Increasing Student Access & Success Through Open Educational Resources

Students are dropping or delaying taking courses, working more hours, performing worse on tests, and earning lower grades all due to high textbook costs. What if every student had immediate and unlimited access to the materials for the course? How would that change a faculty member’s ability to progress with the learning objectives of the course? How would immediate access impact student success?  Open Educational Resources can provide a long-term, sustainable and straightforward solution.

  • Nicole Finkbeiner, Open Stax, Rice University

Location: Jepson Science Center, Room 100


Faculty User Panel

Panel discussion by instructors who have adopted OER/open textbooks in teaching a course.  Pros and cons of using OER.  How difficult is it to modify one's class to use an open text book?  Would you recommend OER to other faculty?

  • Nicole Finkbeiner (moderator), OpenStax, Rice University
  • Donna Burge, Biology, Lord Fairfax Community College
  • Bob Rycroft, Economics, University of Mary Washington
  • Jenny Provo Quarles, English, Longwood University
  • Shawn Shields, Chemistry, Germanna Community College
  • Tara Stamm, Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Linda Williams, Business, Tidewater Community College

Location: Jepson Science Center, Room 100


Lunch Buffet (provided) with Student User Panel

Panel discussion by students on the pros and cons of taking courses which employed OER.  What impact were free texts on your success in the course?  How did they compare to commercial texts you have used

  • Steve Greenlaw (moderator), University of Mary Washington
  • Kelley Swenson, University of Mary Washington
  • Molly Miller, University of Mary Washington

Location: Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

1:30pm  Breakout Session 1: 

Inclusive Digital Access: An Introduction

Inclusive Digital Access (IDA) is an HEOA compliant course material model that allows digital content delivery through the school’s LMS (Learning Management System). The material is free for the first two weeks, after which, students may opt-out of the program if preferred.  Access for students who opt-out ends at this point in time. For students who choose to remain part of the program, their student account is billed directly for the cost of the materials.  IDA provides drastically reduced prices of course materials for students, digital access to interactive and adaptive content. a platform to convert physical course materials into an interactive format, and student access to materials on day one of class

  • Kathy Sandor, UMW Bookstore,
  • DJ Garcia, UMW Bookstore
  • Julie Handley, Psychological Science, University of Mary Washington

Location: Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

1:30pm Breakout Session 2:  

The Zx23 Degree Program

Discussion of OER and the roll-out of the Z-Degree program (Zero text book cost 2 year degree program) across Virginia's Community College System and beyond.

  • Cheryl Huff, English & Humanities, Germanna Community College & Lumen Learning
  • Lauren Williams, English, Thomas Nelson Community College

Location: Hurley Convergence Center Room 327


Futures of Open Education

The first part of this session will present a series of trends and scenarios for possible developments in open education. The second will break the audience into small groups, each of which then explores a specific scenario, after which we will regroup to compare notes.

  • Bryan Alexander, Senior researcher, New Media Consortium; Principal, Bryan Alexander Consulting

Location: Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center


Partners in Open Education:  OER Initiatives among Virginia's Academic Libraries

Through VIVA, the Virtual Library of Virginia, academic libraries of all sizes are able to offer their students and faculty a vast array of resources.  This session will highlight efforts among the VIVA institutions to further Open Education initiatives on their campuses and across the Commonwealth.

  • Rosemary Arneson (Moderator), University of Mary Washington
  • Anne Osterman, Executive Director, VIVA
  • Steve Litherland & Olivia Reinaur, Tidewater Community College 
  • Anita Walz, Virginia Tech 

Location: Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center





Panel Discussion: Open Pedagogy is More Than Open Textbooks

Three perspectives on open pedagogy by people on the frontier of thought in this area.

  • Bryan Alexander, Senior researcher, New Media Consortium; Principal, Bryan Alexander Consulting
  • Gardner Campbell, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Robin DeRosa, Plymouth State University

Location: Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center