OER and Dual Enrollment | Confessions of a Community College Dean
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-05-15
"A few years ago Myra Snell coined the term “stupiphany” to describe that forehead-slapping moment when you realize something that’s so obvious in retrospect that you feel stupid for not having seen it sooner. I had one of those this week around OER and dual enrollment. Most public high schools supply textbooks free of charge to their students. Most colleges don’t. When a college teaches courses in a high school for high school students, someone -- whether the district, the students, the parents, or the external funder, if any -- is likely to get sticker shock at the cost of the books. That’s because they’ve been working on a “free textbooks” model forever. The aspect of OER that seems so novel in the college setting is old hat in the high school setting. Put differently, aggressive adoption of OER at the college level can make dual enrollment classes much easier to sustain. To the extent we move in that direction, we’re addressing cost on a couple of fronts. We’re taking textbook costs off the table, and we’re making dual enrollment classes available on a sustained basis to more students. Those can be remarkable money-savers in themselves, and because they aren’t eligible for Pell grants at this point, they can help students conserve their Pell eligibility. The stupiphany came in realizing that the two are connected. Meaningful progress in OER adoption would make meaningful progress in dual enrollment much easier. Even the most strapped school board can manage to cover “free.” Even better, many OER resources are consistently updated; as recent news coverage from Arizona has shown us, that isn’t true of traditional textbooks. Nothing against Blake Shelton, but when I saw that a young girl was issued the same textbook he was issued at her age, I had to grimace. If the social studies book refers to President Reagan in the present tense, it’s time to replace the book...."