SLCC math department wins national award for OER efforts

Salt Lake Community College’s mathematics department won the Digital Learning Innovation award from the Online Learning Consortium, presented Nov. 13 during the annual OLC Accelerate Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The award, which includes $100,000, recognizes efforts by SLCC’s math department and the college’s Faculty Development and Educational Initiatives office to incorporate free online educational resources (OER) into the school’s math curriculum. OER materials are online learning resources that can be legally and freely downloaded, edited and shared. SLCC’s OER initiative is dubbed OPEN SLCC.

The mathematics department combined OER materials with lesson plans and tutorials provided by Lumen Learning to revise its educational pathways. Math pathways is a learning system designed to help students match their degree goals while significantly increasing their quantitative literacy achievement rates.

“With the integration of OER into our learning management system, students have immediate access to learning materials from the first day of class,” said mathematics department Associate Dean Suzanne Mozdy.

The math department leads SLCC’s OER efforts with nearly 1,400 lesson sections that use free online resources through OPEN SLCC. Collegewide, about 92,000 SLCC students have saved nearly $8 million using OPEN SLCC since fall 2014.

“SLCC is proud to be viewed as a national leader in the OER arena,” said Jason Pickavance, director of SLCC’s Faculty Development and Educational Initiatives office. “Our aim is to always promote inclusive and equitable access to learning materials, helping make college more affordable and accessible to all.”