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Virginia community colleges pilot open textbooks

Virginia community colleges pilot open textbooks

The Virginia Community College System announced a pilot program to replace traditional college textbooks with open digital texts for students at 15 of 23 of the commonwealth’s community colleges.

Funded by a $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the program will allow students to download freely accessible and openly licensed digital textbooks customized to fit each school’s curriculum.

The idea was based in part by Tidewater Community College’s all-Open Educational Resources (OER) or “Z-Degree” program, a business degree that uses open educational materials. Tidewater and Northern Virginia Community College started using OER textbooks in 2013. Over the last three years, more than 100 faculty members at 16 community colleges have created more than 70 open courses.

“Technology is changing the way we access information, making it faster and less expensive without compromising quality. We owe it to our students… to bring that flexibility to every course that we can,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges in a statement.

VCCS has over 273,000 students enrolled each year, making it one of the largest college systems in the United States.

Posted by Derek Major on May 26, 2015 at 12:14 PM


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