While the use of OER (open educational resources) is often praised as a low-cost and more accessible alternative to physical textbooks, there’s still a lot of criticism surrounding OER courseware.
Many educators are concerned about issues such as compatibility with existing learning management systems, quality of materials, course customization options, and more. But there is an often-overlooked middle ground between OER and traditional textbooks: enhanced OER courseware. This type of digital solution builds a course on a foundation of OER materials, then enhances it with ancillary materials such as analytics, assessments and videos.
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As program coordinator and professor of the criminal justice department at Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s (KCTCS) Somerset Community College, I’ve used enhanced OER courseware from BNC OER+ (previously known as LoudCloud Courseware) to increase affordability and accessibility for our students in courses such as history and criminal justice. In fact, in one year of use in Somerset’s history courses, student savings totaled $135,660.