LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, announces the availability of zero cost textbooks and course materials funded through the Affordable Learning LOUISiana Course Transformation Program. In this competitive program, faculty from Louisiana public higher education institutions received financial and technical support to faculty to adopt, adapt, and/or create open materials. To date, 36 projects have been funded through the Course Transformation Program. Course materials, along with corresponding course syllabi, are available online through the LOUIS OER Commons repository.
Funding supported faculty as they adopted existing materials from collections such as the Open Textbook Library, adapted these materials to localize them to the needs of their students and align them to their course learning outcomes, and created new materials. Materials can be discovered by discipline.
Participating faculty have come from 15 institutions with their work resulting in the elimination of course materials costs across a variety of disciplines and impacting all 4 public higher education systems:
Delgado Community College: Biology, Mathematics
Fletcher Technical Community College: English, History, Psychology
Northshore Technical Community College: Biology, Criminal Justice, Sociology
River Parishes Community College: Chemistry, Drafting and Design, Geography, Mathematics, Physics
SOWELA Technical Community College: Chemistry, English
Louisiana State University of Alexandria: Chemistry
Louisiana State University: Electrical Engineering, French, Music Education
Louisiana State University Eunice: Business
Louisiana Tech University: Agriculture, GIS
Southern University and A&M College: Political Science
Southern University Shreveport: First Year Experience
Grambling State University: Chemistry, Education
Nicholls State University: Culinary
University of Louisiana at Lafayette: Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction
University of Louisiana at Monroe: Psychology, Curriculum and Instruction
By designing a course with zero costs for course materials, participants in this initiative helped reduce the direct costs to post-secondary students and contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation. In their proposals, applicants described their goals to positively impact students, locally and beyond. Dr. Michael K. Crosby from Louisiana Tech University stated, “Overall, these materials will facilitate student engagement, enhancing their success in and beyond these courses. This encourages active and participatory learning and is adaptable to other regions and applications […] Other institutions may leverage these materials for instruction better suited to their students throughout Louisiana or in other parts of the world.” All materials produced through this program are licensed under a Creative Commons license and available for adoption and adaption.
Statewide outcomes of the Course Transformation Program and similar programs focused on reducing the cost of course materials are available online through an interactive display of the members’ student savings and impact.
Louisiana faculty will continue to contribute OER courses and materials to the community thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. LOUIS received a $2 million Open Textbooks Pilot grant, which will result in the creation of 25 Dual Enrollment general education open courses across 14 disciplines including the arts, biology, business, English, history, and Spanish.
LOUIS is a consortium of 47 public and private college and university member libraries in the state of Louisiana. This partnership was formed in 1992 by the library deans and directors at these institutions, in order to create a cost-effective collaboration among the institutions for the procurement of library technology and resources.
LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents, is excited to announce $26.8 million in reported savings for 126,306 higher education students in the state since 2012. Dr. Teri Gallaway, Associate Commissioner and Executive Director for LOUIS, commented, “Post-secondary education students in Louisiana spend an average of $1200 per year on textbooks and materials for their classes. In Louisiana we have the second highest rate of food insecurity in the United States. When students are struggling to afford the most basic life necessities, we want to do all we can to reduce the financial burden of textbook and material costs. Academic librarians have been leaders on their campuses to gain support from faculty, administrators, and students for the adoption of open and affordable education resources. We can clearly see that these efforts have paid off by saving more than 126,000 students close to $27 million!”
Over the winter, LOUIS member libraries contributed their Return-on-Investment (ROI) numbers for Open Education Resources (OER) and Affordable Education Resources (AER) adoptions. The ROI reports the number of students in courses that have adopted titles made available through LOUIS’ Affordable Learning Louisiana programs and the associated savings. For AER, programs included Curriculum Driven and Evidence Based acquisitions, and Perpetual Access Collections funded through LOUIS. Also reported were OER savings from programs including OpenStax, the Open Education Network, and LOUIS’ competitive Faculty Cohort and Course Transformation programs. Additional data collected reflected savings from the Inclusive Access agreement negotiated by LOUIS, and from no cost and low-cost course programs at the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
The impact of OER and AER adoptions is felt by students and faculty across all types of post-secondary education institutions in Louisiana. Savings came from 38 institutions, reflecting all public and private systems in the state. Of note, since the conception of this coordinated work in 2012, Bossier Parish Community College has saved 10,750 students $3.3 million, while Louisiana State University Shreveport has saved more than 29,000 students $3.2 million. For more information, explore the interactive display of the members’ student savings and impact.
Impacts will continue to grow thanks to LOUIS’ award of a $2M grant award for the Open Textbooks Pilot Program from the U.S. Department of Education. This will result in the creation of 25 Dual Enrollment general education open courses, with the potential to reduce costs and improve outcomes for approximately 20,000 high school students and 250,000 total enrollments statewide per academic year.
LOUIS is a consortium of 47 public and private college and university member libraries in the state of Louisiana. This partnership was formed in 1992 by the library deans and directors at these institutions, in order to create a cost-effective collaboration among the institutions for the procurement of library technology and resources. For questions, contact Dr. Teri Gallaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) and the Louisiana Board of Regents are pleased to announce their selection for a $2 million award for the Open Textbooks Pilot Program from the Department of Education. Associate Commissioner and Executive Director for LOUIS, Dr. Teri Oaks Gallaway, who will serve as the Principal Investigator for the grant, explained, “This project engages instructors of dual enrollment across Louisiana in the curation and creation of OER for 25 of the state’s general education courses. Annually these courses have enrollments topping 20,000 for high school students and 250,000 statewide. Not only does this reduce the cost of higher education, but it eliminates an early barrier to participation in post-secondary education”.
The grant will fund LOUIS’ Interactive OER for Dual Enrollment project, which supports the extension of access to high-quality post-secondary opportunities to high school students across Louisiana and beyond. This project, funded by Congress in the 2020 Fiscal Year omnibus spending bill, features a collaboration between educational systems in Louisiana, the library community, Pressbooks technology partner, and workforce representatives. It will enable and enhance the delivery of open educational resources (OER) and interactive quiz and assessment elements for priority dual enrollment courses in Louisiana and nationally. Developed OER course materials will be released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification and sharing with others.
Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to participate in post-secondary courses for which both college and high school credit may be earned. It can improve college access and degree completion rates by lowering the cost of post-secondary education and accelerating degree attainment, but textbook cost is a barrier to participation. In 2020, Louisiana’s Dual Enrollment Task Force, co-chaired by Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner of Higher Education and Mike Faulk, Executive Director, Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, adopted recommendations that called for access to college coursework in core academic content areas and career/technical fields for all high school students. Reed explained, “Universal access to dual enrollment will be a game changer in our state. No matter your race or place, offering an early college experience to every student, whether academic or career technical, sends an important message, that you must continue education and training beyond high school and that now is the time to get started on that path.” For this to occur, the development and adoption of OER to reduce textbook and materials costs was identified as a priority by the Task Force.
The Open Textbooks Pilot Program began in 2018 and has been previously awarded to University of California, Davis, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and Arizona State University. In 2020, four awards were made including West Hills Community College District, Middlesex County College, The University of Texas at Arlington, and LOUIS.
The contents of this press release were developed in support of an Open Textbooks Pilot grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.