Open Educational Resources and the Community College | Two-Year Talk
"So what does this exactly mean for a community college? It makes total sense for community colleges to really look at OER as a way to make college even more affordable for our students. Recently, my school was lucky to have Marilyn Billings, who is the Scholarly Communication Librarian (my dream job) at University of Massachusetts Amherst. She came down to talk to us about how UMass has really invested in this initiative, and the joys and pitfalls they encountered along the way. She shared with us some statistics on the cost of text books that were pretty startling ... I just had a student the other day walk in looking for a psychology book for her PSY 101 class because it was $265. Most of our students at community colleges simply can’t afford these really expensive books that have no buy-back value. The worst offenders are the professors who order custom text books. They have zero buy back value from our book store. UMass Amherst decided they wanted to seek out cheaper alternatives, so in 2011 they launched a pilot program for faculty to redesign their courses using only OER. At the end of this program, Billings shared her results with us:  Over 30 faculty participants, 44 courses (Gen Ed through Graduate level)  Humanities  Social Sciences  Sciences  Professional Schools  $39,000 invested, over $1 million in savings for more than 5000 students ... The feedback was positive, with comments that student grades had actually increased ... Here at my institution, we also started a pilot program with faculty. It involved the librarians, distance learning team, and instructional designers. Out of the group who were interested at our initial informational meeting, only a handful actually completed the turn over to OER ..."