In case you haven’t heard, I recently joined the Open Courseware (OCW) Consortium as your Community College Outreach Manager. I’m excited and honored to continue working with all of you on promoting open educational resources (OER) to improve teaching and learning. I had the pleasure of working with many of you while previously at the College Open Textbooks Collaborative. As 2011 winds down, I wanted to recall our many accomplishments and urge you to get involved and help steer the course next year.
It’s hard to believe that the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) was founded less than 5 years ago. Undersecretary of Education, Dr. Martha Kanter, then the Foothill De-Anza College (FHDA) chancellor wanted to give community colleges a voice in the open education movement. Affordability for students was the major driving factor. Training faculty to find and adapt OER became a key focus. Of course in order to find OER, additional high-quality resources needed to be created as well. Policy changes at the state and national level and perceived teaching and learning benefits were still a few years away.
Faced with differing state regulations and district policies for textbook adoption and licensing of faculty produced educational materials, CCCOER was fortunate to find strong regional partners in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, Texas, Washington, and other states. Combining local knowledge with the consortium’s advocacy training resources, CCCOER was able to support regional OER projects that would produce an amazing array of open courseware, open textbooks, and open education policy changes at community colleges.
Fast forwarding to end of last year, Educause’s Next Generation Learning Challenge (NGLC) and the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community Colleges and Career Training (TAACCCT) program sent out requests for proposals focused on improving graduation rates and job placements for community college students and promoting the use open educational resources to do so.
The end result is a vibrant collection of OER projects nationwide including NGLC funded “Bridge to Success” and Kaleidoscope who both promote the reuse and repurposing of existing OER to develop new courses. Thirty-two TAACCCT grants totaling half a billion dollars were awarded to community college consortia requiring that all newly produced content be openly licensed. Many of colleges are working on their own OER projects to improve teaching and learning for their students.
Growing Up and Out
This summer CCCOER became an associate consortium of the OCW Consortium thereby greatly extending our reach. With over 300 universities, the OCW Consortium serves 46 countries and offers over 13, 000 open courses in 20 languages. Currently, 72 out of 1100 community colleges nationwide have joined the associate consortium at OCW but we want to hear from all of you.
Our goal for next year is pretty simple: Grow the community by providing value to our members. We are planning open and free online training and informational webinars, meet ups at conferences, social media, sharing of OER research findings, and partnering with organizations worldwide to promote reuse and sharing of OER at community colleges. There are lots of opportunities for you and your college to get involved e.g. join the OCW Consortium as an institutional member of an associate consortium, join our advisory board, plan and participate in Open Education Week, and share your great OER ideas with us …
Please join the conversation and help us grow together in 2012.
Looking forward to working with you.
Community College Outreach Manager