AB 798, the College Textbook Affordability Act, was enacted in 2015 as a means of accelerating the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OERs). The goal of AB 798 is to reduce the cost of textbooks by providing incentives to faculty members to replace costly, traditional publishers' textbooks with high-quality, free, openly-licensed resources. The bill specifies that "moneys for the program be used by campuses to create and support faculty and staff professional development, open educational resource curation activities, curriculum modification, or technology support for faculty, staff, and students." Research shows that reducing the cost of textbooks benefits student retention and completion, as students have access to course materials on the first day of class, and the savings from OER adoptions allow students to move their program more quickly when the overall cost of education has been reduced. Additionally, reducing the cost of education increases access and equity for students.
AB 798 funding is to be used for professional development that supports faculty OER adoptions that reduce the total cost of textbooks in course by at least 30%.
Funds cannot be used for the following:
Direct compensation for faculty members who adopt open educational resources, except as provided to compensate for professional development.
The development of MOOC's or online courses that include non-matriculated students.
The creation of new OER materials.
The purchase of new equipment.
Past curricular conversions to OER materials
The California Senate Bill SB 1359, which went into effect January 1, 2018, requires California Community Colleges "to identify in the online version of the campus course schedule its courses that exclusively use digital course materials, as specified, and communicate to students that the course materials for these courses are free of charge and therefore not required to be purchased." For this reason, it is important that you notify your Dean of Instruction or Dean of CTE when you have adopted OERs.
If you have any questions about OER or AB 798, please contact Sharlene Paxton.
What are the expectations and criteria for participating in the grant?
What kinds of activities am I expected to engage in as I work to adopt OERs?
What kinds of professional development can I participate in to support the OER adoption process?
What course materials can be used in a course section to reduce costs by at least 30% from the previous term?