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Overview

Cosumnes River College is committed to improving access and educational success for its students. A significant part of this effort is to make impactful changes to teaching and learning through integrated efforts across the college. The goal of the Open Educational Resources Award Program is to produce long term systemic change by decreasing barriers and increasing equitable access to education through focusing on textbook affordability solutions, including campus-wide adoption of open educational resources (OER).

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that are copyright-free (public domain) or have been released under an open Creative Commons License that permits others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. Examples of OER include: open textbooks, videos, images, course modules, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, games, simulations, and other resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

Open Educational Resources reduce educational costs for students by providing free learning materials that are customizable to fit their learning needs and are available from day one of their class. Spending less money on required learning materials is a step toward eliminating the barrier of high textbook costs and may enable students to stay on track to complete their courses, chosen degrees or certificates, and other educational goals.

During the fall 2021 semester, about 10% of CRCs course sections are using OER (117 out of 1152). This is impacting more than 3400 students who have a combined savings of nearly $337,000. Imagine the impact faculty could make if all course sections were using free and open resources.1

OER Award Program

In order to increase OER course adoptions and encourage classroom faculty exploration and innovation in finding new, better, more equitable, and less costly ways to deliver quality learning materials to students, CRC is providing a financial incentive of up to $5000 for three categories:

  1. Faculty currently using traditional textbooks are asked to convert to existing OER material or to adapt, remix, and/or create OER materials that are suitable for your course(s) and learning outcomes. You will have support from other faculty participating in category 3 and/or classified professionals working as OER Specialists.
  2. Faculty who are already using OER are asked to review and revise/remix their material to ensure accessibility and culturally relevant content.
  3. Faculty who are already using OER which are accessible and culturally relevant are asked to support their peers who are participating in categories one and two in finding, editing and adopting OER material.

This award will utilize federal COVID relief funds and other monies to impart long term systematic change. It is designed to scale OER adoptions across all course sections in order to impact every CRC student now and for generations to come. It is noteworthy that:

  • Administration and faculty leadership recognize the time and commitment needed to search for, evaluate, adapt, and adopt new course material. This is reflected in the award amount ($5000), which is higher than anything ever offered for this work.
  • All awardees must utilize materials associated with awards in teaching assignments for the 2022/23 academic year and make a commitment to require only free or low-cost course materials for at least the next five academic years through 2027.
  • Faculty will receive one award, dispersed through goal completion milestones, Note: Other incentive programs, including the newly funded California Community College’s ZTC degree grant program (sec. 85) may provide additional compensation opportunities.
  • Award amounts of up to $5000 are based on FTE load and are available to all classroom faculty (adjuncts and full-time) at Cosumnes River College. Individuals, teams, and departments/programs are encouraged to work together to spread out workload for a unified adoption of OER for each course and all sections.

1Figures are for fall 2021 and were compiled by the CRC Research Office by pulling demographic information and analyzing the course schedule and pricing from the bookstore textbook list. The average price for a single textbook is $97.41.

Award Categories

Category 1: Adopting Existing OER Materials or Adapting, Remixing, and/or Creating New OER Materials

  • Category 1, Level 1: This includes the identification of existing OER materials that would be suitable for your courses; reviewing those materials to ensure they are accessible, culturally relevant, and in line with course outcomes and student success, and have the quality and rigor to maintain the integrity of the course; and selecting and adopting the OER Material. You will have support from other faculty participating in category 3 and/or classified professionals working as OER Specialists.
  • Category 1, Level 2: This includes the work involved in remixing and/or writing, developing, creating new open textbooks and, if applicable, accompanying supplemental materials such as test banks, presentation slides, videos, images, lectures, lab manuals, and other supplemental materials. Remixing and/or creation will result in the adoption of accessible newly created OER materials that are culturally relevant and in line with course outcomes and student success, and have the quality and rigor to maintain the integrity of the course. You will have support from other faculty participating in category 3 and/or classified professionals working as OER Specialists.

Category 2: Review and Revise/Remix Existing OER Material to Ensure Accessibility and Cultural Relevance

Category 2 applies to faculty who have already adopted OER materials for their courses. This involves an evaluation and editing of currently used sources to ensure accessibility and cultural relevance. Revision or remixing existing material will result in new versions of OER materials that are open to anyone online, fully accessible, and include examples, illustrations, case studies, etc. that provide inclusive learning experiences for CRC students based on the college’s current student demographics. You will have support from other faculty participating in category 3 and/or classified professionals working as OER Specialists.

Examples of this would include editing existing chapters, adding new materials from other sources, removing sections not appropriate, and/or augmenting adopted OER by creating test banks, presentation slides, videos, images, lectures, lab manuals, and other supplemental materials. Remixing and/or creation will result in accessible materials that are culturally relevant and in line with course outcomes and student success, and have the quality and rigor to maintain the integrity of the course.

Category 3: Support Peers in Finding, Revising, and Adopting OER Material

Category 3 applies to faculty who have already adopted OER materials for their courses that are available to anyone online, fully accessible, and contain culturally relevant examples and content, and who are ready to share their expertise in adopting OER with their peers. This includes helping other faculty members find, evaluate, revise, remix, create, and adopt OER materials for their courses. You will be supporting faculty participating in categories one and two.

