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Open Educational Resources: AB 798 Grant Info

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are course materials that are legally available on the internet for anyone to use, edit and distribute.

AB 798 Textbook Affordability Grant

What is AB 798?

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

SB 1359

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.

Grant Reporting

To apply for and receive funding for participating in the AB 798 Round 2 OER/Textbook Affordability Grant, please complete the Grant Reporting form:

AB 798 FAQs

What are the expectations and criteria for participating in the grant?

  • Attend professional development opportunities for the development of OERs
  • Research resources available on a variety of OER sites, such as the cool4ed site
  • Take the lead to work with librarians and other college staff to curate OER options
  • Develop a course section that achieves a minimum 30% savings in textbooks and course materials that runs for the first time in Summer 2018 through Spring 2020
  • As appropriate, participate in college workshops to disseminate best practices and results of their research and development

What kinds of activities am I expected to engage in as I work to adopt OERs?

  • Achieve 30% savings on traditional course materials by replacing at least one textbook with an OER
  • Courses with higher number of sections will be prioritized
  • Must participate in OER PD
  • Must complete AB 798 OER Grant Reporting Form
  • Document up to 33.3 hours outside of normally-scheduled contract work hours locating, curating, reviewing, evaluating OERs and adapting course assignments, quizzes, exams, discussion forums, etc. to align to new OER
  • Cannot be used for instructor-created OER (must adopt a currently-existing OER)
  • Can use any CC-licensed work or work in the Public Domain
  • Can also include library resources (they’re free, but not OER/openly-licensed)
  • Goal is zero cost
  • Goal is z-degree (all courses for a degree pathway, including GE courses)

What kinds of professional development can I participate in to support the OER adoption process?

  • ASCCC OER webinars
  • CCCOER webinars
  • OER conferences
  • OER podcasts (SUNY OER Stories)
  • CC PD events
    • Leading or attending Lunch-n-Learns
    • Adopting OERs in Faculty Enlight
    • Reporting OER adoption to deans to support AB 1359 compliance
    • Participating in or leading flex events
    • Working 1-on-1 with librarian
    • Reviewing CC LibGuides to support OER curation
    • Evaluating OERs
    • Time spent completing AB 798 OER Grant Reporting Form

What course materials can be used in a course section to reduce costs by at least 30% from the previous term?

  • FREE Public Domain
  • FREE Open Educational Resources – with Creative Commons licenses or under acceptable use policies and fair use policy
  • FREE to students library materials that are properly licensed by the institution AND all students in the course have concurrent access to use for the entire term of the course
  • As defined in AB 798: “Open educational resources include, but are not limited to, full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, faculty-created content, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”


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Sharlene Paxton
3000 College Heights Blvd., Ridgecrest, CA 93555