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OER Resources

An online resource to help faculty navigate the world of OER

What is the purpose of this initiative?

To reduce student textbook costs and further implement OER into the curriculum.

Why should I apply?(Short Answer)

Why should I apply?

If you are interested in going “textbook cost $0,” using OER or other materials, OR adapting or enhancing your existing OER / textbook materials. 

Why should I apply? (Long Answer)

Why should I apply?

Multiple studies (available on request) and personal experience demonstrate the increasing cost of textbooks for college students.  Not only do these increased costs affect students financially, they will often translate into students delaying or simply foregoing purchasing the required textbook.  Many faculty are interested in lowering these costs for textbooks but don’t know how to initiate the process or overcome (often perceived) barriers to quality or acquiring cheaper alternatives.  The Ambassador Program is designed to incentivize the process while creating a community of fellow faculty to share experiences and talk story.

Who can apply?

Who can apply?

All faculty who want to reduce textbook costs (including lecturers based on contract length) or enhance their existing materials.

What is the timeline?

The switchover typically occurs in the fall semester. But exceptions can be made due to course or instructor availbility. 

Why the word "ambassador?"

As part of this program, it is envisioned that you will share your experiences with your department as well as the campus at large. 

What is meant by "program?"

By participating, you agree to do slightly more than just adopting a textbook or enhancing materials.  Not only will you be an ambassador, but you will be expected to participate (as participant or facilitator) in workshops, statistics gathering, and a working group/conversation where techniques, best practices, frustrations, and talking story can occur. 

Does it have to be "cost $0" to students?

No, in examining the rubric you will see that one of the factors is current cost of materials compared to the proposed cost of materials. The goal is $0 but that may not always be possible.

What is the difference between OER and "textbook cost $0?"

OER stands for “Open Educational Resources.”  These are freely available learning materials, such as textbooks, with limited copyright restrictions allowing you to use, reuse, adapt, and share them.  “Textbook Cost $0” is more of a designation that may include OER materials but also materials free to students such as those from library databases or collections, websites, opencourseware, or personal writings of a faculty member.

What if my class or course doesn't work well with OER or textbook cost $0 materials?

Just as every subject doesn’t adopt well to online learning pedagogy, not every subject lends itself to OER.  However, every day respected faculty around the world create new materials, new curriculum, and new methods/tools to teach their courses – what once was the case may no longer apply. If you have questions about your course or subject, please visit the library’s OER page or contact Jeffrey Marzluft directly. 

Do I need to find an off the shelf substitute for my textbook?

No.  Sometimes there will be a textbook in your subject that is easy to adopt – other times, not so much.  OER encourages the rewriting and remixing of existing materials (including textbooks) to address the particular needs of the student body, personal interest/expertise of a faculty member or even current events.  OER emphasizes academic freedom because faculty are in complete control of all the learning materials for a course.  You can create your own curriculum using OER repositories or select materials as well as Library Databases/eBooks/video collection to create course content.

Where do I find OER and textbook cost $0 materials?

You are at the library website devoted to OER which lists collections of textbooks and other materials. Look at the side menu on the left for guidance.  You can also bookmark it here:

You can also do something as simple as using Google to enter search terms of your discipline or subject and the term OER.  You might be surprised at the size of the movement across the country and the results you will find.

It is also hoped that you will consult with fellow faculty members within the program (or even nationwide).

Jeffrey Marzluft, is also available appointments or to just assist you in finding appropriate materials for your course.

When will I receive the $650?

The exact timing will depend on the business office, but it is expected that you will receive the $650 by the 2019 fall semester after the adoption has occurred.

Where is the money coming from?

The money comes from a generous allocation by the Office for the Vice President of Community Colleges with the intention to find ways to reduce student textbook costs, promote the use of OER across UH, and start gathering data on its affect on student success and retention.

Will this be recognized for my "document?"

You will receive official recognition in the form of a certificate from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs as well as official acknowledgement of the competitiveness of the program, its role in professional development, and calculations of the amount of money saved by students and other (to be determined) future considerations as the program progresses.

Who can I ask with more questions?

Please contact Jeffrey Marzluft in the UHMC Library with any questions.