16 Course Marking Scholarship

The following annotated bibliography highlights several useful publications that provide additional insight into legislative compliance, systems considerations, and details about the process of implementing an open and affordable course marking initiative.

Price Transparency: State Approaches to OER/No Cost/Low Cost Course Schedule Designators

Chae, Boyoung, Kevin Corcoran, Michael Daly, Ann Fiddler, Jeff Gallant, James Glapa-Grossklag, Amy Hofer, and Michelle Reed. 2019. Price Transparency: State Approaches to OER/No cost/Low cost Course Schedule Designators. Arlington, TX: Mavs Open Press.

Based on a panel presentation at the 16th Annual Open Education Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2019, this publication describes open and affordable course marking practices at the state and system levels. Each chapter explores the implementation of an initiative, including the impetus for the initiative, challenges, and lessons learned. Chapters cover efforts in seven states with examples from the California Community College and California State University systems; the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system; the University System of Georgia’s Affordable Learning Georgia program; City University of New York; State University of New York; Portland Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, and  Treasure Valley Community College in Oregon; University of Texas Arlington; and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in Washington.

Evaluating Oregon’s open educational resources designation requirement

Freed, Brooke, Amber Friedman, Sarah Lawlis, and Angie Stapleton. 2018. Evaluating Oregon’s Open Educational Resources Designation Requirement. Salem, OR: University of Oregon School of Planning, Public Policy and Management.

Created for Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, this report evaluates the implementation of House Bill 2871, which required that Oregon’s colleges and universities designate when courses use no-cost and low-cost course materials. The report found that “[o]verall, most students don’t know where to find no-cost and low-cost courses” (Freed et al. 2018, 4). The researchers also identified the following problem areas: (a) Inconsistent language used to mark open and affordable courses makes finding these courses difficult; (b) students would like to see open and affordable courses identified across the institution (not just in the student information system (SIS) and schedule of classes; (c) students learn about open and affordable courses through their instructors but often not early enough to help with making registration decisions;  and (d) the high cost of textbooks has negatively affected students academically by changing their behaviors. The study also found that community colleges are leaders in implementing course marking initiatives. The report concludes with recommendations for future research, including simplifying the course marking language, and using a standard phrase or image consistently, and marking required materials in time for registration decisions.

OER Designations in the Schedule: System Considerations

Klaudinyi, Jen, David Koehler, Jody Potter, and Heather White. 2018. “OER Designations in the Schedule: System Considerations.” Open Oregon Educational Resources. Slidedeck presented online February 21, 2018. Video, 1:12:07.

In 2018, Open Oregon hosted a webinar featuring four speakers from various community colleges located in Oregon with experience implementing open educational resources (OER) course marking at their respective institutions. The presenters discuss the Oregon House Bill 2871, which requires that public and community colleges prominently display courses using low- or no-cost materials in course descriptions at the time of registration. In the introductory portion of the webinar, general information surrounding the statewide initiative is addressed. Speakers identify the necessity of course marking, which enables students to make informed financial choices when planning their terms. Additionally, each of the presenters addresses practical concerns regarding the selection of designations, communication, campus store coordination, and technical implementation. Future hopes for the initiative are discussed, alongside best practices for others considering or implementing a course marking venture. Alongside the archived webinar, presenter slides are available.

Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (A Living Guide)

Reed, Michelle. 2019. Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings (A Living Guide). Arlington, TX: UTA Libraries. Accessed September 11, 2019.

As part of her Capstone Project for the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program, Reed developed a toolkit to provide information to Texas institutions implementing OER course marking as a result of the passage of Texas Senate Bill 810. Within this toolkit is extensive information detailing every aspect of course marking as it applies to Texas institutions, which must comply with the bill. However, this toolkit is helpful not only to Texas colleges and universities, but also any institution in the process of considering or implementing a course marking initiative. It includes the institutional requirements that are necessary for compliance with the bill. Within the toolkit is information on relevant considerations institutions should address before beginning the implementation process. Stakeholders are provided with valuable information, successful examples of course marking implementation, and a bibliography for further reading.

OER and Low-Cost Labeling: Implementation Guide

Washington Community and Technical Colleges. 2019. Implementation Guide of OER and Low-Cost Labeling Policies for Washington Community and Technical Colleges. Report. Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Two years after the Washington legislature passed House Bill 1375 (2017), the Washington State Community and Technical Colleges system published a formal policy and guide to assist impacted institutions in implementing open and affordable course markings. The implementation guide presents code names and descriptions, definitions, criteria, and use cases for using both OER and Low-Cost markings. Common questions are addressed through a Q&A section that provides links to further information, such as guidance on how to label complicated courses. For those who prefer to learn through video, a YouTube video provides a policy overview for Washington’s community and technical colleges. The guide helpfully links to the studies and research briefs conducted in the state that informed the document’s creation.



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Marking Open and Affordable Courses: Best Practices and Case Studies Copyright © 2020 by Breeman Ainsworth; Nicole Allen; Jessica Dai; Abbey Elder; Nicole Finkbeiner; Amie Freeman; Sarah Hare; Kris Helge; Nicole Helregel; Jeanne Hoover; Jessica Kirschner; Joy Perrin; Jacquelyn Ray; Jennifer Raye; Michelle Reed; John Schoppert; and Liz Thompson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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