Mid Michigan Community College (MMCC) has recently explored and expanded the availability of open educational resources (OER) to students.

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.

During the 2017-2018 Academic Year, several milestones were accomplished.

  • Mid received a grant from Michigan Colleges Online (MCO) to develop psychology and speech course resources focusing on the interdisciplinary alignments between the two fields of study.
  • Several individuals attended professional development sessions to improve their OER. knowledge and skills.
  • All Speech 101 courses are now using OER.
  • Psychology 101 and Spanish 101 piloted OER in fall 2017 and winter 2018.

OER efforts at Mid have saved students over $233,000 in textbook costs since they began. The winter semester of 2018 resulted in the largest savings total yet for students, totaling $93,700. OER is now active in speech, Spanish, psychology, 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 Maria Gross, Mid Psychology Faculty member.

For more information about Mid’s OER efforts, contact Shaelynn Long-Kish at smlong@midmich.edu or (989) 317-9212.

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