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Students save almost $500,000 through Pacific’s Open Educational Resources program

Jun 19, 2020

Pacific’s Open Educational Resources (OER) program continues to save students money on the cost of textbooks. The total savings for the previous three academic years (2017-2020) is $442,000.

In the pilot year, OER saved Pacific students $110,000. By the second year, the total amount had more than doubled to $265,000. The total number of students benefiting from the OER program so far is 2,510, each saving an average of $176 in textbook costs.

OER pie chart

Savings are based on what students would have paid for traditional textbooks prior to their instructors transitioning their courses to use OER instead. Library staff has tracked courses and enrollment for the previous three academic years to maintain statistics on the total courses transitioned, total students benefited and total amount saved.

Since summer 2017, 54 grants have been given out to 49 faculty members. The “Create” level grants—where the faculty member has created an entirely new textbook or alternative learning material for the course—are added to Pacific’s Scholarly Commons repository—“Open Educational Resources at Pacific.” These works are freely available for download and are having a global impact.

OER pie chart

The program, administered by University Libraries and the Center for Teaching and Learning with funding provided by the Technology in Education Committee, has entered its fourth summer of distributing grants ranging from $250 to $2,500.

This year, 19 grants were distributed to 17 faculty from a variety of disciplines: Michael Leonard and Marie Lee (Art and Graphic Design), Ajna Rivera (Biological Sciences), Charles McCallum and Anthony Dutoi (Chemistry), Cherian Mathews, Abel A. Fernandez, and Josh Steimel (School of Engineering and Computer Sciences), Cosana Eram (Modern Languages), John Mayberry (Mathematics), Gabriella Musacchia (Health Sciences), Michael Madary and Lou Matz (Philosophy), Guillermo Barro and Elisa Toloba (Physics) and Christina Ortiz and Susan Mannon (Sociology).

The larger stipend grants are meant to allow faculty to work on transitioning their courses to use OER over the summer. Assistance from the University Libraries and Center for Teaching and Learning is provided to all grant winners, year-round. All interested faculty, regardless of direct participation in the grant program, are also welcome to contact staff for assistance on OER.

If interested, please contact Michele Gibney, head of publishing and scholarship support, at mgibney@pacific.edu and David Yu, instructional designer, at hyu@pacific.edu.

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