In 2010, the California State University Chancellor’s Office launched the CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) campaign “to enable faculty to choose and provide quality educational content that is more affordable for their students." The CSU's AL$ website provides some very helpful tools to assist faculty in finding Open Textbooks, Open Course materials, and more.
In the spring of 2012, Chico State launched its own campaign, calling it Chico Affordable Learning Solutions or CALS for short. We also launched a local website for CALS at this address: http://www.csuchico.edu/cals/ and a project, the Textbook Alternatives Project or TAP, to address the problem of high cost textbooks faced by all of our students.
On this webpage, in the left hand column, are links to sources of open educational resources (OER), such as Open Textbooks and Open Courses, as well as search tools to find OERs, and instructions on how to link to the eBooks and journals articles provided by the Meriam Library.
In 2015, The Textbook Alternatives Project or TAP, was awarded $20,000 by the CSU's Affordable Learning Solution which has funded the 3rd round of TAP, which is now currently underway.
For those unfamiliar with the Textbook Alternatives Program, TAP's primary goal is to encourage faculty to replace their high cost commercial textbooks for free or lower cost alternatives, such as OERs, library resources, digital textbooks, or self-authored content, while also maintaining or improving the quality of student learning. For more information about TAP and details about the eight grant projects, see the TAP homepage at http://www.csuchico.edu/cals/tap/index.shtml
In 2012, in the fall, the Meriam Library awarded 8 grants of $600 each (or an iPad) to CSU faculty for their TAP proposed projects to find affordable alternatives to traditional print textbooks. The grant projects were completed in the fall semester of 2013 and were a resounding success. This first round of grant projects, which we later called TAP1, saved CSU, Chico students over $43,600 in just one semester. In April, 2014, the CSU's ALS program awarded our local CALS program a grant for $19,750 to fund our second round of our grants, which became TAP2. In 2015, our campus was again awarded grant money, $20,000, which is now funding the 3rd round of our Textbook Alternatives Program, TAP3. For more information on the TAP grants, please visit the TAP homepage
At a workshop held in the library on March 9, 2012, Linda Riggins from the AS Bookstore, Marc Langston and James Tyler from the Meriam Library, and Laura Sederberg from the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) offered faculty alternative solutions to over-priced textbooks. A video recording of the presentation, Alternatives to Expensive Textbooks, is now available on YouTube.The TLP Blog article on CALS individually links you to the individual segments you may like to watch from this presentation, pointing you to them on Chico’s TLP YouTube channel.
What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?
"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use or re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." Atkins, Brown, & Hammond (2007)
What's new about OER?
OER are much more than just learning materials. As you can see in the definition above, they also now include open software tools (such as Moodle and Kaltura), and intellectual property tools (such as Creative Commons licenses). The benefits of using Public Domain materials, or having an explicit copyright license attached to a free learning resource is especially helpful for educators, as it removes the legal uncertainty and the costs and/or effort of getting copyright clearance for resources that you may want to use. In addition, it can make it easier to find free and open materials for your courses. For example, many search engines now have plug-ins that limit results to materials with open use Creative Commons licenses.
For more on OER, see the Wikiedicator website.
Atkins, Daniel E., John Seely Brown, and Alan L.Hammond. A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement. February, 2007. Accessed 24 Sept. 2008. <http://www.oerderves.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/a-review-of-the-open-educational-resources-oer-movement_final.pdf>
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