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Open Educational Resources

Information for RVCC faculty to explore and adopt OER.

Z-Course Initiative

RVCC's Z-Course Initiative began in the spring of 2017 when the RVCC Foundation and Instructional Services Librarian secured a $15,000 donation to support faculty mini-grants for converting courses to open educational resources. A call for proposals was opened for courses to convert in the 2018-2019 academic year. As the initiative has progressed, faculty are choosing to adopt open textbooks, openly licensed digital materials, and/or free-to-student course materials. Thus the initiative is not solely an OER program, but rather has the goal of making as many courses as possible zero-textbook cost courses (z-courses). In addition, the initiative has prompted faculty to evaluate the cost of their course materials if OER is not suitable and to find less expensive alternatives. We have a number of courses that have been identified as low-cost for which course materials cost less than $45. In 2018, RVCC SGA identified this amount as a reasonable threshold for courses to be considered "low-cost."

Since the first round of grants, private donors to the RVCC Foundation have continued to support the initiative with a total of $73,500 in funding. That funding has resulted in more than $3 million in student savings since 2018. Total savings and enrollment in z-courses can be viewed on the Z-Course Savings dashboard. The current list of z-courses and low-cost courses offered is available through the Library website.

The Faculty OER Grant Program is administered by the OER Steering Committee, which is chaired by the Instructional Services Librarian and has representation from both academic divisions, student services, and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Scholarship.

2022-2023 Grants Awarded

The following courses received grants to adopt/adapt/create OER to replace the commercial textbook:

Course

Faculty Semester OER Implemented
English Composition I

Jamie Parmese

Summer 2022
Human Biology Viveca Sulich Fall 2022
Social Work and Social Welfare Systems Karen Gutshall Fall 2022

The following courses received grants for other projects associated with open educational practices:

Course Faculty Project Semester implemented
Cellular & Molecular Biology Melanie Lenahan Student participation with SciWorthy writing openly licensed scientific communication Fall 2022
Dynamics of Fitness & Wellness Denel Bingel Revise and update OER course materials Fall 2022 - Spring 2023
English Composition I Christine Pipitone Student assistants selecting free-to-student and open readings for composition course and recommending open ed strategies for English Composition I Honors Summer - Fall 2022

 

2021-2022 Grants Awarded

The following courses received grants to adopt/adapt/create OER or free-to-student materials to replace the commercial textbook:

Course

Faculty Semester OER Implemented
Education Field Experience (Maintenance Grant to update materials) Kathy Suk Fall 2021
English Composition I 

Susan Arvay

David Chase

Karen Gaffney

Julie Mainka

Andrew Manno

Christine Pipitone

Fall 2021
English Composition II

Jamie Parmese

Fall 2021
Introduction to Chemistry Peter Barra Fall 2022
Introduction to Communication Theory Bick Treut Fall 2021
Introduction to Mass Communication Bick Treut Fall 2021

2020-2021 Grants Awarded

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the OER Steering Committee awarded grants to 15 projects, involving 18 faculty converting 18 courses. These courses will begin running with zero-textbook costs during the COVID-19 pandemic semesters, thus greatly benefiting students in a time of need. 

Course Faculty Semester OER Implemented
Assessment and Treatment of Alcoholism Courtney Battista Fall 2020
Education Field Experience Kathy Suk Fall 2020
English Composition I (including Honors) Christine Pipitone Fall 2020
English Composition II

Justin Felix

Karen Hoffman

Izabela Zieba

Julie Mainka

Fall 2020 & Spring 2021
200-level courses in Video Production (FILM) - 6 courses Lydia Barnes beginning Fall 2020, all courses by Spring 2020
General Biology Lecture Melanie Lenahan Summer 2021
Introduction to Public Relations Lisa Mahajan-Cusack Fall 2020
Introduction to Spanish I and II

Laurie Reynolds

Rebecca Case

Ricardo Zamora

Emily Bengels

Summer 2021
Introduction to Weight Training Keith Burns Fall 2020
Marriage and the Family Barbara Seater Fall 2020
Organizational and Technical Communication Carolyn Kinebrew-Bosa Fall 2020
Principles of Management Bill Klinger Fall 2020

Apply for an OER Grant. Limited grant opportunities are still available, while funding lasts.

2019-2020 Faculty Grants Awarded

In May 2019, the OER Steering Committee awarded grants to faculty to convert courses to free and open materials for the 2019-2020 academic year. 15 faculty received awards to covert 12 courses. 

Course

Faculty

Semester OER Implemented

Anatomy & Physiology II

Ahmed Kahtsa

Marianne Baricevic

Eric Iannocone

Fall 2019

Astronomy

Jerome Vinski

Fall 2019

Current Health Issues

Linda Romaine

Fall 2019

Computer Literacy

Steven Schwarz

Fall 2019

Dynamics of Fitness & Wellness

Linda Romain

Keith Burns

Fall 2019

Feminist Philosophy

Brandyn Heppard

Spring 2020

General Biology I

Madhavi Shah

Fall 2019

Geology

Gregory Herman

Fall 2019

Introduction to Criminal Justice

Brian Donnelly

James Jones

Fall 2020

Introduction to Women & Gender Studies

Keilani Abdullah

Fall 2019

Marriage and the Family

Keilani Abdullah

Fall 2019

Statistics I, II, Honors

Lynne Kowski

Aditi Patel

Fall 2019/Spring 2020

2018-2019 Faculty Grants Awarded 

During Summer 2018, the RVCC OER Steering Committee approved 12 projects proposed by 17 faculty members to covert courses to free and open educational resources. These project grants are funded by a gift made to the RVCC Foundation. All projects will be implemented during the 18-19 academic year with the potential to save students over $100,000 on textbook costs in the first year. 

Course

Grant Recipients

Semester OER will be implemented

American Literature: Post Civil War War to Present

David Chase

Fall 2018

Anatomy & Physiology

Ahmed Kahtsa

Marianne Baricevic

Eric Iannocone

Spring 2019

Cardiovascular Conditioning

Denel Bingel

Fall 2018

English Composition II

Christine Pipitone

David Chase

Susan Arvay

Fall 2018

General Chemistry I

Pascal Meier

Spring 2019

Introduction to Business

Patti Kletz

Bill Klinger

Tracy Rimple

Fall 2018

Introduction to College

Reading & Composition

Jessica Darkenwald-Decola

Christine Pipitone

Fall 2018

Introduction to French

Laurie Reynolds

Spring 2019

Introduction to Literature

Karen Gaffney

Fall 2018

Introduction to Sociology

Keilani Abdullah

Fall 2018

Pharmacology

Beryl Stetson

Spring 2019

Social Science in Action

with Research Methods

Isabelle Portelinha

Spring 2019

For more information on faculty OER grants, contact Megan Dempsey.