{“fill”: “#B544A5″}

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

See also: Slide 32 of OEW 2015: Zero Textbook Cost Degree:

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

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:

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

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)

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

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)


(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)

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Only 3% of students in Kaleidoscope study believed open textbooks are inferior in quality

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

The Kaleidoscope project implemented open textbooks for several thousand students between 2011 and 2012. This was in response to the perception that textbook costs were a barrier to student success, but also with the aspiration of building a community that could collaboratively build, evaluate and iteratively improve an open curriculum.

Upon evaluation, leaners overwhelmingly though that the open materials were at least as good as proprietary textbooks (97%) with 41% stating that the quality of the open version was in fact superior.

See slide 44 of the presentation by Ronda Dorsey.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Bishkek Resolution on OER and Digital Education

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , , ,

June 23, 2014

The International Conference, “Open Educational Resources (OER) and Digital Education” organized by the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan and Public Fund “Roza Otunbayeva’s Initiative”, was dedicated to the advancement of open education and free access to knowledge in the countries of Central Asia and Mongolia. It served as a platform to share experience and ideas between the state sector, educational community, civil society activists, and international experts in OER policies.
The Conference introduced the world’s best practices on OER adoption, participating countries’ successful policies aimed at the development of the digital educational content and free access thereto, outstanding innovative approaches to the introduction of electronic textbooks, and other ingenious methods to improve access to education.
The main objective of the Conference was to present the Draft National OER Concept of Kyrgyzstan as a core policy to optimize the use of budget and donor funds intended for the development of modern teaching methods, and create conditions for free distribution of educational materials and unimpeded use thereof by third parties.
The conference was attended by representatives of the state sector, educational community, civil society activists, and OER policy experts from Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, USA and South Africa.

The Conference focused on the following:

  • International experience in OER adoption (best policies and initiatives);
  • Innovative practices for the implementation of OER and the development of the digital educational content;
  • Presentation of Draft National OER Concept of Kyrgyzstan.

The Conference established the following general strategic objectives for the development and promotion of OER in the region:

  1. Foster strategic alliances and advance the institutionalization of OER promotion through the establishment of OER Coalition; contribute to the sustainable work of the Coalition through building partnerships between governmental and non-governmental organizations, the educational sector, library science, media and telecommunications;
  2. Implement the objectives of the OER Concept by developing of Action Plan and promoting collaboration with representatives of legislative and executive authorities, educational and research institutions, scientists and experts, NGOs and the business community of Kyrgyzstan;
  3. Consolidate government, donor and commercial resources of the Central Asian region for planning and implementing joint international educational, research and other initiatives to actively promote the OER policy in terms of liberalization of educational content;
  4. Ensure information exchange between organizations and activists to promote OER through a single information source as an official website, the use of social networks, and email subscribe list on OER in the region.

The following tasks were approved as priority measures based on the general objectives above:

1.  Establish the OER Coalition, a single expert platform, consisting of civil society activists, NGOs, educational institutions, and donor organizations to promote and implement the OER Concept with functions of information exchange, development and harmonization of policies, formulation and promotion of the OER Concept Action Plan;

2. Conduct an awarness rainsing and capacity building activitties (conferences, round tables, training, education and research initiatives) to stimulate active participation by all stakeholders in efforts to promote OER, recruit active members into the Coalition; publish and widely disseminate the results of this Conference in the media and the Internet for communication and promotion of OER initiatives;

3.  Direct the existing Working Group on the National OER Concept to:

– Finalize the Draft OER Concept taking into account suggestions and comments made at the Conference, organize a series of discussions of this document with all stakeholders;
– Develop an Action Plan for the implementation of the OER Concept;
– Develop the necessary draft amendments to laws and regulations (if it is included into the Action Plan) to accelerate the creation of the legislative framework for the introduction and promotion of OER;

4. Direct the Coalition for Open Education assisted by the Working Group to submit recommendations and proposals to:

– Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) – to accelerate the adoption of new policies on open licensing of educational materials produced at the expense of the state budget;

– Government of the Kyrgyz Republic – to promote an enabling environment for the implementation of OER based on interagency collaboration (Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Culture and Information, Ministry of Youth, Labour and Migration, etc.), and contribute to the rapid establishment of the National Repository of OER at the National Library;

