Studies suggest that, over the past thirty years, the average cost of college textbooks has risen more than 800%, and more than 60% of students report that they will skip purchasing a textbook at some point in their academic careers due to costs. Trinity students are not immune from the pressure rising textbook costs cause and have asked for help with this issue. We aim to explore whether we can help control textbook costs through the adoption of low-cost or no cost textbooks and other resources available through the Trinity College Library collection and the Watkinson Library and Archives collection
Open Educational Resources are openly licensed textbooks, documents and media that may be used for teaching and learning. Open licensing means that material in OER texts can be modified and shared without fear of copyright restrictions or exorbitant charges. OER texts are usually online, but frequently offer print formats as well. OER texts usually have little or no cost for students who use them.
There is a growing body of OER materials available from other institutions and their partners. Perhaps the best known examples include: Rice University’s launch of OpenStax College, MIT’s OpenCourseWare, and the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library. Other resources are available through the libraries at Trinity, such as Springer eBooks, which allow students to buy print copies of any etext in their collection for $25. With these resources available, we believe that some faculty will be able to find the high-quality resources they need among OER collections. We recognize that significant time and effort would be needed for any faculty who wanted to adopt OER. Therefore we have created a new program offering support and stipends to Trinity College faculty interested in exploring OER in their classes.
For further reading and resource links on OER, see http://courseguides.trincoll.edu/oer .
“Open Education in Practice: How Open Educational Resources Can Benefit a Private Liberal Arts College”
Please join us for a Common Hour panel discussion on October 2, 2018 in the Raether LITC room 181. A panel of faculty and students from Trinity College and the University of Hartford will introduce the main features of OER, share some advantages of their use on small, private campuses, and explain how they incorporate these materials into their syllabuses. Light lunch will be served.
Trinity College invites applications for its 2018-2019 OER support stipends. The purpose of the stipends is to assist faculty in the examination and potential adoption of OER for Fall 2019 classes. The $1500 stipend is divided into two parts: Selected applicants will receive a $500 stipend for the Spring 2019 semester. Successful applicants will work with Information Services staff during the Spring 2019 semester to identify and review potential OER texts for a Fall 2019 class. By May 10, 2019 the faculty member will notify the committee in writing that they have either 1) selected a text, with the name of the text or 2) not selected a text and provide a brief written explanation as to why no available text seemed appropriate. Those applicants who opt to continue and use an OER text in class will then receive the additional $1000 stipend.
Faculty may apply using this brief OER stipend application form. A maximum of six applications will be selected. Applications are due November 1, and decisions will be made by December 4.
We will select up to six courses with two each from humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Preference will be given to:
- Required courses
- Courses with large numbers of students
- Courses currently using an expensive textbook
- Course where the text(s) proposed to be covered by OER text(s) or resources from the library represent the bulk of textbook costs for the class
- Applicant will teach the course in Fall 2019
Applications are due November 1. Decisions will be made by a committee comprised of a representative from the Office of the Dean of Faculty and two representatives from Information Services. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by December 4.