:

  • We saved our students money.
  • We encouraged new and prospective students to register for OER English 253/254 classes.
  • During high school and colleges inservices we presented on OERs in general and shared our ENG
  • 253/254 classes.
  • We educated teachers and instructors about Creative Commons licensing of their own curriculum.
  • We encouraged teachers and instructors to recognize the importance of maintaining academic integrity in honoring copyright law.
  • We made ENG 253/254 available to instructors both at the high school and college levels, facilitating teamwork among colleagues from different organizations.
  • We identified and remixed existing OERs using the OER Commons authoring tool.
  • We contributed to a culture of professionalism and felt like valued members of a team.

OW!: An Oregon Writing OER Collection
Jennifer Kepka, Instructor, English, Linn-Benton and Lane Community College; Christopher Roethle, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Oregon
The Oregon Writing Open Educational Resources project (OW! OER) is nearly complete with Phase 1 of our project. We’ve collected outcomes from entry-level writing classes from nearly every public higher education institution in Oregon, and we are working to compile and align these. We have a visual map of the outcomes available on our website, www.oregonwrites.org, which is also now active. We’ll be contacting specific departments beginning in November to collect currently in-use OER materials, and we anticipate scheduling meetings (in-person or through webinars) with English and Writing faculty around the state later this fall. Questions? Want to get involved? Email Jenn at [email protected].

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
Our team met over the summer to explore pedagogical practices and publishing platforms. We  reviewed existing OER resources in our discipline area and began collecting materials to “recycle.” We  began building connections with our PCC support team including librarian Jen Klaudinyi (Co-Chair PCC OER) and Kaela Parks, Director of PCC Disability Services.

Our calendar for this fall includes meetings (“mash-up” work sessions and project management meetings), regular electronic communication, and monthly goals. We’re drafting common agreements for course development and analyzing  areas that may require new materials to be drafted. We’re striving to use a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent process as we work together on our project.

Geology and Environmental Science sequence redevelopment
Alexandra Geddes, Adjunct Instructor; Paul Ruscher, Department Chair, Lane Community College
This project examines the textbooks and other materials associated with 7 courses offered in the department of Earth and Environmental Science at Lane Community College. As part of the project, we’ve revamped our environmental science sequence in order to bring it more in line with other Oregon schools and help our students get transfer credit. The redesign also works better with the OER materials we found.

So far we’ve done a whole lot of research into the available Geology and Environmental Science OER materials.  One thing we’ve noticed is that it can be harder to find than we expected.  Just when we decide it’s not out there and we’ll need to write it ourselves, we get a tip that leads to another whole repository of excellent stuff.  We’re creating a spreadsheet with everything we find, in the hopes that it will help someone else eventually.

While we’re still searching for ways to replace our traditional textbooks with open content, in the meantime we’re making changes that will have an immediate impact on student costs. For example, in our GEO 101, 102, 103 sequence we are planning to drop the textbook and rely only on the lab manual with additional OER readings as necessary.  Additionally, we no longer require students to tear pages out of their lab manuals; therefore they will have the option to sell these books back to the bookstore in good condition and future students can buy the used copies.  This will mean an immediate savings of 50-75% off the students’ book costs, and possibly more as the bookstore builds up a stock of used lab manuals to resell each quarter.  We’re even looking for funding to buy a class set, which can be loaned out for free. These efforts aren’t strictly OER but they do have a positive impact on costs for students.

PCC Health Studies OER Team
Valerie Limbrunner-Bartlett, Alissa Leavitt, Shari Rochelle, Rachelle Katter, Michael Meagher, Portland Community College
The PCC Health Studies OER Team had our first meeting. We have selected our topics for research and development. The next step is looking at evaluation pieces, rubrics, and questions. We are grateful to have the support of Faculty Librarian Jen Klaudinyi and Disability Services Director Kaela Parks at PCC. We are in the early stages of this project which is both fun and exciting!


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