A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending my second SPARC meeting in San Antonio. The theme for this year’s meeting, MORE (Meeting on Openness in Research & Education), was incredibly timely given the current climate in academic publishing, specifically in regard to Open Educational Resources (OERs). In Ohio, especially, OERs are a hot topic as the Ohio Task Force on College Affordability and Efficiency investigates ways of cutting higher education costs. Below are some exciting OER initiatives I heard about at SPARC:
The SkillCommons – https://www.skillscommons.org/
OERs developed by community colleges for job-driven workforce development created by the US Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program.
S.2176-Affordable College Textbook Act – https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2176/text
Bill that hopes “to expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.”
Office of Educational Technology #GoOpen Campaign – http://tech.ed.gov/open-education/
“The U.S. Department of Education’s #GoOpen campaign encourages states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials to transform teaching and learning.”
Tidewater Community College’s “Z-Degree” – http://www.tcc.edu/academics/degrees/textbook-free
An entire associate’s degree offered by TCC using all OERs. Tidewater predicts this saves students as much as $2,500 over the course of their education.
It was so inspiring to hear all of the OER success stories. I’m sure the number of successes will continue to grow. I look forward to SPARC 2018!