CSU Affordable Learning Solutions and Chico's CALS campaign
In 2010, the California State University Chancellor’s Office launched the CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS) campaign “to enable faculty to choose and provide quality educational content that is more affordable for their students." The CSU's ALS website provides some very helpful tools to assist faculty in finding Open Textbooks, Open Course materials, and more.
In 2012, our campus launched its own campaign, calling it Chico Affordable Learning Solutions or CALS for short. Our first project was a workshop in March of 2012 (see below). More recently we launched a new local website for CALS at this address: http://www.csuchico.edu/cals/ and a project, the Textbook Alternatives Project, to address the problem of high cost textbooks faced by all of our students.
News and Announcements
Our most recent project , which started in the Fall of 2012, is the Textbook Alternatives Project or TAP.
TAP's primary goal is to encourage faculty to replace their high cost commercial textbooks 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.
To inititate TAP, the Meriam Library and Academic Technologies teamed up to support a grant opportunity for faculty who are interested in replacing a traditional textbook in a course with free or more affordable alternative materials. Each winner will receive $600.00 or an iPad.
In December, 2012 the winners of the grants were announced. Congratulations go to the following eight CSU, Chico faculty:
Leslie Atkins, Eric Ayars, Laurie Browne, Maria DeCastro, David Kagan, Jim Mensching, Susan Roll, and Steve Stewert.
A description of their projects and their courses involved in TAP is available on this Excel spreadsheet
For more information about the project, see the TAP homepage at http://www.csuchico.edu/cals/tap/index.shtml
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.
Atkins, Daniel E., John Seely Brown, and Alan L.Hammond. A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement. February, 2007. Accessed
CALS Co-Coordinator and Online Curriculum Support
Room 410, Meriam Library
California State University, Chico