Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Washington State Student Completion Initiative to implement open textbooks for 80 courses

It was recently announced that the Washington Sate Legislature, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Ford Foundation will fund a new program known as the Washington State Student Completion Initiative. The initiative will focus on increasing community college completion rates through new programs and the continuation of successful pilot projects. One of the new programs will focus on the redesign of 80 high enrollment, gatekeeper, and pre-college courses which are taken by 321,000 students each year.

According to the press release, students often have difficulty completing these courses due to the cost of the textbooks and the availability of the courses. As a result, the program will utilize open textbooks and educational resources, as well as existing library resources to reduce the cost for students. In addition, more online or blended courses can be made available. The use of open resources will also give faculty the opportunity to improve on the courses and allow the courses to be shared throughout the state and beyond.

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