RICHARD: It's a real honor to introduce our keynote speaker Dr. David Wiley. David's the co-founder and chief academic officer of Lumen Learning, which is an organization dedicated to increasing student success and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources by schools, community and state colleges, and universities. He's also the education fellow at Creative Commons in an adjunct faculty in Brigham Young University's graduate program in instructional psychology and technology where he leads the Open Education Group.
Dr. Wiley has received numerous recognitions for his work, including an NSF career grant and appointments as nonresident fellow in the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, a Peery Social Entrepreneurship Research Fellow in the BYU, Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Business, and a Shuttleworth fellow. As a social entrepreneur, Dr. Wiley has founded or co-founded numerous entities, including Lumen Learning Degreed, and the Open High School of Utah, which is now the Mountain Heights Academy.
In 2009, Fast Company named Dr. Wiley one of the 100 most creative people in business. David holds a PhD in instructional psychology and technology from Brigham Young University, not the guy. See if you're paying attention. All right, he's also a post-doctoral fellow in instructional technology at Utah State University. And he's fairly humble, he doesn't like all the credit. So he didn't like all this being said. He said, just tell them I'm originally from West Virginia and that will be enough. So please help me welcome Dr. David Wiley.
DAVID WILEY: Brigham Young himself handed me my PhD.
Should have been there. I'm a lot older than I look. All right, well I'm super grateful for the opportunity to be with you today and to talk a little bit about OER. And we've been joking kind of last night and this morning that presenting with the two Nicole's is really interesting because normally, we each have to give the talk that all three of us today are giving, but we each have-- normally when I present and they're not there, I have to say all the things that Nicole said this morning and then the things that Nicole's going to say after me. So getting to split them up is really interesting. So let me start by saying amen to everything that Nicole said and picking up from there.
So my talk's about tools and techniques for high impact OER adoption. Of course, everything, unless otherwise noted in the notes, in the presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons license so the slides are open educational resources. If there's something that you hear that is interesting, you should tweet about it with the conference hashtag, which is #lccoer. If there's something I say that's stupid or that you disagree with, you can direct it right at my Twitter handle, which is @opencontent. And the slides are available for download from slideshare.net if you want to grab them on your laptop and play the home game as we go through here.
Richard already said I wear a couple of hats and I'll have them on at different times during the talk. One is my role at Lumen as chief academic officer. Another is my role as, adjunct now, adjunct faculty member at BYU where I run a research group dedicated to open education. And then the third hat being the education fellow at Creative Commons.
So in terms of high impact OER adoption, probably do us good to step back and say, what do we mean by high impact? What do we mean by OER? What do we even mean by adoption? I'll go back one further and we'll try to start from first principles and work our way up. So I want to propose to you-- I want to argue that education is sharing. It's a very particular kind of sharing. It's when we as faculty members share what we know with students. We share feedback on the work that they do, the homework that they turn in, the tests that they do.
In addition to our feedback, which is frequently about what they got wrong hopefully, education is about sharing encouragement with them and sharing our passion for the discipline and trying to turn them into people who want to grow up to be physicists, or economists, or whatever it is. And I think at its best, when you think back about the teacher or the professor who changed your life, who made you end up in the seat that you're in today, it's ultimately about sharing yourself.
So that's the first argument I want to make-- that education is really about sharing. When you think about anything that you do, as long as you're not thinking about hunting for parking, or trying to survive faculty meeting, or the tenure and promotion process, all the things that are actually truly educative about our work are all acts of sharing, full stop.
Now there's this amazing gizmo called the internet-- you've probably heard of it-- that has made sharing significantly different from the way sharing used to be when we're talking about sharing the things that we know and sharing our expertise with the next generation-- so if you think about taking the things you know that you want to share with someone else and capturing those outside yourself maybe in a book. And these are actual numbers. You can still go online today and find people who are willing to do things like handwrite an entire copy of a book for you.
But there are orders of magnitude less expensive to have someone write out a book by hand and try to ship it somewhere versus printing press today and like ordering something from CreateSpace or a print on-demand vendor and getting it shipped somewhere. You kind of think historically through these major eras. Essentially, the internet's made it free to make copies of content and to share that content. And as Nicole was mentioning, the music industry learned that lesson. The film industry is learning that lesson.
