Open Educational Resources

Lake Tahoe Community College is excited to be part of the Open Educational Resources initiative, working to adopt free or reasonably priced textbooks and other course materials.  Many of our faculty will be working this year to look at the OER option so that students will have easier access to an affordable education.  We hope that in the near future, many of the courses offered at LTCC will come with quality textbooks and learning materials that are free to access online and low cost to purchase as a paper copy.  This year, LTCC was granted an award to fund the research that will help with the adoption of OER materials.  This funding comes from AB 798, the California congressional bill that supports OER.

 

How will Open Educational Resources affect students?

Instructors are working hard to identify OER materials that are of equal or higher quality compared to the more expensive materials that are sold by regular publishers.  Typically, an instructor will put together a package of OER course materials that are accessible online for free or at a greatly reduced price.  Student who want a paper version will be able to purchase the materials at the bookstore at a cost that is much less than the traditional course materials.  The library will also have copies that students can check out and use in the library.  OER materials could potentially save students thousands of dollars during their academic career at LTCC.

 

Where will students access the digital OER materials?

There are several websites that host OER materials.  Your instructor will include information on the website to go to and will assist you in finding navigating to the site.  Some such sites are:
 
  • Cool4Ed:  California Open Online Library for Education, a great resource for information about OER and how it is being implemented in California.  
  • MERLOT.org: A peer reviewed collection of OER materials from all subjects.
  • Open Stax: A collection of OER textbooks.
  • OER Commons: A collection of OER materials searchable by subject
  • Oregon's OER: Courses in Oregon that have adopted OER materials

Here are some courses that have adopted OER textbooks or Reduced Price textbooks
BIO 101:  Principles of Biology 1: Biology
BIO 102:  Principles of Biology 2: Biology
BIO 103:  Principles of Biology 3: Biology
BIO 110:  Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology: Concepts of Biology
BIO 111:  Introduction to Plant and Animal Biology: Concepts of Biology
BIO 120:  Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology: Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 121:  Musculoskeletal Anatomy: Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 142:  EMT/Firefighter Anatomy and Physiology: Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 149:  Ecology
BIO 201:  Botany
BIO 203: Human Anatomy and Physiology 1:  Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 204: Human Anatomy and Physiology 2:  Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 205: Human Anatomy and Physiology 3:  Anatomy and Physiology
BIO 210: Microbiology: Microbiology Hub
BIO 212: Zoology
ENG 101:  Reading and Composition: Face to Face and Online
GEG 101:  Physical Geography: Dynamic Earth :  Introduction to Physical Geography
GEG 102:  Human Geography:  Contemporary Human Geography | Edition: 2
GEG 103:  World Regional Geography:  Introduction to Human Geography
GEG 108:  Water Resources: Concise Hydrology, Water Resource Management
GEL 101:  California Geography: Physical Geology
GEL 102:  Physical Geology: Physical Geology
GEL 103:  History of Earth and Its Life: Historical Geology, Physical Geology
GEL 110:  Geology of National Parks and Monuments: Physical Geology, Owner's Guide to Historical National Parks
GEL 114:  Introduction to Earth Science: Dynamic Earth:  Introduction to Physical Geography
JPN 201-203:  Intermediate Japanese: Genki

MAT 201:  Elementary Statistics: Introductory Statistics
MAT 203:  Linear Algebra: Linear Algebra
MUSIC 104B:  History of Rock Music
MUSIC 104E:  The Beatles
PHS 117:  Oceanography: Introduction to Physical Oceanography
PHY 104-105-106:  General Physics: College Physics
PSY 101:  General Psychology: Psychology
PSY 107:  Personality Psychology: Personality Theory in a Cultural Context


 

What faculty at LTCC are planning on adopting or have already adopted OER materials?
Below is a list of faculty who are actively researching OER materials in order to make an education at LTCC more affordable.  This list is sure to grow rapidly in the near future.
 
• Bob Albrecht, Psychology
• Bruce Armbrust, Mathematics
• Susan Boulanger, Theater
• Cathy Cox, Physics
• Larry Green, Statistics and Mathematics
• Naomi Green, Japanese
• Sue Kloss, Biology
• Beth Marinelli-Laster, Psychology
• Sara Pierce, Spanish
• Frances Pistoresi, English
• Madelyn Rios, Biology
• Kathy Strain, Biology
• Christina Tomolillo, Psychology
• Scott Valentine, Geography
• Wynn Walker, Statistics and Mathematics
  • Mark Williams, Music
 

What is AB 798?
AB 798 is the Textbook Affordability Program. It's goal is to save college students money by empowering professors and local campuses to adopt high quality, free and open educational resources for courses materials. Assemblywoman Bonilla (sponsor of AB 798) recognized that free and open educational resources can reduce the total cost of education for students and their families in California's higher education institutions. LTCC's AB 798 proposal will enable the promise of a more affordable education to its students to become a reality.
Funds from AB 798 are to be used for professional development so that faculty and staff learn about open educational resources and how they will make college more affordable for students.  Funds cannot be used for the following:
 
  • Direct compensation for faculty members who adopt open educational resources, except as provided to compensate for professional development.  
  • The development of MOOC's or online courses that include non-matriculated students.
  • The creation of new OER materials.
  • The purchase of new equipment.
  • Past curricular conversions to OER materials
 

What is the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) Degree?
LTCC was recently awarded a planning grant to identify pathways that can be created for students where they will walk into the college take their courses and receive their associates or arts degree or their certificate without having to spend a dime on textbooks.  The college is currently looking at several possible degrees where this could become a possibility.  This will be a gradual process where one by one, courses will be identified that will become ZTC courses.  Even those who will earn a degree that is not a ZTC degree can benefit since there will be general education pathways that will be ZTC.
 
What Does It Take for a Course to Qualify as a Zero Textbook Cost Course?

The California senate bill SB 1359 that recently passed requires all California Community Colleges to label all "Zero Cost" textbook courses in the schedule of classes.  Other than tuition, fees for the following course materials are not allow to be required for these zero cost designated courses:

  • Textbooks
  • Online homework systems
  • Workbooks
  • Required supplementary readings

The following costs do not disqualify a course from being counted as a Zero Cost textbook course:

  • Materials such as art supplies
  • Food for a culinary course
  • Fingerprinting for a child development course
  • Calculators and other electronic devices
  • Sporting equipment
  • Equipment for a fire academy course
  • Special clothing

If you have any questions about whether your course counts as a Zero Cost Textbook Course, please contact Larry Green, the Open Educational Resources director.

 
Questions about Open Educational Resources?  Email Larry Green at:  drLarryGreen@gmail.com