Examples of this would include sharing OER that you’re currently using with other faculty members in your discipline, searching for and identifying OER content for faculty peers that is in line with their course learning outcomes, editing existing chapters, helping to add new materials from other sources, removing sections not appropriate, creating supplemental material such as test banks, presentation slides, videos, images, lectures, lab manuals, and other supplemental materials.

Award Application and Submission

All faculty are asked to submit the brief CRC OER Award Program Application. Information provided on this form will allow OER Support staff to better understand your needs and to help you get started on your projects. See OER Award Program Frequently Asked Questions.

Eligibility

All adjunct and full-time faculty are eligible to receive the award, which will be disbursed upon achievement of milestone targets. Even non-classroom faculty and faculty who have already converted their courses to OER and ZTC can participate in categories two and three. The goal is to replace traditional learning materials from for-profit publishers with OER in all course sections, making CRC a fully Zero Textbook Costs campus.

Participation Requirements

Awardees will commit to the following:

  • Attendance at a required kick-off training/implementation meeting designed to help participants organize project plans, share best practices and address barriers to success. There will be several offerings of this to accommodate all schedules.
  • Participate in the self-paced Canvas course: Free the Textbook: An Introduction to OER. This class provides invaluable resources designed to help faculty understand the need for OER, open licensing and copyright, accessibility, and provides a starting point to search for OER that can be adopted, revised, and remixed.
  • Attend a mid-point check-in meeting with an OER Specialist to formalize next steps in building the finalized OERs.
  • Successfully produce deliverables agreed upon during the application process (e.g. category 2 applicant publishes revised OER textbooks for all classes, which are fully accessible and contain culturally relevant examples and/or content by the start of the fall 2022 semester.
  • All work produced will be accessible and shared under an open Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY 4.0) and will be made open to the public. The OER project lead and team will assist in this requirement.
  • Teach the course(s) using newly adopted/created/revised OER in all assigned sections for the 2022/23 academic year, and commit to requiring only free course materials for at least the next five academic years through 2027.
  • Complete a faculty survey and assist in administering a student survey of the quality of OER material adopted.

The College will provide the awardees with the needed support to help develop and implement their projects through activities such as but not limited to:

  • OER discovery and curation
  • Kickoff webinar – Review of awardee requirements, awardee support services, program timeline, and next steps
  • Workshops and/or trainings
  • Accessibility training and assistance, including review and remediation of materials from an accessibility expert
  • Publishing options

Disbursement of Award Funds

Two payments of up to $2500 each will be awarded as program milestones are met. Adjunct award amounts are based on FTE load. See the Calculating Adjunct Awards for information on how to calculate your eligibility. Processing of paperwork needed for the first payment will begin in January 2022.

Payment One Milestones

Payment Two Milestones

  • Attend a check-in meeting with an OER Specialist or the Project Lead to formalize next steps in converting your course(s) to zero textbook costs.
  • Successfully complete the work needed to convert and/or update your course(s) to accessible and culturally relevant learning materials that are zero textbook costs for students. Or for those in category three, complete support work requested by your peers. Becoming ZTC could include updating, adopting, remixing, or creating an open educational resource or utilizing other material that can be freely accessed by students (e.g. library ebooks, TED talks, etc.).

    Note: Because of deadlines related to categorical funding being used for this project, the second payment will likely be disbursed near the end of spring 2022. You will receive this payment even if you need additional time over the summer to complete your project.

Calculating Adjunct Awards

The amount adjunct faculty are eligible to receive is based on FTE assignments for fall 2021 and spring 2022. To determine the amount of each payment, multiply your fractional FTE by $2500. This stipend will not impact your FTE load.

Example

An adjunct faculty member teaching 0.5 load in fall 2021 will earn $1250 for meeting the first set of milestones. This same faculty member who teaches 0.4 in spring 2022 will earn $1000 for agreeing to complete the work to convert classes to zero textbook costs.

Example Calculation

  • Fall 2021: 0.5 x $2500 = $1250
  • Spring 2022: 0.4 x $2500 = $1000

Timeline

  • Now through mid-February 2022: Apply for the OER Grant Program. All faculty are encouraged to apply.
  • Ongoing through March 2022: Review of applications and creation of OER starting point documents by OER Specialists and Project Lead.
  • Ongoing through April 2022: Attend a check-in meeting with an OER Specialist or the Project Lead to formalize next steps in converting your course to zero textbook costs.
  • August 19, 2022: Zero Textbook Cost conversion is complete and students are not required to purchase materials to take your courses during the Fall 2022, Spring 2023 academic year.

Note: Dates and deadlines are subject to change based on available funding.


Cosumnes River College OER Award Program guidelines are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY 4.0) and are an adaptation of the Reedley College Pivot Award, Skyline College ZTC Early Adopters Program, and the Lansing Community College OER Award Program. All are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Upcoming OER Events

Jan
26

CRC OER Award Program Office Hours

from 3:00 to 4:00 pm

Feb
03

CRC OER Award Program Office Hours

from 10:00 to 11:00 am

Feb
04

OER: Accessibility Checkers in Canvas

from 10:00 to 11:00 am

FAQs About the OER Award Program

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