KBOR OER Initiatives System-wide
In February 2021, the KBOR OER Steering Committee distributed a survey to all public higher education institutions in Kansas. This survey was created to gather baseline information on how Open Educational Resources (OER) are currently being implemented across the various colleges and universities in the state. The full summary report is linked below:
Individual OER Initiatives
In Spring 2019, ESU formed an OER Task Force whose work culminated in a report and road map for OER development. In Fall 2019, the Provost allocated $35,000 to begin the work of institutionalizing OER at ESU. By October of 2019, the OER Task Force had formed Course Resource Affordability Initiative Grants (CRAIG) to spur faculty adoption, adaption, compilation, and creation of open educational resources. Thirteen grants were awarded in November 2019, and faculty signed memorandums of agreement to include OER in the courses contracted in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Further, the Task Force worked with the Tuition and Fees Committee to attach a $10 fee to any designated OER course featuring a zero cost textbook (KSU model). That fee will help to regenerate CRAIG funds for further production of OER. The Student Government Association fully supports OER efforts at ESU, producing resolutions in favor of OER and of CRAIG awards to spur innovation.
Membership: Open Textbook Network
FHSU’s OER initiative began with AASCU’s Red Balloon Initiative for innovative teaching practices in 2007-2014. As part of the initiative, FHSU formed an Open Educational Resources Committee in 2012 under the leadership of Academic Affairs and the Office of the Provost. Today that committee is co-chaired by the Dean of the Library and the Assistant Vice Provost for Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies (TILT). In 2017, the OER committee administered a faculty survey about perceptions of OERs. In 2019, FHSU’s Faculty Senate made a resolution in support of zero-cost course materials.
In collaboration with TILT and Technology Services, the library has offered a series of mini-conferences on open access, copyright, getting started with OERs, and advanced OERs. As of February 2020, FHSU’s executive leadership team approved a new Z-Course Initiative proposed by the OER Committee that will incentivize departments with high-enrollment courses to convert them to use zero-cost course materials. The OER Committee is currently working on implementation.
Since starting in 2012, The Kansas State Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative has saved K-State Students millions by providing grants up to $5000 to instructors who replace their textbook with a resource that is free to use. These resources may be open educational resources, or alternative educational resources that are not open available for use beyond the course. In order to provide greater incentive for adoption, more recently we have introduced a $10/course fee for courses that use an open or alternative educational resource and do not require students to purchase other materials. To make these fee eligible courses easier for students to identify, we have an icon that replaces the textbook icon that normally provides information about the material required by the course.
The initial interest in OER began several years ago during PSU’s association with Lumen Learning and the Kaleidoscope project. PSU was one of the few Midwest universities selected to take part in the Lumen/Gates grant designed to develop OER courses in collaboration with other grant participants. The following year they were fortunate to again be part of the next Lumen Challenge Grant where a select group of faculty collaborated with Lumen to develop their first Waymaker courses. They continue to offer those courses on campus.
PSU has an OER Steering Committee comprised of faculty and administration at PSU. Through this committee, and as a result of our collaboration with Lumen Learning and funding they provided, they have been offering a number of OER Awards and Grants to faculty interested in either adopting an open access textbook or creating their own open access textbook. To date, there have been 12 OpenPITT Awards (adopting an existing open access textbook) and six OpenPITT Grants (creating an open access textbook or Canvas course). The recipients of the OER Awards and Grants present at the Annual Faculty Development Day held each August. The OER Steering Committee has also implemented a ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost) designation on the course schedule.
One significant initiative of the OER Steering Committee was to advocate for the inclusion of OER into the Tenure and Promotion guidelines outlined in the KNEA/PSU contract. They developed a white paper, presented it to their Provost, and sent it forward to the negotiating team asking for the OER inclusion. They were successful in getting the verbiage added to the current contract. This White Paper was presented at the Open Education Conference two years ago.
The Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology serves on the KBOR OER Steering Committee.
Resources: Creative Commons Guide (pdf)
The University of Kansas has been engaged in sustained support for OER since 2015, though there are examples within units that predate centralized efforts. There is an active program of outreach and advocacy based in the Libraries, which participates in the Open Textbook Network (OTN) and maintains a grant program, providing funding up to $5,000 for OER adopters, adapters, and creators at KU. In Spring 2019, KU Libraries launched a Textbook Heroes initiative to recognize outstanding contributions at KU. With the support of the Office of the Provost, a campus-level Textbook Working Group, including broad stakeholder representation, has been meeting for since late 2016. In AY 17/18, KU was accepted to the OpenStax Institutional Partner Program. The University of Kansas has been engaged in sustained support for OER since 2015, though there are examples within units that predate centralized efforts. There is an active program of outreach and advocacy based in the Libraries, which participates in the Open Textbook Network (OTN) and maintains a grant program, providing funding up to $5,000 for OER adopters, adapters, and creators at KU. In Spring 2019, KU Libraries launched a Textbook Heroes initiative to recognize outstanding contributions at KU. With the support of the Office of the Provost, a campus-level Textbook Working Group, including broad stakeholder representation, has been meeting for since late 2016. In AY 17/18, KU was accepted to the OpenStax Institutional Partner Program.
In AY 18/19, Student Body President Noah Ries and Student Senate Chief of Staff Zach Thomason led several Student Senate initiatives at KU, including a resolution endorsing OER and the creation of the Student Senate Textbook Affordability Award, as well as participating in statewide OER advocacy and research alongside their Regent's institution peers. AY 19/20 Student Body President Tiara Floyd, alongside Chief of Staff Thomason, took action to carry that momentum forward by advocating for marking affordable courses. KU is presently exploring the potential of marking no/low cost courses in Enroll & Pay and classes.ku.edu, based on the excellent examples of colleagues at PSU and KSU.
