Library Director John Schoppert at Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC), has been awarded a state library award for leading open source resource development at the college.

Open source resources are not copyrighted, and can be freely customized by teaching staff and provided to students free or at very low cost.

The Oregon Association of College and Research Libraries (OCRL) recognized Schoppert with the Oregon Award for Excellence for leading the Gorge Open Open Educational Resources project.

The project-based award is given annually to an individual or group whose project or initiative has significantly improved Oregon academic libraries or librarianship.

Schoppert collaborated with CGCC administration, the distance learning coordinator, faculty, the bookstore manager and advisors, and also sought the support of the CGCC Foundation. He designed an outreach program for faculty which included seminars and presentations to departments, committees and individuals. These efforts helped raise the awareness of open resources throughout the campus and created a groundswell of interest, which led to early adoption of OER into course curriculum.

Schoppert helped instructors integrate OER into the classroom, provided research support, and designed course assessments to improve instructional design and address student concerns about the alternative textbook program.

In addition, Schoppert kept institutional interest high by engaging the administration, the board of education and staff by including them in the efforts of building OER courses. By engaging the administration, Schoppert created an overall awareness of the program, not only as it impacted CGCC students but connecting it to student success nationwide by alleviating burdensome textbook costs.

The final goal was to give OER classes a clear distinction in the CGCC schedule. T

The GO – “Gorge Open” – brand icon was developed and used to identify each course that used OER through the year.

This icon allows student to know which courses would reduce their college expenses by not using a publisher’s textbook. Although somewhat controversial, it has proven effective as students are increasingly signing up for these classes.

As early adopters of the OER icon in their schedules, CGCC was pleased to see the recent passage of Oregon House Bill 2871 – the OER bill – which included the requirement of an icon in community college schedules to designate OER courses, along with the funding for OER adoption throughout the state.

To date, CGCC has saved students over $61,000 in student textbook costs.

The work on the program continues, said Schoppert in a recent email.

This year, CGCC received a grant to develop OER classes that will be taught in the “College Now” courses at Hood River Valley High School and at CGCC. These courses offer both high school and college credit.

Also starting this fall, sequential Survey of American Literature courses will be taught that were developed by CGCC faculty.

“What this creates is not only textbook-alternative courses at both HRVHS and CGCC, but stronger partnerships,” he said.

Considering the too common syndrome of out-of-date K12 textbooks, Schoppert noted, the partnership with high school faculty is especially important.

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