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, the Chico Affordable Learning Solutions or CALS for short, and a started the Textbook Alternatives Project, aka 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 May of 2017, the CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) program awarded Chico’s local Affordable Learning program (CALS) a grant for $15,000 for the continued support of Chico's Textbook Alternatives Project, or TAP. For more information on TAP, and how to apply for the 5th round of grant money, see the the TAP website.
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.
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.
Meriam Library | CSU, Chico