The Year of Open 2017

2017 is the Year of Open. Here are 10 ways you can participate.

  1. Learn about open educational resources at our college OER website found at During the 2016-2017 academic year, SBVC faculty have saved students approximately over $180,000 on textbooks!
  2. Participate in the 2017 Open Education Week 3/27-3/31. Open Education Week is a celebration of the global OER movement and it is an opportunity to connect with educators using OER in their classrooms.
  3. The SBVC Academic Senate is hosting an OER Special Meeting on 3/29 3pm as part of Open Education Week. Join us and find out the latest trends in OER.
  4. Join the SBVC OER Ad Hoc Committee which meets the third Tuesday of the month from 2pm-3pm in AD/SS 207 on campus (Feb., March, April, Sept., Oct., and Nov.).
  5. Follow SBVC OER on Twitter at @oerSBVC.
  6. Partake in OER Professional Development activities either on campus or online. Go to > Professional Development folder.
  7. Learn about the different types of Creative Commons open licenses at
  8. Become a member of the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) repository and gain access to a multitude of resources in your discipline. Consider peer reviewing OER materials for your discipline.
  9. Start a discussion about OER materials with your discipline colleagues.
  10. Adopt OER in one or more of your classes and help SBVC students save money on textbooks!

Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution -PIRGs Report

In 2015, the Student Public Interest Groups (Student PIRGs) published a report titled Open Textbooks: The Billion Dollar Solution, which reviewed data collected from five different college pilot programs which encouraged faculty to replace their traditional instructional materials with openly licensed educational resources (OER). This report also analyzed the potential of open textbooks and open licensing as an alternative to traditional copyrighted textbooks. Continue reading

Open Textbooks, Think OpenStax


OpenStax the leader in the open textbook movement, was founded in 1999 Richard Baraniuk, an electrical engineering professor at Rice University. The open textbook publisher is funded by various philanthropic organizations, most notably the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill and & Melinda Gates Foundation, and 20MM Foundation among others.

OpenStax offers openly licensed textbooks for 23 of the 25 highest enrolled introductory college courses and it will soon release Astronomy, University Physics, Elementary Algebra, and Microbiology. All textbooks are peer reviewed and updated regularly as necessary. Click here for a complete list of OpenStax textbooks. Continue reading

The Most Expensive Textbooks by Major

Priceonomics analyzed textbook data using University of Virginia’s fall 2015 textbook list. The data analyzed included the cost of 5,000 textbooks for approximately 750 courses.

The findings showed the following top five disciplines as having the highest average textbook cost per class. Click here for the complete list of the top 31 disciplines with the highest average textbook costs. Continue reading

California’s Legislative OER History

The Community College League of California in its June 2016 e-newsletter provided a summary of major legislation adopted to support the use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education to address the high cost of textbooks. Below is an outline of the legislation. Continue reading

Short History of the Open Educational Resources Movement

In 2012, the World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress facilitated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), adopted the Paris OER Declaration which calls on governments to openly license for public use; publically funded educational materials. The support of OER by UNESCO is based on the statement by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that everyone has a right to education. Continue reading

Definition of Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER or “open educational resources” is a term created by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), in 2002, at a forum on open courseware for higher education.

UNESCO defines open educational resources as materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared.

Continue reading