$1 Million in Student Savings: LB’s OERs and other resources save students money

LBCC needs textbooks.. Or so you thought!

The LBCC Campus Store and college staff have prioritized finding affordable education materials and textbooks for students on campus.

One of the methods staff have used in order to make materials more affordable is the use of Online Educational Resources (OER). Examples of OERs are free online textbooks, YouTube videos, websites, and worksheets.

Other colleges and universities like Oregon State are taking notice, and are using OERs.

Resources like the LB iLearn campus have been using and working to get OERs used campus-wide.

“[For] All of our courses, we look at all the different options that there are for textbooks and materials, and then if at all possible we will go with an OER, or a less expensive option,” said Stacy Mallory. “OERs have really good content out there that people have created that could be used without putting the burden back on students.”

Regular textbooks on campus can get expensive, ranging from $10 for a lab manual, to hundreds of dollars for one textbook. The push for making things more affordable for students has been pertinent around campus; so pertinent, in fact, that LBCC reached a financial savings of $1 million dollars for students through their purposing of OERs.

“We are trying to keep costs down for students. Often times we will create our own content,” said Mallory.

Open Oregon Education Resources, a catalyst in the OER movement for higher education, awarded Richenda Hawkins and Lawrence LaJoie of LBCC with the Oregon OER Champion Awards. According to the Open Oregon Education Resources website, the Oregon OER Champion Award is an honor given to those who “…have done outstanding open education work in Oregon’s community colleges.”

LBCC’s campus board of directors will invest thousands in OERs over the next couple years, ensuring affordable materials for all students.

Story by Hannah Buffington

Photos by Elliot Pond