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College in Ontario, Canada

Hi Don,

It was a pleasure meeting you at the YourCU advisory committee meeting last week.

As promised, here is some background about the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), based in California. As project manager, my role is to increase growth, participation and self-sustainability. My resume:


CCCOER is a project of Foothill-De Anza Community College District (California), the League for Innovation in the Community College and many other community colleges and university partners. Since 2007, it has led the identification, development and re-use of high quality, accessible and culturally-relevant OERs including Open Textbooks, and make them available for use by community college students and faculty -- (with $1.5M in seed funding from the The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to determine sustainable production models) An example: Collaborative Statistics. See: It Takes a Consortium to Support Open Textbooks, Educause Review, 2009

CCCOER has 200+ members, primarily in the US. In Canada, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is a member, and we have a close relationship with BCcampus (representing 11 colleges). We also have very strong international connections. We hope you will join us!

OERs: A Sustainable Business Model

The development of OERs is often a collaborative effort. By using and promoting OER, community colleges can take advantage of significant cost-savings (when enrollment is increasing and budgets are declining); develop high quality academic resources for students (i.e., replace some of the books required for purchase by students); and provide professional development opportunities for faculty. See: WikiPublishing - a sustainable business model for publishing.

Interdisciplinary, Multicultural Communities

Regarding our chat about the challenges of interdisciplinary projects, I have a lot of experience in building bridges and effective collaboration. For - I was responsible for building this global community of 15,000+ educators in 120 countries, from initial needs assessment, to training and coaching faculty to project implementation for specific communities. For example, the Community Media space developed by the Commonwealth of Learning is a community of practice for trainers in community media globally, and in Africa in particular. A spinoff project brought together experts in HIV AIDS and community radio practitioners to develop effective learning programs about HIV AIDS Treatment Literacy, for radio broadcast in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa. Here's the case study.

I look forward to speaking with you further, and exploring the possibilities for working together.

Best regards,

- Randy

New OER Publication, Lingo

New OER Guide for Higher Education Leaders

An Open Educational Resources guide for higher education governance officials written by long-time OER advocate Hal Plotkin has been released by Creative Commons. Free to Learn: An Open Educational Resources Policy Development Guidebook for Community College Governance Officials provides an introduction to the basics of OER, an OER resource guide and insights from OER providers and institutions who have implemented supportive OER policies.

“Open Educational Resources (OER) offer higher education governance leaders a cost-efficient method of improving the quality of teaching and learning while at the same time reducing costs imposed on students related to the purchase of expensive commercial textbooks and learning materials,” says Plotkin. “Higher education governance officials, particularly boards of trustees and senior academic governance leaders, have a tremendous opportunity to harness the advantages of OER for their institutions.”

A living version of this document, which you may iteratively improve, and a PDF version available for download, can be found at