West Hills Lemoore offers 'boot camp' on Open Educational Resources

From West Hills College Lemoore

West Hills College Lemoore has rapidly become a thought leader in the field of Open Educational Resources—free, digital textbooks and other resources. On Thursday, June 7 and Friday, June 8, WHCL will extend the knowledge it has gained from several years of embracing OER to educators from across the state as part of the 2018 California Zero Textbook Cost Degree OER Boot Camp.

“I’m amazed by our faculty at West Hills College Lemoore, who have saved our students over $400,000 in 2017-2018 as part of our #OERevolution,” said James Preston, WHCL Vice President of Educational Services. “One of the reasons why everyone in education goes into this field is to make a difference, and I feel like OER is making a difference and I feel like OER is making a difference in the lives of our students and a difference in the way we’re delivering teaching and learning.”

At the OER Boot Camp, community college faculty from 14 community colleges across the state are gathering to discuss OER, how to implement it in courses and the benefits it affords students. The faculty will get hands-on, building an OER course while learning about gathering Open Educational Resources, licensing and attribution issues, the process of building a Zero Cost Textbook degree and aligning curriculum, outcomes, and objectives.

The two-day summit is being hosted by WHCL due in part to WHCL being named a Zero Cost Textbook Degree Technical Assistance Provider by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office last year. College of the Canyons is another Technical Assistance Provider for the state.

WHCL has been working to implement and utilize OER in one way or another for the past four years. The college has earned several grants and funding to support that endeavor, including $100,000 from Achieving the Dream and $40,000 from state Assembly Bill AB-798—which makes implementing OER a priority for the state’s community colleges. The West Hills Community College District has also adopted a board policy steering the district toward adopting OER for every program.

WHCL is also working on implementing two Zero Textbook Cost Degrees: associate degrees or certificates earned entirely by completing courses that use OER. The first degree, an Associate Degree for Transfer in Psychology launched this Spring, and an Elementary Teacher Education Transfer Degree will launch in Fall 2018.

In the Spring 2018 semester, the 2,838 students taking OER classes saved an estimated $283,800. In the upcoming Fall 2018 semester, 30% of all courses (300 out of 1000) will use OER.


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