Open Educational Resources
The high cost of textbooks is a significant factor in college affordability; HECC recognizes the key role that affordability plays in student success. House Bill 2871 (2015) provided legislative investment in the area of textbook affordability, with a specific focus on open educational resources (OER). In 2017, the Legislative Assembly expanded on these prior efforts with the passage of House Bill 2729, and appropriating $1 million for the continuation of OER work over the 2017-2019 biennium.
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
OERs are freely accessible teaching, learning, and research resources (e.g. textbooks, videos, and images) that the public has the legal permissions to use, share, and build upon the content and are available at low or no cost.
Implementing the State’s investment
HB 2871 (2015) included several components, including: designation of OER, low or no cost materials; establishing a grant program to fund public postsecondary institutions to adapt 15 high-enrollment General Education OER courses, and the funding of an OER specialist in 2015-2017.
HB2729 (2017), sponsored by the House Committee on Higher Education, Innovation and Workforce Development included several key components to continue this work through 2017-2019, including:
Convening faculty, staff, and librarians from colleges and universities
- Bringing a broad stakeholder group together to advise HECC on the awarding of new grants, and to assist and advise faculty on increasing the availability and use of OERs in their courses and on their campuses.
Open Education Resources (OER) Grant Program
- Continuing a grant program to fund public postsecondary institutions to create or adapt OER course materials. The HECC has awarded these grants and is supporting institutions who have received funds.
- Requiring HECC to evaluate the savings students experience as a result of OER adoption, and identify barriers to more widespread use of OER materials.