OER opens access

Beginning this fall, students who take the MATH 021 Introductory Algebra course at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey will no longer have to buy a traditional textbook.

Instead, thanks to a new college-wide Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative, students will be able to download and print a free copy of the college’s new MATH 021 coursebook, or buy a bound copy at the college bookstore for $11.

This excerpt comes from an article in the AACC 21st-Century Center.

With a potential savings of at least $59 per student, the OER program could save Brookdale students more than $100,000 in textbook costs during the 2017-18 school year.

The initiative is the brainchild of Brookdale math professors Barbara Tozzi and Linda Wang, who were granted sabbaticals in 2016 to research, design and create an OER coursebook specifically tailored to Brookdale’s MATH 021 course. The professors each taught a section of the course and spent dozens of hours working with faculty, staff, administrators and OER experts to create a full suite of materials for the “new” MATH 021, including instructor guidelines, tests, homework assignments and review sheets.

Developing OER course pathways

“While we were focused on OER, we were also dedicated to creating an excellent course that would help students understand introductory algebra,” Tozzi said.

A pilot program went live in the spring of 2017, with five faculty teaching seven sections of the OER course at three Brookdale different locations. Nearly 100 students enrolled, and joined their instructors in providing feedback on the new course before it was offered again this summer.

Read the full article.

About the Author

Keith Heumiller
is the college relations coordinator at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, New Jersey.