Three great OER projects presented Think Globally Act Openly yesterday at the annual WCET Conference in La Jolla. Susie Henderson, Director of Florida Distance Learning Consortium shared the collaboration between University of Florida Press and the Orange Grove Repository that produced Orange Grove Text Plus (OGT+) for open textbooks. James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Distance Learning, Educational Technology, & Learning Resources, and John Makevich, Director of Distance and Accelerated Learning, at College of the Canyons reported on the playlist concept of OER which leapfrogs over textbooks into customized learning object lists. Una Daly, Associate Director College Open Textbooks, shared their online collaboration model which has resulted in nationwide OER partners as well as British Columbia and other Canadian partners.
I think it’s time to acknowledge the many organizations who have put in alot of effort and achieved significant accomplishments in the Open Textbook movement. Starting with this post, I will be putting the spotlight on those organizations on a state by state basis. Just in case I blitz out (and sometimes I do..) and miss some organization that should to be mentioned, comment back to this blog and tell us about it.
FDLC is the Florida Distance Learning Consortium. The consortium consists of Florida educational institutions and promotes and supports Distance Learning.
The University Press of Florida is the official publisher for the Florida State University System. Their goal is to collaborate with all the stakeholders in the chain of higher education to meet their evolving needs.
Orange Grove is an online repository of free educational resources based in Florida. Orange Grove Text Plus is a joint initiative of Orange Grove and the University Press of Florida. These two organizations are partnering to lower textbook costs by providing textbooks that are affordable, available online, and adaptable by both instructor and student.
These organizations are a powerhouse in the State of Florida when it comes to leading the way for Open Textbooks. Great results and positive relationships. Hats off!
I had the opportunity to speak with some individuals who represent these organizations; Cathy Alfano (Orange Grove Proj. Mgr., FDLC), Susie Henderson (Orange Grove Project Director and Associate Executive Director of FDLC), and Meredith Morris-Babb (Director of the University Press of Florida, UFP). All three were very enthusiastic about the interest generated by educators and students in Florida and the success of the programs. They pointed out that all the pieces are in place for continued success and growth (resource repository, delivery method, authoring, motivated end consumer). Orange Grove has six server centers world wide that can be used to deliver content to locations around the globe. Meredith brought up the point that course supplement materials (quizes / homework / tests / etc) are an important part of the resources. They are working with WebAssign to provide the related supplemental materials online 24/7.
In the area of adopting and resource creation, they are working with universities on programs to make it enticing for instructors to participate in and create Open Textbooks.
In summary, they are all set up to deliver quality resources to students in the format of their choice (%100 online/downloadable to printable copies) not only in the state of Florida, but any other locations where these educational resources are needed.