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Open Educational Resources Alternatives to Textbooks. Susan Dean De Anza College December 13, 2008.

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Open Educational Resources Alternatives to Textbooks

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OpenEducationalResourcesAlternatives to Textbooks

Susan Dean

De Anza College

December 13, 2008

For prospective students, the first test is often their ability to afford the textbooks.

The Problem:

College textbooks are too expensive

  • Students spend an average of $900 a year on textbooks.

  • For students already trying to finance college, the cost of textbooks often forces the student to either go into debt, accept an inferior academic experience, or to drop out.

What areOpen Educational Resources?

  • High quality educational content and tools

  • Freely available from the internet, anytime, anywhere

  • All languages

  • Shared

  • Usable and re-usable

OER Survey

OER Tutorial:

(Access; find content by author Judy Baker)

Benefits of OER

Lowers the costs of educational materialsfor students

Benefits of OER

Fosters pedagogical innovation and relevance that avoids“teaching from the textbook”

Benefits of OER

Gives faculty tools to gain control over learning content and delivery.

Benefits of OER

  • Share and remix learning materials for customized and localized use

  • Fast feedback loop on quality and relevance of learning materials => continual improvement and rapid development


Statistics Open TextbookNow Available at Connexions


Collaborative Statistics

by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean

Other Examples

  • Rupi Sekhon wrote a Finite Math book that several sections of Math 11 at De Anza use. The course transfers to UC and CSU.  Available at$8

  • You can download or view a copy of Burzynski & Elllis' "Elementary Algebra" for viewers at -

  • You can download or view a copy of Burzynski & Elllis' "Fundamentals of Mathematics" at -

  • John Redden has an

  • "Elementary Algebra: Solving Linear Equations in One Variable"

  • module posted to Connexions at -


  • Articulation and transfer issues

  • Compliance with accessibility (ADA) requirements

  • Printing and computer lab demands on campus by students

  • Coordination with campus bookstores

OER Resources and Tools

  • Tools for locating, organizing, and delivering

  • Tools for collaboration and development

  • Discipline-specific sources

  • Open courseware

Tools for Locating, Organizing,and Delivering OER

Tools for Collaborationand Development

Discipline-specific Sources

Community College Consortiumfor Open Educational Resources

Joint effort to develop and use open educational resources and open textbooks in community college courses

  • 1: Develops and expands the Community College Consortium for OER toward sustainability

  • 2: Has a website that houses current information about high-quality Open Textbooks appropriate for community college instruction including

    • development

    • identification

    • standards

    • criteria (articulation, accessibility, interoperability, and cultural relevance)

    • Links to sites (like CNX) and to textbooks

  • Learn how to use Connexions as your toolkit

  • to discover, customize, and adopt open textbooks.

    • Complete Booklet PDF   Text        

    • Get Account PDF VideoText

    • Login PDF VideoText

    • Set Password PDF VideoText

    • MaintainAccountPDF VideoText        

    • Search Connexions PDF VideoText

    • Use Materials PDF VideoText        

    • Check Out Materials PDF VideoText

    • Edit Materials PDF VideoText

    • Publish Materials PDF VideoText

    • Update Collections PDF VideoText

    • Publish Collections PDF VideoText     

    • Getting Textbooks PDF Video Text




Disseminate Open Textbooks

  • Digital formats

  • Printed format

  • Student (DIY)

  • Campus bookstore

  • Campus printshop services

  • Proprietary services

Faculty Role

Encourage faculty to develop, locate, review, and and promote OER

Support sabbaticals for development and modification of open textbooks

Give credit toward tenure for faculty work on open textbook development

Project Partners

83 colleges from AZ, CA, MD, NY, WA, NV, Ontario…

AB 2261 by Ira Ruskin

  • Section 1 (b) states that “Community colleges need to take greater advantage of open education resources, especially for basic skills and general education classes, including, but not limited to, algebra, that use course content that remains generally unchanged over time.”


Creative Commons and ccLearn

“ccLearn is a division of Creative Commons dedicated to support open learning and open educational resources. Our mission is to minimize barriers to the creation, sharing, and reuse of educational materials—legal barriers, technical barriers, and social barriers.”

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