So when it doesn't cost anything to share, that really gives us an unprecedented capacity for sharing. And in as much as education is a particular kind of sharing, it gives us an unprecedented capacity for education, except when it doesn't because it doesn't. So let me tell a story. So this is a once upon a time story. Once upon a time, there's a beautiful land and it was full of meadows and flowers and bees that wouldn't sting you. And people lived in this land and they were happy in this land.
And one day somebody came up with a great idea-- invented this thing that would help them move across the land much faster and get from place to place, and he called it the automobile. He said, it would revolutionize our life in this land, which it did, but not all the results of the automobile were positive. The automobile also had some unintended consequences, and the people in the land got together and they were sick of seeing these tracks kind of running everywhere.
And they said, look, here's what we're going to do. We're going to make a thing and we're going to call it a road. And we'll make it nice. We'll make it level and flat, and we'll tear up some parts of our beautiful land for these roads, but here's the deal. We're going make these roads and whatever your whiz bang gadget is that goes from here to there, it has to stay on the road. You can't be out driving it wherever willy nilly.
So they made this law. They made roads. Everyone was happy. A few decades later, a young woman had an idea for a new invention. She said, this thing is really going to revolutionize the way that we interact, and travel, and conduct commerce, and things like that. She got all excited about it and got a bunch of people excited about it until the police showed up at her house one day and said, we've heard all this talking you've been doing about your airplane, and we just want to remind you that the law says all the gadgets and gizmos that take you from here to there must stay on the road. That's what the law says. So love your airplane, keep it on the road.
So bringing that back to education, long before the internet was a gleam in an engineer's eye, there was this law called copyright. And if we go back to the chart we were looking at a minute ago, we can actually retitle this left-hand column, things that copyright regulates, because copyright regulates four kinds of activity in particular. But copying and distribution are two of the things that it regulates.
So that in a very real sense, all of the powerful things that the internet enables us to do technologically that it makes us capable of, copyright law regulates and essentially prohibits us from doing. What the internet makes possible, copyright tells us not to do. It essentially tells us, keep that plane on the road.
So the answer to how do we get this plane in the air is open educational resources. And now we're coming back in to the definition piece that I promised you. Some of you would say open educational resources, which open are we talking about? And Nicole covered a little bit of this territory. But I can't help but cover it because I think it's so critically important.
Open is not free. The entire internet is free. CNN is free. National Geographic is free. The Guardian is free. Free is not even interesting at this point to millennials and people like Nicole was talking about. Everything is free. We're not talking about free. In the context of open, we're talking about things that are free and that come with a very specific set of permissions.
So when I say open, when you say open, I hope you think about a two part definition that includes this idea of free and unfettered access. I don't have to give up my email address. I don't have to create an account. I can just click a link and go straight to the resource. And that I receive perpetual, irrevocable permission to engage in these 5R activities that Nicole has already described.
Creative Commons licenses are the method by which we tell the world that they have the 5R permissions. So at the beginning of this presentation, you saw the little green box that was the Creative Commons logo for the attribution license that tells you, you have permission to engage in these five activities. You don't have to call me. You don't have to email me. You don't have to try to get my permission because I've already given you permission by putting the Creative Commons license on my work.
So these licenses are the primary means by which we tell people they have these permissions. And in a partnership with Google and Bing and Yahoo, Creative Commons engages in a metrics project where they count from time to time how many resources online have been licensed under a Creative Commons license. And at the last count, that number was 883 million. I'm sure it's over a billion today, but the number hasn't been updated recently.
Of these 5R permissions, I do want to point out-- between retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute-- the important point that retain really is kind of the fundamental permission. If you don't have permission to make and own and keep a copy, you really can't do other things. You can't make changes. You can't make mash ups and remixes of something if you can't own your own copy.
And Richard, to your point a minute ago about how we're a capitalist society that believes in ownership of private property, I would say that in the last five years, we're seeing a real attack on the idea of private property, whether it's Netflix, or Hulu, or Spotify. It's not the music industry's interest for you to be able to buy a copy of a CD and do anything you want with it. It's much more in their interest for you to have to pay them $10 a year for the rest of your life for a copy that you'll never get to own, but something you have streaming access to, right? And you see the same kind of move with textbooks, and Nicole went through that already.
