April 15, 2014
In 2012, with the goal of increasing faculty adoption of high quality, affordable or free required textbooks, the California State Legislature directed the state's public higher education systems to create an online library of open educational resources and textbooks. We write to enlist your participation in this important initiative to reduce the cost of required textbooks for California students enrolled in public colleges and universities. Faculty from amongst the UC, CSU and CCC systems are collaborating on the California Open Education Resources Council (COERC) to review textbooks for inclusion in the new California Open Online Library (COOL). Funding for the COERC and the COOL comes from the State of California (as mandated by SB 1052 and SB 1053) and a matching grant, secured by the California State University, Office of the Chancellor, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The project will begin with the development of a showcase collection of existing high quality and reliably available open textbooks that are aligned with strategic courses in the CCC, CSU, and UC. The initial set of courses, which are aligned through the C-ID (Course Identification Numbering System) includes: Intro to Chemistry, Public Speaking, Principles of Microeconomics, US History to 1877, and Introduction to Statistics. At this time, COERC is locating appropriate textbooks for these courses, designing review and feedback processes, and establishing a communication and outreach strategy to increase faculty adoption of COOL's offerings.
Faculty are crucial participants in this initiative. We are asking for
your help with several important tasks. First, in a preliminary effort,
we are seeking to assess faculty awareness of and experience with open
educational resources. We ask for your feedback on a faculty survey as
soon as possible with a completion date of April 25 (available with a
description and a link to the survey itself:
Second, we ask for your help in identifying yourself as a potential reviewer of the textbooks for the five courses identified above. You'll be able to do this at the conclusion of the survey. The reviews will occur as panels over Summer 2014; stipends will be provided for all reviewers selected.
Thank you very much in advance for your attention.
On behalf of the California Open Educational Resources Council,
Supported by the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates for CCC, CSU, UC (http://icas-ca.org/)
A link to the survey is posted is also posted on the systemwide Senate website at http://senate.universityofcalifornia.edu/