State community, technical college system wins international open education award
OLYMPIA, Wash. — For the second year in a row, the Open Education Consortium will recognize State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) staff members Boyoung Chae and Mark Jenkins for their work promoting open educational resources (OER). The consortium named Chae and Jenkins as the only U.S. winners in the Outstanding Site category of the Open Education Excellence Awards for their Open Washington website. Chae is SBCTC’s eLearning and Open Education policy associate and Jenkins is SBCTC’s eLearning director.
“I am so pleased to see that this website has grown to be our faculty’s one-stop shop for pre-selected resources, curated with critical information about OER,” Chae said. “This award is recognition of our continued efforts to make OER work for our faculty members and their effort to provide more affordable and versatile learning resources for students.”
The Open Washington website, launched in 2014, provides simple ways for faculty to learn, find, use and apply OER. It includes:
- Instruction to help faculty integrate OER into their classroom lessons
- A categorized search guide for all types of OER
- Videos designed to help OER policy development at colleges
- Tips and advice for evaluating a resource for accessibility and developing accessible OER
The website was developed after research showed what users wanted and needed as they used OER. The award, Jenkins said, validates that research-based approach.
The Open Education Awards for Excellence will be presented April 12 at the Open Education Consortium Global Conference in Kraków, Poland. Due to the travel, however, Jenkins and Chae will not attend this year’s conference. The annual awards provide recognition to outstanding contributions among those involved in the Open Education Consortium. The consortium is a global organization made up of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations. Its goal is to advance open education and its impact on global education.
“We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to our system faculty members who continuously inspired and guided this work, and the eLearning, library and OER coordinators who brought brilliance to the site,” Chae said.
The Open Education Consortium awarded Chae and Jenkins a 2015 Open Research Award for their report “A Qualitative Investigation of Faculty Open Educational Resource Usage in the Washington Community and Technical College System: Models for Support and Implementation.” For the study, Chae and Jenkins looked at the range of faculty use of OER and motivations for implementing those resources in their teaching. They found that faculty implementing OER in their classrooms did so out of a desire to make education more accessible for their students. Textbooks account for about 30 percent of a student’s cost of going to college.