To address the rising cost of textbooks and course related material, a committee was formed in 2012 to research this problem at Delaware County Community College and offer practical solutions within the structure of the College’s strategic plan.
By 2014, this committee was renamed the Alt Text Committee with a mission of:
The Alt Text Project will help create a culture that actively encourages, supports, and sustains the use of open educational resources and other formats for course content for all courses at all levels without compromising quality of content. The project will invite students, faculty and administrators to work together to increase student success through the use of open materials to work towards saving each student on average $300 per year. The College will address the challenges of long-term sustainability and implementation of alternatives to this commercially published textbook project.
The Alt Text Committee supported the work of faculty members integrating open textbooks into their courses, worked with faculty members on the development of open textbooks, supplemental material, and open educational resources, and loaded open textbooks and open access journal articles onto eBook readers furnished by Library Services.
As the OER movement continues to mature and institutional priorities have changed with new leadership, a new committee may be formed to refocus OER efforts at the College.
Delaware County Community College received a grant totaling $10,000 to expand student and faculty access to course materials through the use of open educational resources and open textbooks. The goal of the project was to strengthen student success by reducing or eliminating costs and the financial burden of higher education by utilizing instructional materials that are open and available to all rather than align a course with a commercially produced, high-cost textbook.
The project was led by Assistant Professor Michael LaMagna, Ed.D. Project participants included library faculty members working collaboratively with business faculty members to review and select materials that aligned to the Introduction to Business course selected for this pilot. Selected resource materials were integrated into the course syllabus by providing students with easy access through the College’s online portal. Additionally, librarians provided information literacy sessions to assist students with accessing the open textbooks and other open educational resources. An ongoing assessment component enabled faculty and librarians to develop best practices and continuous improvements for replication into other courses.
Funding for the project was provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through a program established by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) to develop library services throughout the States. Pennsylvania’s funding is administered through the Office of Commonwealth Libraries.