The high costs of textbooks, which have become unaffordable for many lower income students, have led universities including George Mason University to look at Open Educational Resources (OERs) to reduce the cost of instruction for students, improve teaching and learning outcomes, and enable better opportunities for students through open access to quality educational resources.
This presentation presents lessons learned from two initiatives at George Mason University: an OER course redesign pilot and an Open Textbook Network initiative. Mason Publishing, a department of the University Libraries, teamed with Mason 4-VA and the Office of Digital Learning in a pilot project to encourage the use of OERs in innovative course redesign. Courses targeted for the pilot include those with high enrollment numbers, are required courses for majors, count in the Mason Core, or carry high textbook costs. As part of this pilot project, Mason Publishing is assisting instructors in developing open textbooks and other open access materials. Mason Publishing is also collaborating with the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) in a consortia effort in the Open Textbook Network (OTN). Mason Publishing has also developed, with Deep Web Technologies, an OER Metafinder, to provide faculty, students, librarians and instructional designers with a consolidated search tool for OER resources.
John W. Warren is Head of Mason Publishing Group/George Mason University Press and an adjunct professor in George Washington University’s master of professional studies in publishing program. Previously, Warren was Marketing and Sales Director at Georgetown University Press, Director of Marketing, Publications, at the RAND Corporation, and managed marketing and sales at Sage Publications and Fondo de Cultura Economica. He has a Masters in International Management from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS) at the University of California, San Diego. Warren is a frequent speaker at international publishing conferences and has authored several articles about the evolution of e-books, including “Innovation and the Future of E-Books” (2009), for which he was the winner of the International Award for Excellence in the development of the book.