– Ministry of Education and Science and its structural units and institutions – to include the OER policies into the Action Plan of Education Reform Strategy in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2014-2017 to stimulate the development of high quality OER, including digital learning materials (creating a center for digital competencies); ensure training and professional development of teachers and other personnel in production and sharing of high quality and affordable educational resources, taking into account local needs and a wide variety of students;

– Authors and publishers, copyright holders of state certified training materials, – to join the OER initiative and possibly revise the licensing conditions in order to ensure free access to these materials;

– Donor and international agencies – to provide comprehensive support for the OER initiative, and introduce intra-institutional policies on open licensing of products developed at their initiative;

– Mobile operators – to provide free mobile internet traffic to access the National Repository of OER as part of their corporate social responsibility programs, private entities – to support the production and dissemination of electronic textbooks among educational institutions and equip students with tablets.

(+1 rating, 1 votes)
Loading ... Loading ...

National Mission on Education Through ICT (NMEICT) Open Licensing Policy

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , , ,

“Train 10 thousand teachers” is a major initiative under the NMEICT, in which IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay are working as partner institutes to improve the teaching skills of engineering college teachers of the country in core Engineering and Science subjects.

In order to “foster an environment of openness, collaboration, and a culture of sharing, reuse and adaptation” NMEICT endorses the “release of learning resources, software, and technology in an appropriate licence”.

Thus, all projects funded by NMEICT must treat their output as national resources which are freely accessible online.  Moral rights remain with authors, but copyright is transferred to the Indian government to allow for open release.

Within this framework different projects have elected for different licences.  The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) for instance uses CC-BY-NC-SA while the National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NEOER) uses CC-BY-SA.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

US Open Data Action Plan

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector: , , ,

The US government has further endorsed steps towards the open publication of public data with the  Open Data Access Plan (2014).  This includes new data releases for small business data, digitized museum collections, and data from the Food and Drug Administration.

Over the past few years, the Administration has launched a number of Open Data Initiatives aimed at scaling up open data efforts across the Health, Energy, Climate, Education, Finance, Public Safety, and Global Developmentsectors.  The White House has also launched Project Open Data, designed to share best practices, examples, and software code to assist Federal agencies with opening data.  These efforts have helped unlock troves of valuable data—that taxpayers have already paid for—and are making these resources more open and accessible to innovators and the public.

As Timothy Vollmer notes over at Creative Commons:

From a legal standpoint, some agencies have decided to place their datasets into the worldwide public domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. This means that all copyright and related rights to the data are waived, so it may be used by anyone–for any purpose–anywhere in the world–without having to ask permission in advance–and even without needing to give attribution to the author of the data.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Textbook Zero at Tidewater Community College

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

Beginning in Autumn/Fall 2013 a pilot initiative at Tidewater Community College (in conjunction with Lumen Learning)  aims to reduce textbook costs for college students.

For students who pursue the new “textbook-free” degree, the total cost for required textbooks will be zero. Instead, the program will use high quality open textbooks and other open educational resources, known as OER, which are freely accessible, openly licensed materials useful for teaching, learning, assessment and research. It is estimated that a TCC student who completes the degree through the textbook-free initiative might save one-third on the cost of college.

Although many colleges offer OER courses, TCC will be the first accredited institution in the United States to offer a degree in which students pay nothing for required textbooks.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

California Community Colleges move to open licensing

Type: Policy | Country: | Locale: | Sector:

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the USA. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.3 million students per year.  In September 2013 the Board of Governers voted to require Creative Commons licensing on publicly funded grants and contracts.

The rules change will affect all materials created from now on and is not retroactive. By requiring a Creative Commons Attribution license, the board of governors has given individuals, nonprofits, and businesses permission to use and build upon material created with public funds, so long as the creator is credited.  Innovative use of these materials may be made by any teacher, parent and school district, nationwide and beyond. The materials will be available for reuse and improved by creative entrepreneurs, education start-ups and traditional commercial businesses.

Using a Creative Commons Attribution license also saves taxpayers money by not funding duplicate work that may only be accessible on the local level. For instance, under the old grant requirements a community college staff may have produced a report under contract from the system Chancellor’s Office but was not required to openly license or share that report with other colleges. This made it difficult for other colleges to access and reuse the report but, with the new Creative Commons Attribution license requirement, other colleges can both view the report and reuse, share and improve upon it with updated information and data.

See also this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education California’s Community Colleges Shift to Creative Commons Licenses.

(No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...