So when we say open, we're talking about these 5R permissions. We're talking about free and unfettered access, perpetual, irrevocable permissions. What we're not talking about is-- and this isn't my word, but I love this word a lot. We're not talking about faux-pen.
But when you think about cost and permissions, which are the two pieces of the definition of OER around free access and permission to engage in these 5R activities, well you can see the screen behind me.
So coming back to our story about the young woman and her plane, when you make the choice in your online teaching, when you make the choice to use fully copyrighted materials in an online context, you are literally choosing to drive an airplane down the road. You're making the choice that says I'm going to pick all these things, but I'm going to pick things that don't allow me to make full use of the technical capability that's in front of me.
But when you choose open educational resources, and you use those, either in a blended context, in your face-to-face class, or in an online context, that's a choice that actually gets the plane into the air because everything that the internet technically makes it possible for you to do, open educational resources give you the legal permission to do. And I think that's a really important point.
So that's OER, that's the first definition. Second definition will be much shorter-- single slide. When we say OER adoption, what are we talking about? We're talking about replacing whatever used to be in the required material section of your syllabus-- if it was a commercial textbook, or whatever it was, even if it was a bunch of material that was freely available online, somewhere else. OER adoption, we mean making the OER materials the required materials for the course.
That was easy. OK, next definition-- what's a high impact OER adoption? A high impact OER adoption is an adoption that does a couple of things simultaneously, which you're not supposed to be able to do according to the iron triangle, but we'll get there. A high impact OER adoption is an adoption that improves students' access at the same time that it decreases cost. And to be really high impact, it should do it at scale. So let's talk about the improving student success part of it for a second.
So now I'm switching. Now I'm putting on my BYU hat for a minute to talk about a couple of studies that we've recently done at BYU. This is a study looking-- well it says it on the slide-- looking about 15,000 students across 10 institutions, where their faculty members replaced commercial textbooks with open educational resources. It's across a range of different courses. There are several teachers involved.
The study method, for those of you who are research geeks, this is quasi-experimental design. We use propensity score matching to balance the control and treatment groups. So we're really getting oranges to oranges comparisons and apples to oranges comparisons. And we looked at a number of things. We looked at the completion rate for students. We looked at the percentage of students receiving a C or better. And we looked at that two different ways.
And we looked at the number of credits that they enrolled in this term and the number of credits they enrolled in in the next term because something that students will tell you anecdotally when you ask them, what did you do with the money that you saved from not having to buy a textbook in this class? They'll say things like, I took another class. So we wanted to try to suss that out.
And we controlled for a couple of covariates, like age, and gender, and race here. Here's the table from the article. The important thing here is that, in these columns on the right here, boxes in blue are boxes where students in the treatment group outperformed the students in the control group. So students using OER did statistically, significantly better than students using commercial textbooks.
The two red boxes at the top are from the one case where students using commercial materials outperformed students using OER. And then there are several cases that were non-significant where were the amount of learning was the same. And these columns across, if you can't read them, the first column is completion. The second is C or better, just as a binary measure of, did they receive a C or better, yes or no? And the final column is grade as a continuous variable kind of scaled from 0 to 4.
Also interestingly, in terms of credits taken, this is looking at courses that happened in the fall semester. You can see that students both in the fall and tracking those same students again later into winter term and comparing them with their peers who haven't been assigned OER in the fall semester, those students took more credits both in fall and in winter.
And our working theory currently is that some of them figured out that they had saved that money early enough to enroll in another course, and some of them didn't figure that out early enough, but the explanation of why this is true still needs a little digging. But nonetheless, students whose faculty assigned them OER took more credit than their peers whose faculty assigned them commercial textbooks.
Now this is probably the paper with the worst name ever in the history of academia. It really needs better-- this framework needs a better name. This is a way of thinking about the relationship between the cost of instructional materials and the academic performance of the students who use those materials.
So in any other part of your life, if you were buying a car, if you were buying a TV, if you were buying a stereo, you would assume that there is a relationship that isn't up and to the right relationship between cost and performance. A more expensive car is a nicer car. A more expensive stereo is going to have better sound. A more expensive TV is going to be a bigger TV and have more pixels and things like that. There's this common notion that you get what you pay for. And it's an intuition that we all have.
