Creating the OER Project at TMCC
The first step would be the creation of a Mission Statement. A possible Mission Statement may embrace the following:
Mission: Empower instruction by providing the key Open Access Resource Materials as a proven economic benefit to student budgets. Selected resources shall provide as good, if not better, intellectual essence as material provided by traditional textbook publishers. The ACHIEVEMENT of superior course content delivery shall embrace instructional professional development and shape a more cohesive academic community at the institution, and be made available to other academic institutions. The axioms of reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute shall govern the project. Copyright would be associated with the Creative Commons guidelines. OER courses shall be listed in the semester schedule as textbook free.
In tandem with the mission statement would be the selection of an OER faculty committee. Interested faculty would need to interview for a spot as representative for their academic discipline. The faculty should represent, as instructors, core, transferrable courses such as Biology 100, English 101/102, Psychology, Business 101, Math, and Core Humanities. The VPAA, Deans, Department Chairs, and Program Coordinators would conduct the interviews. A release of one class should be awarded to each academic representative.
Steering Committee: One faculty member selected from each common core academic program (English, Humanities, History, Business, Psychology, and Math), two librarians, and Brandy Scarnati or Pat Jarvis from Distance Learning. Meetings shall take place twice a month, beginning in January and ending in May, with strategies and needs addressed in the first two meetings and subsequent meetings addressing progress, collaboration, and implementation. A timetable of one semester shall be established to get an OER pilot course in the schedule for each academic discipline by the fall semester. The VPAA shall preside over the initial meetings and then assign an individual to serve as the project communication and status director. Monthly progress reports should be distributed to Deans, Chairs, and Program Coordinators. An Excellent-Excellent for participation in this endeavor should be established in the faculty annual plan. An annual plan Excellent should be provided for future maintenance of the OER driven course.
Goals: Improve course completion, grade performance, increase credit load, and improve overall student success. To inspire other faculty to embrace the OER movement and implement and share their created, adopted, and/or adapted OER driven course.
Cost: Because so much OER material is currently available, the cost of the project should be release times to participating faculty. As such, adjunct faculty at approximately $2,000 per course would fill the void. The net savings to students would be worth the under $20,000 in release time awarded to faculty and expended in either overloads or adjunct pay. The cost for OER can be balanced by soliciting Student Government support. In the past SGA has blown thousands of dollars in Spring fling events that were barely attended. Instead of throwing an end of year party, SGA could financially support OER implementation, thus saving fellow students textbook dollars. At many institutions, student government support for OER drove the adoption of OER.
Assessment: A comparative study of student achievement in OER against traditional classes taught by the same instructor. A student attitudes survey toward OER in comparison with traditional textbooks. End of semester interviews of OER faculty member concerning success, failure, adjustments, and future implementations/augments to OER course delivery.
Commitment: OER is a long-term project. Hence, the departments will need to ensure that stagnation does not eventually cloud over the project. The OER course content delivery needs to be examined for relevancy, currency, and reliability annually. Faculty should communicate with peers at other institutions to share insights, assessment measures, student outcomes, and future goals. Administration should also remain in contact with OER faculty to support and further promote OER on campus. Faculty should also view webinars presented by various agencies to strengthen their OER based instruction.