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Lane Community College: Interviews with Community College Leaders Series

October 31, 2012

Lane Community College: Achieving DreamsJen Klaudinyi is a reference and instruction librarian at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon where she is the liaison librarian for the health professions, life sciences, sports & physical education, and the honors program.   An active leader in OER at Lane Community College, she facilitates OER workshops and the OER Faculty Fellowship program and is also a member of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources Advisory Board.

1. What open educational projects is your institution involved in?  What was the motivation for starting these projects?

Our primary open educational project at Lane Community College is the OER Faculty Fellowship. Instructors are incentivized with an iPad to convert or design textbook free courses. The fellowship is designed to be flexible and self-paced with minimal face-to-face meetings and maximum transparency. Instructors who participate in the fellowship earn points based on rubric activities, for example creating new OER, participating in OER workshops or webinars. Most rubric activities require accompanying blog posts. Instructors set up individual OER blogs and all blogs are syndicated to Lane’s central Open Minds Education Resources blog. The rubric, as well as online orientation materials, tutorials, resources and progress, including screencast overviews from previous cohort participants, can be found on this blog. Additionally, participants are required to share any OER materials that they create on MERLOT.

Finding and Sharing OER Faculty Blogs

The Fellowship is funded by money provided by our student government. A few years ago, the student government decided to steer money received from a tuition refund to encourage instructors to adopt OER and reduce textbook requirements. Student government continues to participate in OER planning and discussions on campus.

2. What impact has the work had on your institution, professional practices, and/or students?   Compare anticipated outcomes with actual outcomes.

We are beginning the fourth Fellowship cohort this fall term. Our previous cohort, spring 2012, was the first to participate under our current flexible and self-paced model. 13 instructors earned incentives with 11 fully converting courses to textbook free. Converted classes reduced textbook cost requirements from between $50-$125 per class per student. For example, the 33 students enrolled in Susan Gayle-Reddoor’s Writing 95 sections will save a total of $4,125 this term alone, and that is just 1 of the 11 converted courses from 1 cohort.

In addition to student savings, many instructors have said that converting their courses to textbook free has allowed them to more actively engage with course learning objectives, teaching methods, as well as academic technology. OER and academic technology is getting campus buzz, and the Lane OER blog is facilitating an emerging campus OER community.

3.  What is the evolution of open education at your institution?   What are the logical next steps and any current thoughts or plans for achieving them?

We are continuing the OER Faculty Fellowship model. On the horizon, we hope to host a campus, or perhaps regional, OER conference/event. We are investigating possibilities for a digital repository to facilitate OER sharing. Some campus departments have expressed interest and/or are undertaking projects to create common shared departmental OER. In the coming terms, we plan to survey the campus and take an “OER Inventory” to get a better big picture of who is using OER in which classes and how.

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