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OER Resource a Gamechanger for Faculty and Students

October 2021
  • OER offers free educational materials.
    OER offers free educational materials.

Open Educational Resources (OER) may just be a game changer for college students who find themselves financially struggling to pay for college textbooks. OER enables faculty and students to access free educational materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources. OER is starting to take hold across the country as a way to help with student success and QCC is helping pave the way in making this type of resource more accessible to students.

During summer 2021, QCC’s Professor of Dental Hygiene, Amy Booth, used the online text “College Success,” in a collaborative First Year Experience healthcare course (FYE 102).

“We had an amazing summer working with area vocational schools and utilizing a dental grant called Oral Health Pathways. We focused on the dental assisting programs and trained three teachers from three area vocational schools to teach FYE 102,” said Professor Booth, adding that the high school teachers taught the course to their school’s high school students.

The students will now be able to obtain credit for taking the course, which is transferrable to QCC General Studies Healthcare or General Studies Pre-Dental Hygiene, thanks to an articulation agreement with the College.

“We piloted the OER book, “College Success,” which turned out to be very successful. Now all of our FYE 102 instructors are using it,” she continued.

QCC Adjunct Faculty member Amber Pfeiffer said she was very excited to use OER.

“Having a free text for my college success class has removed the stress of the financial aspect of the course for the students. It is an invaluable resource to the instructor for each student to have the course materials at the start of the class, regardless of the financial status of the student,” Ms. Pfeiffer said. “I have seen many students take the course without the ability to purchase a text, watching someone not be able to work to their potential due to the cost of a textbook is unfortunate. I plan to continue to utilize these valuable resources in my FYE classroom.”

Professor Booth said the whole team of QCC FYE 102 instructors is now using the OER book, which is a substantial saving for students.

“I believe we might be the first course to have everyone adopt an OER book and collaborate with each other for assignments,” she said. “Some of the current FYE instructors are now researching OER books for other disciplines.”