OER and Obstacles to Adoption | Confessions of a Community College Dean
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-03-31
"I’ve never heard a student or professor complain that a book didn’t cost enough. Complaints about textbook costs have been around at least since the 80’s, and probably before that I know because I remember making them myself. And yet, adoption of OER has been slower than many of us had hoped. I bring this up because the newly-passed federal omnibus budget bill includes $5 million to support OER. It doesn’t do much to define how that support will work, though. In my own experience, I’ve seen and heard a few consistent reasons that faculty cite to explain their reluctance to move towards OER. If the new money could be targeted to some of those, we might actually make some headway. Supplemental Materials. This is especially pertinent in math and science fields, where textbooks often include problem sets. The expository part of the textbook is, in many ways, the easy part. The ancillary materials often close the sale. Faculty Time. Many community colleges, including my own, have a 15 credit teaching load per semester for full-time faculty. Some go even higher. Cobbling together a good course using nothing but OER often requires considerable time spent on finding and evaluating materials. When time it at a premium, and stipends for course development don’t reflect the time it actually takes, it can be a tough sell. If the supplemental materials have to be continually refreshed each year, the issue is compounded...."