Duties of California OER Council

Duties of California OER Council members:

Since the signing of AB 798 (Bonilla, 2015), the California OER Council has shifted its focus to support CCC and CSU proposals for AB 798 funding.

The goal of College Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 (AB 798) is to save college students money by empowering professors and local campuses to adopt high quality, free and open educational resources for course materials. Assemblywoman Bonilla (sponsor of AB 798) recognized that free and open educational resources can reduce the total cost of education for students and their families in California’s higher education institutions. This COOL4Ed Request for Proposals (RFP) provides the guidelines, requirements and processes for campuses to submit proposals for their local textbook affordability programs and receive up to $50,000 to implement their program and report on the student savings created by their program.

The CA OER Council has been instrumental in identifying 50 courses common to the 3 California higher education systems, identified many free and open etextbooks that faculty could use as course materials for these courses, implemented a rigorous faculty review process for evaluating the quality of the free and open etextbooks, and engaged in a variety of research and policy development to support the adoption of free and open textbooks in California higher education. (See the Council’s progress reports.)

Free webinars, open office hours, and comments on preliminary drafts of proposals will be offered by the California OER Council through June 30, 2016, the due date of the AB 798 proposals. Find more information about the RFP process on the COOL4Ed website.

The California OER Council was defined in SB 1052 (Steinberg, 2012) where goals for council were initially described. ICAS has also defined the work of California OER Council members.

From the SB 1052 legislation:

  1. Select up to 50 lower division courses in the public postsecondary segments to target the development and acquisition of digital, open source textbooks and materials.
  2. Create and administer a standardized, rigorous review and approval process for open source textbooks and related materials.
  3. Promote strategies for production, access, and use of open source materials.
  4. Regularly solicit and consider input from each segment’s respective statewide student associations.
  5. Establish a competitive request for a proposal process in which faculty members, publishers, and other interested parties may apply for funds to produce the high quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials in 2014.
  6. Explore methods for reviving classic or well regarded, out-of-print textbooks in digital, open source formats.

From ICAS:

  1. Meet goals of SB 1052 legislation.
  2. Work collegially under the direction of the California OER Council Project Coordinator to produce the deliverables specified in the Hewlett grant proposal timeline.
  3. Submit policies and processes to ICAS for review and approval; document and archive policies and processes approved by ICAS.
  4. Develop policies for building the collection of open textbooks in the California Open Source Digital Library (COSDL).
  5. Develop a process for review teams which will include: composition, timelines, rubrics for evaluating texts, minimum standard for text to be included in COSDL, appeal process for authors, training necessary for review and normalizing, process for communicating names of texts approved for inclusion in COSDL by discipline (or alternate way to categorize the texts).
  6. Send regular reports to ICAS about disciplines, texts, challenges, etc.
  7. Prepare content for the COSDL website and ICAS webpage.
  8. Prepare and administer (or delegate) professional development opportunities by or across segments.
  9. Develop policies for defining data that will need to be collected and analyzed to track the success of the project.
  10. Develop process for outsourcing work to “complete” a text.
  11. Support review teams (California OER Council members may not participate on review teams).

Duties of Project Coordinator (non-voting member):

  1. Coordinate and facilitate California OER Council project.
  2. Prepare reports to ICAS and CSU as needed.
  3. Determine meeting agenda, ensure notes are taken and processed, follow up with members of California OER Council on assignments and duties.
  4. Communicate with CSU and COSDL.
  5. Support review teams; help ensure deliverables.
  6. Facilitate website development based upon California OER Council input and direction.
  7. Serve as a non-voting member of the California OER Council.

This project concluded in May 2016. See COOL4Ed for information about the subsequent project, AB 798 (Bonilla).

Support provided by the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Gates Foundation to match the State of California’s funding, mandated by SB 1052 and SB 1053.
*See information on the RFP for AB 798 (Bonilla, 2015)