February 14, 2023 (Middletown, Conn.) — The Connecticut Open Educational Resources Coordinating Council released their 2022 legislative report which names Middlesex Community College among the top 10 state colleges with students enrolled in the OER state-funded grant program.
According to the council’s website, the program was implemented in 2019 “to strategically support Connecticut higher education institutions’ efforts to increase access, affordability and achievement for students through the incorporation of open educational resources (OER).”
The 2022 report, released on January 31, summarizes the council’s efforts through a statewide survey on the promotion and adoption of OER in high-impact course areas, a state-funded grant program for the review, adoption and creation of OER within high impact course areas, and the promotion and support of OER through professional development opportunities.
The OER program provided cost savings to Middlesex students and continues to builds equity with regard to course material access. The program offers greater diversity and inclusive content for materials within a range disciplines and courses such as biology, college success, early childhood education, English, engineering, mathematics, sociology and others, where appropriate.
According to the survey, Middlesex had 2,433 enrollments in 2021–22 directly benefitting students for a total of $284,661 in savings.
At Middlesex, many factors contributed to OER exploration, support, adoption and implementation/delivery in the past two years. In addition to researching and evaluating course materials for adoptions, many full- and part-time faculty members engaged in professional development to support and deliver the adoption to students, according to Wei Cen, interim library director, who is the Middlesex representative to the council:
- Faculty members have and continue to participate in the OER grant program, which provides a structured opportunity to research, identify and adopt OER materials for courses/programs.
- Librarians continue to provide OER support with presentations and collaborations with faculty and departments.
- The Center for Teaching hosts workshops on equalizing the syllabus, equitable grading, and gender and sexual diversity, and provides a mini-grant to support an anti-racist pedagogy workshop.
- Faculty and staff participated in Achieving the Dream workshops that addressed diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Best Practices of Online Pedagogy includes lessons on universal design and accessibility.
- The Office of Distance Learning continues to offer workshops and one-on-one support for Blackboard tools and course design.
In 2022, Professor Norma Rosado-Javier, Middlesex coordinator of early childhood education, implemented an OER grant for her students to receive course materials at no cost. This year, Eva Jones, Ph.D., program coordinator for College and Career Success, also received an OER adoption grant. She is piloting the OER textbook, College Success, by Amy Baldwin, et al, in CCS 101 classes.
“After this pilot, which is going very well, all CCS sections at Middlesex will use this book—this is important because CCS 101 will be a required course as of Fall 2023, which means every student needs to take it,” explained Professor Jones. “Providing free materials will help more students succeed in the course.”
For more information about OER efforts at Middlesex, please visit mxcc.libguides.com/oer.
For more information about the council, please visit their website at ctoer.org.