Higher education is expensive, especially when including textbook costs. This presentation will explore how leveraging open educational resources (OER) and technologies can significantly reduce costs for students and increase access to higher education. Presenters from College for America will provide insight on their strategic use of OER.
College for America (CfA) is an accredited, nonprofit college dedicated to developing online, competency-based degrees specifically for its diverse population of working adults. The student experience at CfA is unique-students work at their own pace to complete workplace-relevant projects in order to demonstrate mastery of competencies. Part of CfA's challenge is to design rigorous academic programs for a total cost to students of $3,000 a year. Two of the areas that CfA targets to reduce costs for students include adopting and adapting OER and open technology. CfA students never purchase textbooks, nor do they need to purchase software-all of the learning resources and tools they need are provided. This presentation will provide an overview of CfA's approach, including a discussion of its successes and challenges. It will also present a framework that participants can use to select and apply free and open resources and tools for online education.
Topics will include:
- essential free and open-educational resources (OER) and technologies - approaches to curating, archiving and maintaining learning resources - essential considerations for selecting and supporting a mix of free educational tools - selecting free desktop and web-based applications for instructors, designers and students - using curriculum design principles that let students successfully use the technologies they already have access to.