Breaking Down Barriers with an Interactive, Accessible, Culturally Responsive Open Education Resource (OER) for Geology of California Courses
The adoption of OER has been shown to reduce student textbook costs. Yet most geoscience courses taught at California community colleges lack OER, creating unnecessary barriers for students. Geoscience educators identified C-ID GEOL 200 Geology of California as one of those courses. Many Geology of California courses have historically used instructor-created materials and/or one of two traditional textbooks: California's Amazing Geology by Donald R. Prothero or California Geology by Deborah Harden, both of which can be purchased for ~$60 and would not be considered either Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) or Low Textbook Cost (LTC).
With support from the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI) our team of geoscience educators from across California will produce a freely available, online, interactive, culturally responsive OER to support Geology of California. The OER will include interactive H5P formative assessments throughout (e.g. flashcards, drag-and-drop, hotspot etc). Students will be able to further interact with the content via embedded 3D models (e.g. Sketchfab models of rocks and minerals) and Virtual Field Experiences (e.g. 360º photosphere tours that can be viewed either on a laptop, tablet, or phone or in virtual reality). This OER will be developed with IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) principles and culturally responsive pedagogy at its forefront. The final product will be hosted on LibreTexts, a platform with robust remixing capabilities, and will be ready for adoption and adaptation in late spring 2024.
The potential impact of this OER is significant: Approximately 71% of California Community Colleges offer degrees in Geology. Potentially all of these institutions could offer Geology of California. Furthermore, Geology of California is taught at CSUs and UCs statewide. Our vision for this OER is that it will be adopted at both 2- and 4-year institutions.