says Jack Green, Mathematics instructor and TAT co-chair. Sammons new OER, which is accessible entirely online, includes links to supporting articles, videos and images, providing a more integrated approach to delivering the material and supporting different learners in the process. Just a couple years ago, my Writing 121 students typically spent over 100 at the Bookstore for a course packet, a handbook and textbook with readings, says Sammons. Student respondents resoundingly indicated that lowering textbook costs would make the college more affordable. Putting together a good OER/replace-the-textbook project is time consuming, Sammons adds. Last spring, Hansen, Perez-Torres and other student government members met with the mhcc Board of Directors to share their agenda, of which OER topped the list. The work of the Textbook Affordability Team and the Foundation is incredibly important to bringing affordable textbook solutions to the college, says mhcc President.
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The ASG began recognizing faculty involved in OER beginning in the 2017-18 school year. In all, those projects have resulted in an estimated cost savings of approximately 350,000 to students from 2016 to 2018. For instance, if I previously used a textbook to explain critical thinking, then I had to find a new way to help students understand the concept. Last year, mhccs Textbook Affordability Team (TAT) rolled out a new program that identifies classes in the colleges online Class Schedule as either Low-Cost: Under 50 or No-Cost:. Ive built something specifically for my class, and not had to develop my class around the textbook. Developing OER content gave us the freedom to create a math book unlike anything that is currently available, commercially or otherwise, adds Green. Back at the ASG offices of the Student Union, Hansen and Perez-Torres add the finishing touches to some 150 certificates of appreciation for those instructors and staff who worked on OER projects in the last year. The OER, which is available in an online, downloadable document, saves students an estimated 175 or the cost of a used version of the previous textbook.