Tidewater Community College’s Z-Degree – its textbook-free associate degree in business administration – saves students money and improves classroom teaching and learning. But can open educational resources (OER) improve governments’ transparency and empower citizens?
This afternoon in Washington, D.C., OER advocates, including Daniel DeMarte, vice president for academic affairs, and Linda Williams, professor of business management and administration, are meeting with the Office of Science and Technology Policy to make the case for including OER in the Open Government Partnership.
The partnership is a new multilateral initiative that aims to secure commitments from governments worldwide to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.
The meeting was organized by Nicole Allen of SPARC – the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition – an OER-advocate. In addition to DeMarte and Williams, representatives of the Virginia Community College System, the Open Education Consortium, Creative Commons, and other colleges nationwide are scheduled to participate.
“OER supports better access to education, allowing all citizens to actively engage with their governments,” DeMarte said. Tidewater Community College’s experience shows that the goals of students, parents, educators, content providers, funders and policymakers are advanced through the use of OER.
Williams noted that TCC students in Z-Degree courses over three semesters showed greater retention in courses and improved learning, in addition to saving thousands on textbooks.