Concordia University began an OER initiative in Spring 2016 by joining the Open Textbook Network (OTN), an alliance of over 200 campuses that promote affordable course resources and student success. In its first year, the OER initiative saved over 100 students a combined $34,000. By January 2019, CU students have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in textbooks costs.
Our OER pilot project began in Fall 2016. In phase one of the project, 17 faculty and staff attended an OER workshop led by John Hilton and Merinda McLure of the OTN. Nine of those who attended received a $200 stipend to peer review an open textbook. Five faculty participated in phase two, where six courses have been transformed from using a commercial textbook to utilizing OER, reducing the financial burden of students taking the course and customizing course content to meet course outcomes. Faculty received $1,000 stipends for converting a course. Our phase two participants were Jeanette Eggert (physics), Gerd Horten (history), Jonathan Ortiz (sociology), Vanessa Washington (psychology), and Matt Wise (chemistry/science).
Since its humble beginnings in Fall of 2016 through Spring semester of 2020, CU Portland faculty converted over 30 courses- many of which were required general education courses- to OER and thereby saved CU Portland students an estimated total of $405,000.00 in textbook costs. Read more about these Concordia Affordability Heroes.
The OER initiative has been funded by the Office of University Innovation, Student Affairs, the University Libraries, and the Office of the Provost. For more information, please contact Kim Read, Dean of Libraries: firstname.lastname@example.org