Wallace State Community College’s Adrian Scott, director of the college’s Graphic Art and Design program, is the recipient of a grant from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) that has the potential to save students money on textbooks.
The Open Education Resources (OER) Creative Commons Training Grant was co-sponsored by the ACHE and ACCS in an effort to reduce the cost of college for Alabama’s students. The grant encourages faculty members to replace existing expensive traditional textbooks and other costly teaching and learning materials with OER. Open educational resources are teaching and learning materials that instructors and students may freely use and reuse at no cost without asking permission. Other benefits include immediate access to students on their first day of class and perfect alignment with classroom instruction, promoting higher achievement of desired learning outcomes.
With plans to implement OER in Fall 2021, Scott said students taking Art Appreciation (ART 100) and Art History (Art 203) will be the first to benefit. Instead of purchasing books that can range in cost from $70-$140 each, depending on the versions required, the students will have access to free online teach materials through Commons OER.
Scott said the grant came at an opportune time, as he had already been planning to implement OER and Creative Commons (CC) curriculum into Graphic Arts and Design courses. “My goal is to continue to promote and facilitate the building of the OER/CC curricular platform at Wallace State and in the higher education system,” Scott said.
Alongside of industry standard software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud, Scott also has for years utilized and trained students in the use of open-source graphic layout & design software. Open-source software, although they are not a direct replacement for training in industry standard software, are still a viable and readily available foundation-building option for student's working remotely and who may not be able to afford industry standard software subscription costs.
Beth Bownes-Johnson, the Dean of Academic Affairs at Wallace State, said she is proud of Scott’s awarding of the grant and its ability to support the college’s efforts in eliminating barriers for student success.
Scott said interested instructors and administrators can find more information about OER and browse content at www.oercommons.org.