Baton Rouge, LA – The Louisiana Board of Regents this week hosted teams from six campuses across the state assisting them in implementing creative plans to reduce textbook costs to students. Through targeted grants funded by Regents, and awarded by The Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) for course redesign and adoption of open textbooks and other Open Education Resources (OER), Regents estimates these efforts could save more than $1 million over three years for 15,000 students.
The campuses listed below were awarded a total of $67,500 through the LOUIS Affordable Learning Project to jump start efforts to adopt OER, which significantly lower textbook expenses for students. Below is a list of colleges/universities receiving awards, the area of concentration and the amount awarded:
1. Northshore Technical Community College, Microbiology, $2,500
2. Delgado Community College, General Biology Lab, $5,000
3. Fletcher Technical Community College, Psychology, $7,500
4. Grambling State University, Organic Chemistry I, $7,500
5. Grambling State University, Graduate Level Courses, $7,500
6. Nicholls State University, Culinary, $7,500
7. Northshore Technical Community College, Criminal Justice Reform, $7,500
8. River Parishes Community College, AS/LT Physical Science Degree, $7,500
9. Fletcher Technical Community College, Basic Composition, $7,500
10. Northshore Technical Community College, Biology 1010 and 1020, $7,500
“This is an innovative way to tackle affordability barriers for today’s students,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed. “It’s important that we work aggressively to minimize textbook cost savings for our students and maximize their success. By redesigning courses so sharable, openly licensed material can be accessed, we not only reduce the financial burden we also improve student retention, progression and completion. I applaud this approach and the campuses that are transforming their delivery of knowledge to meet the needs of our students and our state.”
Beginning this summer, and continuing over three years, faculty, librarians, and other staff will redesign and create new courses for students using Open Educational Resources. Additionally, they will track student outcomes and savings to access the success of the initiative. During the kickoff meetings this week, participants received training on open licensing, using the LOUIS OER Repository, and locating other OER content. Board of Regents will continue supporting the teams over the summer and during the duration of the project.