Success Stories

#1 Student Cost Saving

The Student PIRGs conducted an analysis of the cost-saving potential of the 81 courses contained in the Open Course Library. The analysis estimates that the Open Course Library has saved students $5.5 million since its inception, including $2.8 million this academic year alone. Students who take OCL courses save $96 on average per course over using an expensive, traditional textbook. This is well beyond initial $1.8 million investment (the total project funding was $1.5 million, including $750,000 from the Washington State Legislature and $750,000 from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Contact Nicole Allen for the specifics of study method.

#2 Assessments adoption by Learningpod

Learningpod is an online library of practice and assessment questions. They offer some of the best questions from publishers like Kaplan and open education partners like Open Course Library and OpenStax College, and then gives teachers the ability to mix and match to create their own sets (they call them “pods”). Using their tools teachers can easily print, share via email, social and links, or even embed quizzes or assignments on a webpage. Learningpod library has already grown to over 47,000 questions, including Common Core aligned items, and is available at no cost to educators or students.
Learningpod has adopted a total number of 2,486 questions from Open Course Library. These live questions have been visited 3500 times in the month of January 2014 alone and the number of hits has been increasing

#3 Open Textbook Adoption

David Lippman, an OCL faculty has developed and managed Washington Mathematics Assessment and Placement (WAMAP), now supported by the Open Course Library grant. WAMAP is a web based mathematics assessment and course management platform, primarily used for online homework. Its use is provided free to Washington State public educational institution students and instructors. It is a widely popular application among WA CTC faculty, used by over 16,000 students during Winter quarter.

He also published an open textbook for Precalculus with his coauthor Melonie Rasmussen, which students can access online for free. The book’s webpage has had almost 60,000 visitors. The book PDF file has been accessed over 127,000 times (many users access more than once). As of February 2014, students had purchased over 5000 copies of the book for about $15. OpenStax College is planning to release an extended version of the text in Summer 2014. David’s other open textbook for liberal arts math can also be accessed online for free, the PDF has been accessed over 60,000 times, and students have purchased over 1300 copies of the book for $15. Contact David Lippman for more information on his work.

#4 Local OER Project

The Tacoma Community College OER Project started in fall of 2011 with the goal of piloting adoption of OER in ten courses. The institution committed to the project with the help of the Associated Student Body, which pledged half of the funding for the project. In academic year 2012/13 27 faculty members at TCC taught 22 courses and 91 sections of courses using OER. The approximately 2000 students enrolled in these courses saved between $70-$250 per student. The average savings per student was $116.66. The OER project works heavily with materials developed by the OCL as a way of starting course development. As of February 2014 the estimated collective student savings, since the project began in September 2011, is $643,000. Overall students have been pleased with courses designed with OER instead of traditionally published textbooks. Of those surveyed in 2013, 87% of respondents found the materials easy to access. 93.9% of survey respondents would take courses using OER again.

#5 Textbook Adoption

Oxford University Press published a third edition of Paul Herrick’s Introduction to Logic textbook and agreed to price the text to conform to the OCL initiative. The text is priced at $59 for the 848-page paperback and $29.95 for the complete e¬-text. Specadel, a Portland company, developed and sells an app for the book for $3 that delivers all 115 online videos created by Mark Storey (Bellevue College) and Paul Herrick as part of the OCL logic course they created together, along with numerous slide presentations, exams, and quizzes to students’ mobile devices. The textbook and online materials keyed to it are used in over 60 universities and colleges across the US and in a number of colleges outside the US. Contact Paul Herrick for more information on his textbook.