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Open Educational Resources (OER) at Berkeley City College

The BCC Library is assisting faculty in the adoption of OER textbooks and other teaching materials

Introductory Video by Education Week

Education Week screen shot

This is a great introduction to some of the benefits of Open Educational Resources. Watch this concise one minute introductory video about OER produced by Education Week.  Click here to read an accompanying article. 

2019 - Peralta Joins the National Open Textbook Network (OTN)

Open textbook network leadership training at Peralta announcement image

On April 26, 2019, the 4 colleges of the Peralta Community College district hosted a leadership training seminar led by the nationally renown Open Textbook Network (OTN) Consortium based at the University of Minnesota.The day's training was designed to help develop strategies and collectively organize to increase and sustain OER adoption across Peralta's campuses. Topics included: identifying and overcoming obstacles to OER adoption, examples and strategies for building successful OER campus programs, -"making the case" for OER in your discipline and to your colleagues, and student academic success and OER. 

The OTN supports its membership of more than 600 campuses with a proven program of training methods & materials, a database of faculty textbook reviews, data collection tools, and a vibrant and accessible OER community of practice.

OER Keeps Students in College

A recent Florida Virtual Campus report underscores these possible benefits by reporting via survey data the negative impacts of on students when the use of commercially published textbooks is the only choice available to students. This report said,

  • "(66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) [as a result] (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course)".
  • "Time to graduation and/or access to courses is also impacted by cost. Students reported that they occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (47.6%);"
  • [Students] "do not register for a course (45.5%);"
  • [Students] "drop a course (26.1%), or withdraw from courses (20.7%)."

Benefits of OER Adoption to Students & Faculty - Recent Findings 2017-2018

Colvard, N. B., Watson, C. E., & Park, H. (2018). The Impact of Open Educational Resources on Various Student Success MetricsInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education30(2), 262–276.

From the author abstract: "This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. "

Vojtech, G., & Grissett, J. (2017). Student Perceptions of College Faculty Who Use OERInternational Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(4), 155–171. 

From the author abstract: “Participants rated faculty using an open textbook higher on kindness, encouragement, and creativity than faculty using a traditional copyrighted textbook, and were more likely to want to take a class with faculty using an open textbook.”

Ikahihifo, T. K., Spring, K. J., Rosecrans, J., & Watson, J. (2017). Assessing the Savings from Open Educational Resources on Student Academic Goals. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(7), 126–140.

From the author abstract: "Our study found that most students considered OER to be as good or better in terms of quality and engagement as traditional texts, while also allowing them to put saved funds toward their educational pursuits. As rising costs in higher education affect current and potential students, faculty and students are looking for ways to cut costs where possible. Open educational resources (OER) are a viable option to replace expensive traditional textbooks without sacrificing quality."

BLICK, W., & MARCUS, S. (2017). The Brightly Illuminated Path: Facilitating an Oer Program at Community CollegeCollege Student Journal51(1), 29–32. 

You Can Get A Stipend (Stay Tuned for the 2019 - 20 Time Frame)

Through the Spring 2018 semester BCC faculty have the opportunity to earn a stipend for systematically exploring potential OER candidate textbooks for adoption into their courses (Opportunities for 2019-2020 to be announced)

Grand-funded Stipends have been set at 4 tiers.

magnifying glass1. OER Investigator ($100): work with a BCC librarian or on your own to research OER textbooks, courseware, readers, for your course. You don't have to be successful in your search -- just let us know what you found                        and write a short review. 

Thumbs up icon2. OER Adopter ($400): find OER materials and plan to adopt them in either a Spring, Summer, or Fall course. Don't forget to let the bookstore know you are adopting OER.

medal icon3.  OER Champion ($500): implement OER material and do a quick two-part instructor and student assessment in the Spring or over the Summer.


line drawing of person with a flag on a staff4.  OER Influencer ($$ amount varies based on effort): implement OER in a course that has a significant materials and textbook cost barrier and design a course shell (in Canvas) that includes all OER/free materials, syllabi, assignments, etc. that can be used                                     across several sections of the same course.

For further details contact Heather Dodge, Librarian at, or Jenny Yap, Librarian at

2018 OER CHOICE Survey Results

Download a pdf for the complete report "Course Materials Adoption: A Faculty Survey and Outlook for the OER Landscape"  By Stephen Bell, Associate University Librarian, Temple University Libraries. 2018. This survey and report are made available by the American Libraries Association. It reports findings from a survey of 1,400 responses from faculty and instructors across the United States. 

Survey Findings - How Commercial Textbook Use Harms CC Students

The entire issue of the OER textbooks movement has been presented holistically in a number of recent reports based on good-sized surveys. 

The Florida Virtual Campus Office of Distance Learning and Student Services, 2016 report "2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey: Results and  Findings" found that,

"The high cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access, success, and completion.

The findings suggest that the cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access to required materials (66.6% did not purchase the required textbook) and learning (37.6% earn a poor grade; 19.8% fail a course). Time to graduation and/or access is also impacted by cost. Students reported that they occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (47.6%); do not register for a course (45.5%); drop a course (26.1%), or withdraw from courses (20.7%)."

2016 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey: Results and Findings Chart 1 of Findings 1

Photograph of presenter and attendees at the Open Textbook Network leadership training at Laney College