Archive

Tidewater Community College’s Z-Degree shows increased student retention

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Student retention | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Tidewater Community College’s no textbook cost Business Administration degree (the Z-Degree) has released data showing increased student retention for the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters:

Tidewater Z-Degree

Source: Program Successes section of http://www.tcc.edu/academics/zdegree/index.html

See also: Slide 32 of OEW 2015: Zero Textbook Cost Degree: http://www.slideshare.net/UnaDaly/oew-2015-zero-textbook-cost-degree

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Use of Open Textbook shows increased retention and completion rates

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Student retention | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

The University System of Georgia (USG) announced the following results from their Summer and Fall 2013 use of an open textbook for US History:

“The first USG Open Textbook was made for the core curriculum US History I course and implemented in eCore in Summer and Fall 2013.

  • In Spring 2013, prior to open text implementation: 88% HIST 2111 retention rate.
  • In Summer 2013, the first semester with the Open Textbook, retention increased to 94%.
  • Successful completion (grades A, B, and C) rose from 56% in the spring to 84% in the summer with the open textbook.

–Retention is the measure of non-withdrawals (grades A,B,C,D,F)

–Successful course completion is the measure of grades A, B, and C. Non-successful course completion is the measure of grades D, F, W, and WF.”

Source: Slide 11 on http://slidegur.com/doc/353707/retention-and-completion-with-oer-implementation

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Gorge Open initiative saves 379 students over $35K in textbook costs

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: OER saves money | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

An initiative at Columbia Gorge Community College has (as at 6 February 2015) saved 379 students $35,246.15 in textbook costs since 2013:

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Tidewater Community College Z-Degree: OER Quality

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Unassigned | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Tidewater Community College was the first institution to offer an 100% OER degree in Business Administration in Fall 2013. Called the Z-degree the pilot of this 2-year degree course reported that “96% of the students enrolled in the courses have rated the quality of the OER content as equal to or better in quality to the textbooks used in other classes.” (Source)

Watch Daniel De Marte of Tidewater Community College talk more about the creation of the Z-Degree

Z as in Zero: Increasing College Access and Success Through Zero-Textbook-Cost Degrees by TJ Bliss (January 2015)

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Tidewater Community College Z-degree: Student Savings

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: OER saves money | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Tidewater Community College was the first institution to offer an 100% OER degree in Business Administration in Fall 2013. Called the Z-degree this 2-year degree course has reduced the total cost of study by more than 25% or $1200 per annum (the savings calculation shown below is based on the average cost of textbooks: “The textbooks for an associate’s degree in business administration normally cost $3679, which is about a third of the cost of the degree from Tidewater.” Source)

Source: http://lumenlearning.com/success-story-tidewater/

(Picture source)

Watch Daniel De Marte of Tidewater Community College talk more about the creation of the Z-Degree

Z as in Zero: Increasing College Access and Success Through Zero-Textbook-Cost Degrees by TJ Bliss (January 2015)

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Finding OER as ‘difficult’ as finding traditional resources

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: OER choice | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

In 2014 the Babson Survey Research Group surveyed 2,144 teaching faculty members in U.S. higher education to find out about their attitudes, opinions and use of OER. One of the key findings in their report talks about the time and effort required to find and evaluate resources:

The level of effort in searching for OER reported by faculty is only slightly more difficult than the effort that they perceive in searching for traditional resources, so why is it that issues of finding and evaluating OER tops faculty’s list of potential barriers for OER adoption? The answer appears to be that faculty see barriers for the adoption of any new teaching resource – OER or traditional. The effort to find and evaluate new resources (of any kind) and integrate them into the curriculum is substantial. Over a quarter of faculty see this as “difficult” or “very difficult” for traditional resources – even with their well-established mechanisms and considerable faculty experience with the process. Moving to an OER, where the faculty member is far less familiar and the cataloging and search mechanism less well developed only make this issue more important.” (p. 30)

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OER superior to traditional resources on cost

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: OER saves money | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

Opening the Curriculum, a report examining the attitudes, opinions and use of OER among teaching faculty in U.S. higher education, published by Babson Survey Research Group in 2014, found that 85.7% of respondents rated OER superior to traditional resources on cost. However, as a Social Sciences Faculty member points out:

Increasing concern about the cost of course materials makes OER a more attractive option. I find that more and more ‘traditional’ resources are also available for free on the Internet so I’m not sure the difference between the two forms is as significant as it might seem.” (p. 23)

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Low awareness of open licenses among teaching faculty

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Openness | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

In 2014 Babson Survey Research Group published Opening the Curriculum, a report examining the attitudes, opinions and use of OER among teaching faculty in U.S. higher education. In relation to faculty members’ awareness of open licensing, they found that:

Most faculty report that they are aware of copyright licensing of classroom content (77.6% “Very aware” or “Aware”) and public domain licensing (67.9% “Very aware” or “Aware”) but fall short on awareness of Creative Commons licensing. Less than two-thirds of faculty report that they are at least somewhat aware of Creative Commons licensing, with the remaining one-third saying that they are unaware”. (p. 16)

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Awareness of OER not a requirement for adoption of OER

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Openness | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

In 2014 Babson Survey Research Group published Opening the Curriculum, a report examining the attitudes, opinions and use of OER among teaching faculty in U.S. higher education. One of the key findings highlights the disparity between lack of awareness of OER and actual use of OER:

More faculty are using OER than report that they were aware of the term OER. Resource adoption decisions are driven by a wide variety of factors, with the efficacy of the material being cited most often. These decisions are often made without any awareness of the specific licensing of the material, or its OER status.” (p.2)

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No applications for accreditation of ‘Vampire Fictions’ MOOC

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Transition support | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

The first UK massive open online course to offer students the option to pay for academic credit has ended, with none of its participants opting to fork out for official recognition.

The Edge Hill University Mooc, entitled Vampire Fictions, was announced in May last year and attracted about 1,000 students.

Of these, 31 reached the end of the course, with none opting to hand over the £200 that Edge Hill was charging in exchange for 20 credits at level 4 – the equivalent of a module on a first-year degree course.

One of the 31 completing students did sign up for a three-year creative writing degree at Edge Hill, with fees of £9,000 per year. They could have applied for their Mooc to be recognised for credit towards their degree, but opted not to do so.

This counts against the idea that open education supports learners in moving to formal study – though they may well experience high levels of satisfaction with their private study.

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