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Feb 27 CCCOER Quarterly Meeting: Great Information Exchange

March 5, 2011

League of Innovation, San Diego

Our first community College Collaborative for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) quarterly meeting at a non-college venue was held at League of Innovations 2011 in San Diego last Sunday.   In addition to CCCOER members from Anne Arundel College, Foothill-DeAnza College, Maricopa college in Arizona, Rice University,  and Tacoma Community College in Washington, we had several interested faculty from Bismarck College, North Dakota, trustee Bill McGuiness from Butte College in northern California, and a college student from University of California at San Diego.    Special guest speakers and attendees included Jeff Shelstad, Flat World Knowledge president, Dave Evans, SoftChalk director of learning, and Henrik Kranenberg, publishing executive formerly with McGraw-Hill.

Communications chair Joanne Munroe kicked off the meeting with introductions all around and a list of other open education activities at the League including Jo’s presentation on OER standards and systemic change and Ron Bleed, vice chancellor emeritus, Maricopa College’s presentation on use of OER as a critical success factor for improving student learning.   Liza Loop, Interim director of the consortium, gave a state of the consortium and update on our continued talks with the Open Course Ware Consortium (OCW) as well as plans for submission to the OER-based Department of Labor grant. Joel Thierstein, associate provost at Rice University and executive director of the open source repository Connexions reported on the five new open textbooks targeted at high-enrollment courses at the community college that are being developed through a grant from several private foundations.  These include Biology for non-majors, Biology for majors, Physics, and Sociology.

Una Daly, member at large, from Foothill Community College demoed the Xpert search and attribute tool from University of Nottingham, which allows you to search for OER in picture, audio, and video formats and then embeds the creative commons license into the object for easy reuse.   She explained that Pat Lockley, OER tool developer at University of Nottingham, is a member of her P2PU course Find, Author, Share Open Educational Resources and he is looking for ideas for new OER tools to develop.   He is currently developing an open book search tool.

Jeff Shelstad, president of Flat World Knowledge, delivered the keynote with a great overview of how the textbook industry changed over the last 20 years to offer more capabilities at an ever increasing price and ever shorter lifecycle resulting in lack of affordability for many students.   Flat World Knowledge, a commercial open textbook publisher, founded slightly over 3 years ago has increased its initial offering focusing on Business, Economics, and Accounting to include Science, Psychology, and Mathematics and has seen a quadrupling in college adoptions of their open textbooks between 2009 and 2010.

Jo Munroe referred us to the National Education Technology Plan and the Horizon 2010 and 2011 reports and their emphasis on Open Educational Resources and newer trends in delivery over mobile devices.

Dave Evans, Softchalk learning director gave us a Softchalk demo on how to easily produce interactive and accessible instructional materials embedded with activities, quizzes, etc and then publish with an open license.  Optionally, you can publish your resources through the SoftChalk Connect open source repository to make them available to students and other educators.  A lively discussion about Creative Commons licenses and some factors to consider before specifying the non-commercial restriction.

Faculty commented on how much they learned at the meeting and that they would definitely be taking this back to share with colleagues at their home campuses.

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