So what we wanted to look at was does this notion that you get what you pay for bear out in an educational context. And just kind of breaking things up into four quadrants here. The up and to the right hypothesis is that if I don't spend very much on instructional materials and I don't do very well on the class, I probably should have expected that. That makes me sad, but I'm not surprised.
If I'm required to spend a lot on a class, but I feel like I learn a lot in the class, then again, no surprise. I guess I'm happy about that. But if you ask me to spend a ton of money and I don't do very well, I don't learn very much, that makes me angry. And somehow if there is a way that I could not spend a lot of money, but I could actually still learn a lot, that would be awesome. So that's the framework.
Now Nicole mentioned very briefly the work that we did with Mercy College in New York. In that work, which was published in EDUCAUSE Review, Before they made the switch from commercial textbooks to OER, they're using a commercial bundle of the textbook and an online math practice system that cost about $175, and the pass rate in that class was 48%.
When we helped them make the switch to an open textbook and an open source online math practice system in place of that, we worked with them for about $5 a student to provide that service to them. And their pass rate over two years went up to 60%. And in the third year, actually, went up over 70%, which they just presented at EDUCAUSE last year.
So if you go back to the numbers from the first study I talked about with the 15,000 students, we went back through to all of the bookstores of all of the campuses online and went and found the cost of textbooks that students were assigned in these courses. And these are the data that the same kind of mad, sad, rad, glad data from the study I talked about a minute ago.
And what you'll see is there's no up and to the right here. Taken together the mean of this collection of people who are using OER at the bottom is actually slightly further to the right than the mean of the cluster of dots up above it even though there is greater variability in it. But on average, the students who are being assigned OER are learning more than the students who are being asked to pay $200, $225, $235 for a textbook. That's interesting.
Nicole showed this briefly. I want to touch on it again and invite you to go play at this website a little bit if this is the kind of thing that you think would be fun-- impact.lumenlearning.com. And this is an interactive calculator that on the left-hand side, there are a number of controls and you can grab those dots and drag the blue lines up and down.
And essentially what you'll see there is first, a set of institutional settings around how many students you think are going to make the transition from commercial textbooks to OER, what are they paying on average for textbooks currently? Things like what's the average drop rate, what percentage of students typically complete with a C or better-- just a chance for you to set up the initial environment to really reflect your institution, what's happening there.
And then down toward the bottom, there's a batch of research based settings where we've set defaults based on the findings and in our research and what we've published. And if you think those are too aggressive or too conservative, you can move those around as well. As you set all those, then sort of in real time on the right-hand side, you get a variety of graphs and plots that will show you things like how much money will students save, what will student success per dollar-- this mad, sad, glad, rad kind of chart down here look like.
What's the net financial impact on the institution? When we think about-- now I know that the LCC is a special case because you haven't had revenue from your bookstore in the past. But even after you take out revenue that you were getting from sales of textbooks in the bookstore, when you consider the extra tuition that students are paying because they're taking more credits than they were before and when you consider the amount of tuition that you're not refunding because you've lowered the drop rate in your courses, how far ahead do you come out financially as an institution by making this move?
So it's one of these rare things-- OER adoption is one of these rare things that is good for students, that both saves them money, and it is frequently associated with better outcomes for them-- the same outcomes, if not better outcomes. It increases academic freedom and pedagogical flexibility for the faculty member who makes that choice. And it's actually financially net positive for the institution. So that's just a couple of studies.
There's more if you go to open-- I should have put this link up, but if you go to openedgroup.org, that's our research group site-- openedgroup.org. Across the top, there's a tab that says Review, where my colleague John Hilton runs what we call the review project that collects and aggregates the research findings that everyone has done, not just ours, but all the research findings around the empirical impacts on student success, and finances, and things like that for faculty who make the switch. So OK, hopefully I've persuaded you that it's actually possible that using OER can be high impact. The question is how do you use OER in a high impact kind of way?
So I want to spend a minute and talk about three different models of OER adoption. And Nicole Allen was on me this morning saying, these need to start with different letters. They can't all be Rs. So point taken. I have to work on that, but for now, call these three types of adoption replace, realign, and rethink.
So replace is where you say, oh, I was using this book. Now I'm going to use that book instead-- simple substitution. Realigned is where you say, what are the actual learning objectives, or learning outcomes, or whatever the language is. I don't want to start a religious war on your campus. What are those things on your syllabus that indicate these are the goals of what we want students to learn.