Washburn University has a nascent OER project operated by its University Libraries. The initiative is largely information and incentive based. Educational opportunities to learn more about OER are offered by the Open Education Librarian through Washburn’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and individualized sessions with faculty. A small grant program, designed to incentive the adoption of OER, operated by the University Libraries was launched in summer 2019. The Faculty Senate and Student Government of Washburn University are both interested in the role OER will play at the institution in the future.
Wichita State University is committed to the use of OER, with instructional designers, university libraries, and the university bookstore all helping to promote the adoption of appropriate free resources. WSU launched the Open/Alternative Textbook (OAT) initiative in Spring 2020 to promote, incentivize, and grow the use of freely available resources in classes to reduce the economic impact of textbook costs on the student body.
The program is based on a successful model at K-State and has two components: an OAT course designation for courses using open or alternative textbooks and a grant program to support faculty developing their own no-cost educational resources. Courses with the OAT designation have a $10 course fee, which supports the initiative. Applications for course designations and grants are reviewed by the OAT committee, which consists of stakeholders from across campus.
Barton Community College continues to work through a 3-year OER Plan by providing training and support for faculty to facilitate further OER course transitions. OER implementation continues throughout Barton campuses and procedures, and standards continue to be updated and refined through experience and research.
Butler Community College has recently adopted or developed several OER, including texts for Composition I and Composition II. Student savings have been significant: the composition texts are on track to save Butler students 1 million dollars in the 2020-21 academic year. Butler’s OER work has been supported by its OER and Textbook Affordability Teams, Nixon Library, Educational Technology, Faculty Development, and Academic Departments in the form of policy and procedures, web pages, trainings, focused meetings, and two faculty development workshops, Introduction to OER and the Butler OER Development Process. Butler also belongs to the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources or CCCOER.
Resources: OER Guide
Dodge City Community College
For the past 6 years, the Openstax Anatomy and physiology textbook has been used at DCCC. Most students download it as a PDF to their computers, but some purchase a print copy through the bookstore or through Amazon. The major reason for doing so was the textbook being used was $200 or $100 to rent for each semester, and thus, many students did not purchase it. Most students were not reading it due to the difficulty level.
One item that has helped with costs is not an OER, but the library subscribes to films on demand, which students can access free. This allows them access to documentaries and old newsreels, as well as scientific advances. Whether or not a professor is using partial or complete OER resources, this is a powerful resource for students.
Fort Scott Community College
Fort Scott Community College is still in the infant stages of using OERs. The Director of Library Services has informed and promoted to educating faculty instructors on what OERs are as well as providing some links to basic OER resources. Instructors are being encouraged to look at OERs, consider them, and use them. Only a few courses are currently utilizing OERs in some form including Introduction to Business, Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, College Orientation, Elements of Technical Analysis, General Chemistry I, and General Chemistry II. In addition, the Director of Library Services was appointed as a member of the Kansas Statewide OER Steering Committee.
Hutchinson Community College
In early 2020, HutchCC introduced discovery and growth stages of OER. The Academic and Online Education departments encourage faculty to consider OER when developing, redeveloping, or revising online course content. We are happy to announce that two faculty members recently began working to transition their courses using OER materials. Spanish and Introduction to Food Science are now in OER development. The ongoing goal is to continue supporting faculty while providing professional development opportunities for all.
Independence CC just starting to use OERs on a very limited basis. They have about 5 instructors using them in various forms (OpenStax to self-created). They have started a group that is exploring what, if any, policy and procedure should be followed when moving from traditional classroom materials to OERs. They currently have a loaner program at the bookstore, so it has not been a pressing need for them. The bookstore is exploring some potential changes and so they may be looking at this more in the next few years. They have faculty who are early adopters who are really liking the resources and faculty who claim they will never do this, so it is still transitioning from an informational point to a practical use. The library director started an OER resource page on the library page to support those using OERs and for students doing research.
Current classes that are using them:
- Some of our Math courses
For a year and a half, JCCC has had an OER taskforce. In that time, they’ve joined and supported CCCOER and SPARC, awarded 7 mini-grants for implementation and creation, and have conducted several consultations. As they wait to see results with the mini-grants, they’ve also taken a soft survey of OER currently in classrooms, as well as made an OER curriculum option for their Comp I instructors. The activities for this year include more mini-grants, reporting out from previous ones, multiple returning sabbatical members who left to create OER, two taskforce members completing librarian and educator Creative Commons certificate programs, conference attendance, and more professional development.
Labette Community College currently uses OER materials for General Biography, Anatomy & Physiology, World Regional Geography, both US History Survey classes, Matrix Algebra, and American Government. Most of these classes will transfer directly to Kansas universities. Some other classes, particularly in chemistry and math, use instructor-written material that is provided to students at the cost of printing.
Pratt Community College
PCC is at the opening stages of working with OER with the faculty. The VP for instruction has included into the Director of the Learning Resource Center’s responsibilities the opportunity to share the OER message and to champion it on campus. They currently have one science faculty that is experimenting with possible OER inclusion into one of her courses. They are also working to identify adequate / reasonable sources to be able to convert their Comparative World Religion class into an OER class.
The overall status is that they are in the investigative, championing and education stage.