As part of an entire A.A. degree pathway offered through an Achieving the Dream Open Educational Resources (OER) grant, FSCJ is offering digital course materials freely and openly for students. FSCJ was one of the two colleges in Florida that were awarded the grant.
OERs are high-quality teaching, learning and research materials that are free to use. OER allows both faculty and students flexibility of resources and create cost savings for the student. Faculty can also create their own course materials package for students to download at no charge.
The A.A. degree pathway should be available on a limited basis by the end of 2017. Fourteen courses have been developed with 40 sections available for registration now and taught online, hybrid and in the classroom.
A full-time community college student spends about $1,300 per year on textbooks. For an A.A. degree, it is a third of a cost. With OpenStax, the host of OER, students are able to view their textbooks multiple ways (webview, PDF download or Amazon/campus purchase), addressing a major financial barrier for many. The Florida College system is the number one community college system adopter of OpenStax, saving students more than $1.9 million.
Subject Matter Experts (SMES) will develop additional courses once teams are formed to provide even more OER classes. FSCJ hopes to have the material to develop foreign language courses (OER Spanish) by late Fall 2017.
Any faculty interested in OER courses may contact Dr. Peter Shapiro, Director of Creative Learning Services, FSCJ Online, at (904) 997-2644 or firstname.lastname@example.org.