And instead of going and just choosing monolithically like all of this or all of that, for each individual outcome, look and say, what's the best OER that would support learning that outcome? Now what's the best OER that would support learning this outcome? And use the objectives or use the outcomes on your syllabus as the table of contents for your own textbook replacement. And then Rethink really gets into open pedagogy, and that takes a little more saying.
Now, I want to strike the right balance and I want to strike the right tone about Replace. Replace is so much, infinitely better for your students, than what is likely, currently happening with $100, 150, $200 textbook.
I don't want to-- I don't want you to think that Replace is bad. But I do want to help you see that there is something beyond that. That's not the final aspiration. I think of Replace as going to the buffet, and saying, you know what, I know I like beef and broccoli. I'm just going to have beef and broccoli. And filling up your plate with beef broccoli and then eating that, and leaving.
Like, there's all these other things you could have had. All this other stuff you could have done, but there's nothing wrong with beef and broccoli. If that's what you like and that's what you're comfortable with, and that's what you've always eaten, great. But next time you go back to the buffet, try the General Tso, you know? Try the Kung Pao, try-- there's more there that you could try.
Realign, I think-- and realign is where we do most of our work. Working with faculty on this Realign process. Trying to find the right metaphor to think about Realign. And I think this is a pretty interesting one. Like furnishing your living room is a pretty interesting metaphor for Realign, because you can get a catalog. And you can see like, look, here's one already done. Like that one, take it. You don't like that one, pull that table out, change that wallpaper.
There are 12 outcomes you need to cover in your course. There's wallpaper, there's couch, there's table, there's vases, whatever. If you don't like the one that's there, pick another one and put it in, because it's open. I've seen people look at, like, an open textbook and say, oh that's really close to what I want, but not quite. So I guess I'll have to use something else. No! The point of open, is you just change it to make it be the thing that you wanted it to be. If you hate that table, just get rid of the table. Right?
And so, as opposed to sending you out into the universe to say, go find a table, we've found that a more effective model is to say, here are nine tables that-- people typically like one of these. Like, start here. If you don't like one of these, there's a whole universe of tables we can go look at. But like, here's nine nice ones. Pick one of these.
Rethink. Rethink is really about asking the question. The idea of open pedagogy is about asking the question, what is it that I can do, if I assume that all the materials in my class are open? What kinds of things pedagogically, can I do now, that I couldn't do before. It turns out there's actually a broad range of answers to this question. So first, let me give this example of disposable assignments. I love this example.
So disposable assignments are assignments that students hate doing and that you hate grading. And that add no value to the world. And the reason they call them disposable, is because there's a tacit understanding between you and the students that they'll do them, you'll mark them, and then they'll throw them away. Right?
And I have no sympathy for students at finals time, who come in and want to complain about finals. And I tell them, well think about grading a hundred of them. You want to take one, or you want to grade 100? You know, I'll trade you happily, any time. Yeah. Moving on.
So the opposite of a disposable assignment is a renewable assignment. And a renewable assignment is an assignment that a student actually sees value in doing. Because there is value in it, you actually don't mind grading it. And when all is said and done, you've actually added value to the world. So what does that look like? So let me give a couple of quick examples.
One of my all time, favorite assignments-- this is in a class on social media and learning. --Is I have what I call, my Kung Fu assignment. And the Kung Fu assignment is for students to go find old public domain footage somewhere, and pull that together in a context where they use that old public domain footage to teach about some of the social media that we're talking about.
And the reason I call it the Kung Fu assignment is-- if you've ever watched any-- particularly the old, the really good Kung Fu movies. You know that their mouth is never quite in sync with the sound that's coming out.
You know the-- it never works. So the Kung Fu assignment is for them to do bad overdubs over top of these videos. Where they add their own audio to the video, but they use the video as the kind of frame for what they're talking about. And just brilliant stuff comes out of these assignments. They're so fun. This is my favorite one of all time. This is blogs versus wikis, and it's couched as a debate between Nixon and Kennedy.
And it's only four or five minutes long. But if you just search for Blogs Versus Wikis on Google, it will be the top result that you'll find. And what the students in this team did, was they wrote-- they rewrote the debate. And of course, they're picking judiciously. Like, which shots they want and which pieces of the video they're using.
