The University System of Maryland (USMD) has selected 21 faculty and staff members to receive funding to increase the use of open educational resources (OER). Through the Maryland Open Source Textbook (MOST) initiative led by USMD’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, more than 8,000 students will save $1.3 million in textbook costs over the upcoming fall semester. Grantees at seven community colleges and five four-year institutions will participate in the MOST initiative’s High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program, which replaces traditional textbooks with OER. According to the announcement, digital course materials company Lumen Learning will help train faculty on effective OER design and scaling strategies, offering “support for OER adoption and delivery, access to a collection of curated OER courses, and a platform to build, edit and deliver their course.” With the platform, they can adapt and customize their instructional materials to align with their classroom needs.
USMD & UMUC will be featured in NUTN's OER event on June 23rd.
In 1949, University of Maryland University College (UMUC) first sent faculty overseas to provide higher education at U.S. military installations. Fast forward to 2017, and UMUC is the largest online public university in the United States, celebrating our 70th year of serving adult students in Maryland and around the world.
Roughly one-in-seven of all higher education students are enrolled in online coursework. At UMUC alone, more than 85,000 students attend classes online. Roughly 50 percent of those students are parents and 60 percent are affiliated with the military.
While distance education means something very different than it did back in 1949, one thing has not changed: UMUC is still dedicated to our core value of “Students First,” with courses that include embedded digital resources at no cost to students.
However, our online approach has a unique set of challenges, especially when coursework demands specialized software tools for hands-on learning. How do we provide near-ubiquitous access when students are geographically dispersed, use different types of computer platforms, and don’t have access to campus computer labs?