13.08 The Open Educational Resources Initiative and Technical Assistance for the Zero-Textbook-Cost Degree Program

Spring 2022; Resolution Number 13.08

Whereas, The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI) was formally launched in early 2019 with funds allocated to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) in Assembly Bill 1809 (Higher Education Trailer Bill, 2017-2018) “to support the development of, and the expansion of the use of, open educational resources for the California Community Colleges” and has established a faculty-led infrastructure to support local open educational resources (OER) implementation efforts, but the funding for the OERI was scheduled to end in 2023, thereby dramatically curtailing or ending the statewide development, curation, and implementation efforts as well as coordinated maintenance and updating of resources developed under the OERI;

Whereas, The OERI, in helping to unlock the potential of faculty to create innovative learning experiences for students through the development of new content, has a proven track record of meeting the OER needs of faculty and students across the state, and, as reported in the ASCCC OERI Department of Finance Progress Report in February, 2022, accomplishments of the OERI since its inception include the following:

  • Facilitated the awareness, adoption, and adaptation of OER through the hosting of over 135 general, discipline-specific, and tool-specific webinars that have been attended by over 2100 faculty. In addition, 56 webinars were hosted for local OER advocates or OER liaisons,
  • Identified—and supported—OER liaisons at each of the colleges to ensure on-going communication between the OERI and local faculty and college colleagues,
  • Created a website—asccc-oeri.org—to promote OER and simplify the identification of available OER by providing easy access to OER resources organized by 27 comprehensive discipline collections, general education area, and 25 transfer model curricula,
  • Established a team of over 30 discipline leads to curate existing OER and facilitate OER awareness and adoption,
  • Initiated the formation of discipline-specific communities of practice to support faculty OER efforts,
  • Developed a wide array of resources to support OER-related work, including two self-paced courses (OER Basics and Accessibility Basics), a series of OER “Quick Guides” on OER-related topics that can be accessed online or printed for local use, a variety of resources for OER developers, and an ever-expanding collection of resources to support local OER advocacy,
  • Supported the creation of 63 new OER over three competitive funding cycles, with an emphasis on collaboration, meeting state-wide needs, and sustainability,
  • Developed the ASCCC OERI IDEA Framework for reviewing and revising OER and other course resources to ensure that they are inclusive, diverse, equitable, and antiracist, which will be integrated into future OERI supported projects and used to review and modify existing resources, and
  • Collaborated with representatives from the California State University and the University of California to host Cal OER, a free OER conference intended to highlight the state’s OER/ZTC work and attended by over 400 faculty;

Whereas, In the 2021-2022 Budget Act, the California Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom designated $115 million for investment in the expansion of zero-textbook-cost (ZTC) degrees and open educational resources at the state’s community colleges, and in Resolution 3.05 F21, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges recognized open educational resources as the preferred and most sustainable mechanism for eliminating course costs unless where instances will arise in which eliminating costs is not possible”; and

Whereas, Education Code §78052 states “that community college districts develop and implement zero-textbook-cost degrees and develop open educational resources for courses to reduce the overall cost of education for students and decrease the time it takes students to complete degree programs” and “to the extent possible, prioritize the adaptation of existing open educational resources through existing open educational resources initiatives, or elsewhere, before creating new content,” indicating the legislative intent of the use of OER in ZTC degrees and the need for collaboration with established initiatives such as OERI;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges advocate to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and system partners for allocating a portion of the $115 million for ZTC degrees in the 2021-2022 Budget Act to fund the work of the OERI to reduce duplication and guarantee usability in OER development and implementation as well as ensure a statewide approach and promote sustainability in ZTC degrees.