But Kennedy of course, is all about Wikis. And all about how open they are, and how they provide opportunity. And Nixon is all about blogs, because blogs are more controlled. You can control who has access to which information. You can delete comments that people make that you don't like.
And so Nixon has the Watergate blog that he shows, here. And Kennedy keeps talking about the Wiki. The most-- like, one of the most amazing things I have ever heard. At the end, as Kennedy is wrapping up and then they've got this bad-- this cheesy applause track going in the background, and Kennedy-- Now think about Wikis for a minute. Think about wikis for a minute.
What is Kennedy going to say? Kennedy says, ask not what your Wiki can do for you, but what you can do for your Wiki. Right? And it so perfectly captures what's different about Wikis and blogs. So students did this project, they turned it in. We worked on it, we kicked it back and forth. This was a homework assignment for a class-- that when I made this screenshot, has been viewed 52,000 times.
Now not all of them are this good, and not all of them get viewed that many times. But instead of having them write an essay about compare and contrast blogs and wikis in five pages, or less. Or a minimum of three pages, or however you do your assignments. This is an assignment that they knew other people would potentially see. And they knew that students in the class next year, might actually be assigned to go watch it as part of the section on blogs, or on Wikis.
And so they have a different feeling and a different kind of attitude about their work. And this is only possible, because this old footage is in the public domain. It's not completely copyrighted. So they can go make copies of it, they can retain it. And then they can revise and remix it, adding in cheesy applause soundtracks from other places, overdubbing their own video on top of it. It's the kind of thing that's only possible in the context of open. And man, students love doing it.
Nicole already talked about this example of project management for instructional designers. But again, you know that-- and I was guilty. I was guilty on this. I was complaining to a colleague about this class that I teach, Project Management for Instructional Designers. There's no textbook. There is this one open textbook, but it's like project management for business people. And it's so close to what I need, but it's not what I need. And I don't know what I'm going to do, and Gideon just, like, backhanded me. Bang.
Make it the book you-- it's open. Make the changes to it that need to be made. And so as I meditated on that and on how lazy I am, simultaneously. I realized that what needed to happen, was that students needed to make the revisions to this book, not me. And in the same-- And this is a couple of years after the Kung Fu assignment-- some of these other assignments. But, man. Over the years, students have done completely crazy things to this book.
It now really is a book about Project Management for Instructional Designers. Where before, it was just a project management book, targeted kind of toward business school people. So you know, I pull students together in small groups and they can propose what kind of change they want to make, and we'll negotiate that some. And then they're responsible for making those changes over the term.
But like, one of the very first changes was, a group went through and found all the little-- in textbooks, there are little boxes that maybe have a yellow background, or a blue background, that presents some kind of case study. And in this book originally, all the case studies were like, you have to get so many hundreds of tons of rebar and so much concrete to Singapore. And ones coming from here, and the-- it's like, oh my gosh. I'm sure somebody cares about that example deeply. I don't, my students don't.
And so they-- one group went through and took each of those yellow boxes and rewrote it, turned it into a completely different example. And you will find that the understanding that a student has to have to write an effective example in a context like that, shows a much deeper understanding than they have to have to pass a typical quiz. The kind of unit quiz about these things.
So they've done things like that. They've gone out, they've found practicing project managers who work in the instructional design field. I had one group that was really into video, that went out and found three different practicing project managers in the discipline and shot a series of three, to five minute videos with them. Where they asked them one question related to each chapter topic.
And so at the top of each chapter-- Now, when you go in, there are these three videos with people telling their story about how their failure to manage people effectively, blew a project up at some point in the past, for example. The one last example I'll give, is one of the things I do-- this is not a class that many students come to really excited about. But they know that there's probably some kind of future employability benefit to them, if they take it,
And when I share with them the fact, that there's this thing called the project management certified professional certificate, that can be earned by project managers. And that the mean salary for somebody with that certification is $106,000. They all sit up and say, well, that sounds very interesting. Like, how do I earn that certificate?
And so one group of students went to the library and found all the test prep books that were written to get you ready to do that work. Actually, I think we might-- I think I might have bought one or two of them, because they didn't have them in the library. But we got those books together and they looked at what's the typical approach to helping someone prepare for this exam. And then they realigned the content in this book, so that now this book can be used to prepare for that exam.
