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22st Annual OLC International Conference
November 16-18, 2016 | Orlando, Florida | Walt Disney World Swan/Dolphin Resort

OLC Innovate 2016 - Innovations in Blended and Online Learning
April 20-22, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Making Open Educational Resources COOL for Education - California's Open Online Library Ready for Your Use

Gerry Hanley (California State University, Office of the Chancellor & MERLOT, USA)
Session Information
October 16, 2015 - 9:30am
Open, Global, Mobile
Major Emphasis of Presentation: 
Practical Application
Institutional Level: 
Multiple Levels
Audience Level: 
Session Type: 
Information Session
Southern Hemisphere I
Session Duration: 
45 Minutes
Concurrent Session 9
Virtual Session
Best in Track

Making Open Educational Resources COOL For Education - California's Open Online Library Ready For Your Use

Extended Abstract

Collectively, California State University (CSU) students are spending well over $300 million for textbooks and other course materials. In a 2011 national Student PIRG survey of 1,905 students at 13 college campuses, seven of 10 students report not buying at least one of their required textbooks because it was too expensive. Seventy-nine percent of all students in this survey stated they would do "worse/much worse" in a class without their own textbook. The affordability of course materials is a significant barrier for student success. Strategies for improving the affordable choices of course materials for CSU students have become an important part of a number of campus Graduation Initiative programs. When the total cost of education is more affordable, students graduate in less time, providing greater access to a CSU education to more of our citizens.

On January 1, 2013, California legislation was enacted which directed the California Community Colleges (CCC), the California State University (CSU), the University of California (UC), and the Intersegmental Council of Academic Senates (ICAS) to establish the California Open Education Resource Council through Senate Bill (SB) 1052 and directed the CSU to establish the California Digital Open Source Library (CDOSL) through SB 1053. The bills established the goal of making higher education in California more affordable by providing faculty and students access to free and lower-cost instructional materials.

In the two plus years since the legislation was enacted, the California State University, Office of the Chancellor was awarded grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which provided the private funds to release the state matching funds for this project. The California Open Education Resources Council (CA OER Council) was established and consists of three faculty representatives from each of the three California higher segments (CCCs, CSUs and UCs). The near-term responsibilities of the CA OER Council include:

1. Selecting up to 50 lower division courses in the public postsecondary segments to target for the development and acquisition of digital, open source textbooks and materials.
2. Creating and administering a standardized, rigorous review and approval process for open source textbooks and related materials.
3. Promoting strategies for production, access, and use of open source materials.
4. Regularly soliciting and considering input from each segment's respective statewide student associations.
The CSU, the leader and administrator of MERLOT, has created the California Open Online Library for Education (www.cool4ed.org) which is built upon MERLOT's extensive collection and open educational services. The COOL4Ed website showcases:
1. Faculty adoption of free and open etextbooks with ePortfolios created with MERLOT Content Builder.
2. Common courses across the 3 California systems with recommended free and open etextbooks created with the use of MERLOT's Course ePortfolio tool.
3. Faculty reviews of the qualities of the free and open textbooks that are posted within MERLOT's "Rate this Material" tool

The session will demonstrate the "COOL" tools and explain how participants can use COOL for their own textbook affordability initiative, modeled after the CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions initiative (http://csuaffordablelearningsolutions.org).