Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) has developed two zero-textbook-cost degree programs that can be adapted for use by other institutions. The courses use open educational resources (OER) and fulfill all requirements for associate degrees in general studies and social sciences offered by NOVA.
The institution claims it’s the first community college to fully share its OER courses, according to a report in eCampus News. Other colleges can use the program, developed through the NOVA Extended Learning Institute, to fit their own learning outcomes.
NOVA has partnered with Lumen Learning to create the courses, which are available through the Lumen website. For a fee, institutions can access additional services from Lumen, such as faculty training, technical and OER program design support, and help in customizing course materials.
“This step by NOVA goes far towards putting OER degree programs within reach for other colleges,” said TJ Bliss, program officer in the education program at the Hewlett Foundation. “It gives academic leaders a vision of what is now possible in open education, as well as the means to get there. For institutions struggling with affordability and access, OER degree programs can catalyze systemic change towards open education, and colleges can reap the benefits in terms of student success.”