And so at the beginning of each chapter, now we can open it up. It says the chapter name, is this, but it really maps in the PMP. It maps to these sections and there are typically this many questions on the exam that cover this material. And like, here's how you use it to get ready. So awesome, awesome stuff.
And for me, it's not like grading papers anymore, right? Now I'm like, editing a contributed book, where the students are actually producing something that someone else is going to use. And I see a reason to spend some time, thoughtfully editing it. And we go back and forth. And it's really fun.
I'm to the point now, when I teach this class, I come in on the first day and I tell students, congratulations, you've all just earned an A in this class. And now you're playing for reputation among your peers. And they all say, what does that mean? But every week, each group has to stand up and report to everyone else in the class. How they're doing, where they are, what progress they've made.
And at the end of the semester, when you ask students the question, was your grade in this class ever in doubt? Then they'll say, well no, you told us at the beginning we were all going to get an A. Then you ask them, was there any class you took this semester that you work harder in, than you worked in this class? Then they realize that they've been hoodwinked, somehow. Wait a minute, I worked way more in this class than I did in any other-- wait, what?
And they can't understand-- they can't wrap their head around-- because they're so used to playing the game for grades. That when you give them the opportunity to do something meaningful-- oh, my gosh. It is such a breath of fresh air to them, and to you. It really energizes me as a faculty member, as well. So this has been a super fun kind of ongoing experiment for me. But again, can only happen because the textbook has a Creative Commons license on it. If this were a commercial textbook, it would be so illegal, all the things that we were doing. It's only possible, because it's open.
I've said enough about examples. I talked too much about PM Friday. So again, the point here is that renewable assignments are only possible because of the open nature of what OER. So you know, this is a working hypothesis that my research group has-- still with my BYU hat on.
Because this is what we've seen over this handful of studies that we've done. That when you look at the change in student outcomes, that there's typically no significant difference or small difference in student outcomes, when you make a Replace. When you do a straight substitution. Realign gets you better outcomes and it gets students-- you already know that students say, sometimes, the wittiest and most enjoyable things to read on those end of semester bubble sheets that they fill out about how great your class was.
But it's both amazing and wonderful, and so disappointing and depressing. When after you go through the Realigned process, then it's very typical for a student to write something in the free response part of that form that says something like, my teacher talked in class about the same things we read about. That was really nice. Like what was happening before. I'm not sure what was happening before. Knocked my water bottle off there.
But students-- I mean even unprompted-- they filled this thing out 50 times in their life, you hand it out to them. Students can see and they can tell, and they can feel that there's actually been alignment done between what they're assigned to read, and what you wanted to talk about in class. It's really amazing. And then of course, the biggest impact of all comes when you engage in this Rethink sort of process.
So that's improving student success part of high impact OER adoption. The idea that it improves affordability-- again, this is the only slide. This is duh. It's free, instead of costing $150, or $200, or however much it costs. Or it's very low cost. I'll talk about that in a second. The final idea I want to touch on, and again, Nicole foreshadowed this really effectively for me, is doing it at scale.
And doing it at scale is-- in some ways the most interesting way to think about doing it at scale, is taking OER-- not kind of a lone wolf faculty member saying, this is awesome, I'm going to adopt OER. And that's great when you do. And when the student shows up in your class and finds out there's no textbook cost, it makes their day. And they're super excited and happy, and that's awesome.
But when you can take all the courses in a degree program, the required courses. And a sufficient number of the elective courses that a student can work their way through the entire degree, without ever having to buy a textbook. Now, it's not like extra whip cream on my pumpkin pie, like a nice surprise. Now, it's something that I can say, you know what, I'm going to go to that school instead of this one. Because I know already it's going to be 25% cheaper to graduate from there, than it is from here.
It's something they can plan for. It's something they can budget against. It gives them-- it gives them that kind of reliability and predictability that they don't typically get. Again, I'm ahead of my slide, sorry. So the OER based degree is when you have enough elective courses and all the required courses that a student can graduate, without ever buying a textbook.
So the first example of this, of course, is the Z degree at Tidewater in Virginia. Which is a business administration degree. But since then, there have been multiple others. You'll hear from a couple of them later today. So Preston's-- it's a general studies associates at Nova. And Quills is a-- it's also general studies at Pierce.
