Overview: OER Degree Programs

What is an OER Degree?

An OER degree program eliminates textbook costs for students. Also labeled “Z-Degree” by open education pioneer Tidewater Community College and others that have followed its path, the Z stands for “zero textbook costs.” Faculty teaching courses in the OER Degree replace commercial textbooks and other expensive resources with open educational resources for one or more sections of all the courses students must take to graduate (both required and elective).

How does Lumen help with OER Degrees?

Lumen provides strategic guidance and technical support to help colleges plan, develop and launch successful OER degree programs. Working in partnership with OER degree pioneers Tidewater Community College, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and others, Lumen helps institutions ensure their programs are well-planned, faculty are well-supported, and courses are well-resourced with the best available OER.

Why Launch an OER Degree Program?

Improve student success while saving students money.
Create reliable savings students can count on.
Increase academic freedom for faculty.
Make your program more attractive to potential students.
Speed students through your program.
Increase institutional revenue.

Have you seen oerdegrees.org?

On this site, developed by Lumen for the Achieving the Dream (ATD) OER Degree Initiative, you can learn more about OER degrees and which 2-year degree programs already have ample OER alternatives available. Also, you can identify recommended open content on many course subjects you can use for your own OER courses.

graduation-cropped 

Video: Launching a Z-Degree

      Tidewater Community College leaders, faculty and students share insights about the process and impacts of launching a first-of-its-kind zero textbook cost degree program.

    Limited Offer: Lumen’s OER Degree Support Package

    In response to growing interest, we’ve created a special offer to support two-year institutions with the successful development and launch of OER Degree programs. 

    This package is based on the technical and program support Lumen is providing to grantees of the ATD OER Degree Initiative. It offers a similar scope of guidance, training, faculty and technical support, at an affordable price that offers significant value. It includes:

    • Remote planning for degree program
    • On campus training
    • Faculty & technical support
    • 2,500 enrollments in Lumen courses from across the catalog
    • Discount on Waymaker personalized learning OER course support fees
    • One-year membership in CCCOER for sharing, collaboration, community
    • Cohort-based program participation
    • All-inclusive low price of $35,000

    In order to ensure the success of each participating institution, we offer a limited number of spots for this program.

    More information about the OER Degree Support Package is provided on this page. You can also download offer details by clicking on the button below.  Or you can contact us to learn more.

    Curious About OER Degrees? Download the Details

    How does Lumen engage with institutions on OER degrees?

    With significant prior experience helping institutions and state systems launch OER degree programs, Lumen Learning is a preferred support partner for developing OER degree programs that impact student success. We work with you to provide:

    • Strategy and Planning:  We provide guidance around how to approach OER degree programs academically and administratively, as well as planning for strong alignment with institutional goals and priorities.
    • Training: We train administrators and faculty around the transition to open educational resources, best practices in OER-based course design and pedagogy, and how to support the success of a complete zero textbook cost degree program.
    • Courseware: We provide a complete course structure designed using OER. Then we support faculty as they customize courses to fit their learning outcomes, instructional approach and degree program requirements.
    • Course Design: For high-enrollment courses that are not already part of Lumen’s course catalog, we can work collaboratively with your faculty on OER discovery, instructional design, course-building and licensing review to create new courses designed using OER.
    • Support: We provide guaranteed hosting and availability for all content and tools, LMS integration, and ongoing training and faculty support for instructors teaching with OER.
    • Analytics: We conduct efficacy testing along with content and learning analytics to measure how students are performing and guide faculty to improve and augment course content to strengthen student learning.
    • Continuous improvement: We evaluate student outcomes and incorporate of data-driven improvements to strengthen student learning and program sustainability.
    • Community: You become part of a growing community of educators and institutions engaged in using OER to improve affordability, access and student success.

    Contact us to discuss your goals and any questions you may have about OER degree programs. Learn more about our Z-Degree work by viewing this Tidewater Community College success story.

     

    References:

    1. Source: http://openedgroup.org/review/
    2. Wiley, D., Hilton, J., DeMarte, D., and Williams, L. (in press). The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption. Education Policy Analysis Archives. This article is part of EPAA/AAPE’s Special Issue on Models of Open Education in Higher Education Guest Co-Edited by Dr. Lisa Petrides and Dr. Cynthia Jimes.
    3. Fischer, L., Hilton, J., Robinson T. J., and Wiley, D. (in press). A Multi-institutional Study of the Impact of Open Textbook Adoption on the Learning Outcomes of Post-secondary Students. Journal of Computing in Higher Education.