Open Course Library moves into second phase

Open Course Library moves into second phase

Faculty members Emily Wood (library) and David Lippman (math) have been selected to contribute to the second phase of the state’s Open Course Library project, which seeks to make low-cost educational materials openly accessible to students. Both contributed to Phase 1 of the project, which was rolled out to students in October. For Phase 2, Lippman will write a textbook for Math 107 (Math in Society). Wood will continue her work as an instructional designer, working with faculty to develop holistic instructional programs.

In Phase 1 of the project, Lippman co-wrote (with Melonie Rasmussen) a pre-calculus textbook. Lippman had previously prepared the initial version of an open math textbook, which was the foundation of his proposal for the Open Course Library. He has since been an advocate of open source course materials and is considered a resource on the subject for local and regional faculty members.

For her part in Phase 1, Wood provided instructional design support for algebra, pre-calculus, library science, geology, and biology classes.

“Specifically, I helped faculty course designers revise course outcomes, integrate assessments into their courses, and design effective learning activities in order to meet established instructional design best practices,” she explained.

She will do similar work for classes in Phase 2.

The state's Open Course Library is an effort by the state Board of Community and Technical Colleges to create low-cost textbooks and other course materials for students all over the world. In October, the state officially rolled out materials for 42 of the state's highest-enrolled community college courses. An additional 39 courses (Phase 2) will be finished by 2013. The project is funded with $750,000 in state money and a matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

All materials in the Open Course Library (textbooks, syllabi, activities, readings and assessments) are $30 or less per course for hard copies. If all community-college faculty members adopted open-source texts, it is estimated students could save as much as $41 million a year. By helping ensure all students have access to comprehensive and affordable educational offerings, the Open Course Library aligns with Pierce College’s mission and institutional outcomes.

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