Mid Michigan College has recently expanded the availability of open educational resources (OER) to students even further.
The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning defines OER as textbooks, classroom modules, lesson plans, video content, and other media that are freely accessible, openly licensed, and adaptable for instructional use.
“Mid’s goal was to reduce the cost of textbooks for students, and OER provided a framework for us to achieve that,” noted Shaelynn Long-Kish, Associate Dean of Online Learning.
The OER effort began at Mid in 2016, and was championed by several faculty members. OER coordination at Mid is now currently housed in the Online Learning Department of the Academic Affairs Division.
Fall 2018 saw 116 course sections utilizing OER, resulting in 2,499 instances where a student did not have to purchase a textbook.
OER efforts at Mid have saved students over $517,000 in textbook costs since they began. The fall semester of 2018 resulted in the largest savings total yet for students, totaling $283,900. OER is now active in math, speech, English, Spanish, psychology, physics, astronomy, and sociology courses.
"OER is free to students, allowing them to focus on what is most important—their education. Students really appreciate that we understand the importance of keeping costs down. They can spend the money they would use for textbooks on more important things," explained Long-Kish.