Archive

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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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Khan Academy helps personalised instruction

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

A research report by SRI International on the use of Khan Academy in nine California schools during the school years 2011-12 and 2012-13 states that:

Eight in ten teachers also reported that Khan Academy increased their ability to monitor students’ knowledge and ability, thus helping to identify students who were struggling. Among teacher survey respondents, 82% reported that Khan Academy helped them identify students who were ahead of the rest of the class, 82% said it helped them expose advanced students to concepts beyond their grade level, and 65%, including 72% of teachers in schools serving low-income communities, said that Khan Academy increased their ability to help struggling students catch up. Slightly more than half the teachers (56%) reported that using Khan Academy helped them determine what content they needed to reteach or could skip, and 32% of teachers overall and 48% of teachers in schools serving low-income communities reported that Khan Academy helped them move more quickly through the curriculum.” (p. x-xi)

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Links between Khan Academy use and student outcomes

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

During the school years 2011-12 and 2012-2013 nine schools in California participated in a pilot study to find out about their use of Khan Academy and its potential benefits. A research report by SRI International reveals that:

Positive relationships were found between Khan Academy use and better-than-expected achievement and nonachievement outcomes, including level of math anxiety and confidence in one’s ability to do math.” (p. xi)

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Southampton MOOC attract students declaring disability

Type: Evidence | Hypothesis: Improving access | Polarity: | Sector: | Country:

The report Engaged learning in MOOCs: a study using the UK Engagement Survey (UKES) published by the Higher Education Academy found that learners on two MOOC at The University of Southampton reported a higher proportion of students declaring a disability than national averages for higher education.  This supports the idea that open education may be more accessible for students with disability.  From p.22 of the report:

The generic survey reflects a lower proportion than the UKES of participants describing themselves as disabled. The latter reflects both the UK norm (16%)23 and the European average of one-sixth of working age people. Given that 20% of UKES participants are over 65 years of age, when disability increases to 45% of the UK population, this overall proportion seems low. Dyslexia alone is estimated to affect 10% of the population. However compared with disabled students in higher education, the proportions are relatively high. HESA (2013) found only 7% of students to be in receipt of disabled students’ allowance (DSA). Many disabled students do not register for or qualify for DSA, but even in terms of self-reporting only 8% report a disability on application.

However, this should be tempered by the fact that “the demographic profiles of learners resemble other MOOC cohorts; that is, an older and well-educated majority, with many working in education” (p.41).

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