There are probably 25, 30 institutions around the country, either who have already rolled one out, or are actively working on this idea of an OER based textbook pro-- OER based degree program. One other one-- so we worked with Tidewater on theirs, when they rolled that out. And we're also working now, on an initiative with the Virginia Community College system, that they call Z by 23, which is trying to get at least one OER based degree program at each community college in the state.
So the chancellor put some funding into this, they receive some grant money from the Hewlett Foundation, as well. And really, really trying to do it at scale, trying to do it across. There's 23 schools in the system, there are 16 who are actively participating right now. This has been a really interesting process, but for the sake of time, I think I'm going to scoot across all of it, possibly. Except this one slide here.
In terms of-- so Lumen was contracted as the technical assistance provider on this program. And in some ways, kind of the most interesting thing that we did, after all the webinars and all the faculty training. And standing over people's shoulders in computer labs, and helping them understand how things work, was what we call the OER tab. The OER courses tab.
So Virginia is an interesting situation, where the state office, the VCCS-- the system runs a central instance of Blackboard that serves all the schools in the system. Centrally hosted, centrally managed. And so we worked with them to do an integration, where now, regardless of which school you're at in the state of Virginia, when you first log onto your Blackboard, you see this OER courses tab at the top. And when you click on it, there's this catalog of-- I don't know, I think it's 65-- something courses.
That you can click on the blackboard preview link, and you can see what it looks like in Blackboard. And if you like it, you push another button and it makes a copy for you. And now you can teach your OER based class, about three minutes after you started previewing it, or something like that. So this idea that adoption-- that initial adoption process, now.
After you've made that copy, you want to go through and make sure you like the couch, and you like the wallpaper. And you like the vase, and you like the rug, and whatever else. But that idea that you can-- we can make it so easy and so fast, to get all the content inside your learning management system. So then you can tweak it, and do whatever you want to do with it, but your students don't have to go somewhere else. They don't have another password they have to remember, something like that.
This has been great, because what we've been seeing is, in addition to the people who are formally participating in the Z by 23 program, there are tons of other faculty who log into Blackboard. They're like, what's that? Click. They read a little bit about it, they scroll down through it. And so there's lots of organic adoption of OER that's happening this way, that's kind of supplementing and supporting the degree programs.
I'm going to go really quickly through this too, because I want to make sure we have some time for Q&A. But this integration work is done on top of-- So in addition to providing a lot of support for faculty, and for academic leaders who are trying to make this transition from commercial textbooks to OER-- Lumen also does platform work.
So we have an Open-source platform, as well. That you know, does a number of different things. But it's mainly around enabling the five R's. Letting you drag and drop chapters around. Letting you go into a single page and delete words, add words, add new pictures. Whatever you want to do.
Enabling collaborative editing, where multiple faculty can work together on a single book. And doing version control for all of that, so that you can see what changes your colleague made from here to there. And you can roll back, if you need to roll back. When you do-- you'll hear more detail this afternoon, about the Creative Commons licenses. And there are several of them. But one thing that all of them have in common, is that they require you to attribute whoever it is that you've got the OER from that you're using. You need to provide a citation list.
And so citation attribution management is another thing that it does. And LMS integration, and all this kind of stuff. So I had some screenshots here, I don't know that they're super interesting. Kind of the back end of the platform. Like the revision list of all the changes people have made. Or the attribution management piece of it, and how that gets rendered at the bottom of every page, kind of automatically.
And here's what it looks like when it's inside Canvas. But the interesting thing about it, is that the platform is Open-source So you can go to GitHub, you can download it, and you can run it yourself. It's all based on WordPress, and then it's additional work.
We've done a significant amount of work on top of WordPress. Writing-- creating new functionality for it, and things like that. And everybody always asks how does Lumen keep the lights on, if all the content is OER and your platform is Open-source? Like, what's the catch? And there's no catch. It's just, if you don't want to run the platform yourself, then we'll run it and support it, and train your faculty, and things like that for $5 a student. That's the model.
So in summary, I think this idea of high impact OER are adoption is really interesting. And I hope I've persuaded you that OER adoption can be high impact, because it can improve student outcomes. It can save them money, at the same time. And it can be done at scale both at a degree program inside a single institution, but also kind of collaboratively with multiple institutions in a system, working together. That's the end. And I think we have, kind of, ten-ish minutes for Q and A. Thank you.