B-CU Invited to Host Inaugural HBCU Forum Focused on Open Education Resources -Affordable Learning Solutions
30 HBCUs to Attend On-Campus Forum
“The unfortunate reality is that students all over the county are having to choose between buying a book or food and basic living necessities. B-CU is strategically addressing this issue head on." -Dean Arlethia Mc Swain, Dean B-CU Global Online
This year’s HBCU Open Education Resources (OER) Forum will host 30 HBCUs that were selected to participate in a pilot grant for assisting faculty and students — both online and onsite — with Open Education Resources (OER) 'Affordable Learning Solutions'. These model HBCU’s will present and share their AL$ strategies and outcomes, along with other online education initiatives that emerge as priorities for HBCU’s.
The Forum will be held on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU). Participants will then take advantage of attending the Online Learning Consortium Accelerate International Conference which is November 13-16, 2018, in Orlando. B-CU serves as a role model for the HBCU OER Pilot Project. B-CU’s strategic goals and campus implementation plans have been ranked as three of the top models for making education affordable at HBCUs. http://www.becool4ed.org/
Dean of B-CU Global Online Arletha McSwain, is serving as the principal investigator of the grant attained through the California State University’s Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) in partnership with Tennessee State University, the lead agency for coordinating the selected HBCU Pilots for 2018-2019, with grant awards from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support HBCUs.
“We look forward to reviewing the data so the we can make research-based and student-oriented decisions for the Spring 2019 semester,” said McSwain.
In addition to the grant award, B-CU received from Tennessee State University, B-CU Global Online College received a Title III award, which provided professional development activities for 39 online faculty to redesign all general education core courses and the courses required for the Spring 2019 MBA online degree using OER. A total of 54 courses will be redesigned.
The implementation of OER has implications for increasing accessibility, affordability, retention, and completion which are essential key performance indicators. B-CU continues to pursue ways to enhance student and faculty success. As such, the partnership with OER- Open Education Resources, Tennessee State University (TSU) and California State University (CSU) will allow B-CU students to expand their access to learning materials online, which will reduce their textbook costs. Faculty will be able to augment their class materials and customize lectures with innovative virtual resources. By reducing student course material expenses, more students acquire the course materials they need to succeed and benefit from their learning experience.
Hosting the OER Forum and HBCUs aligns with the University’s Strategic Goals for Promoting Student Success, Increasing Access and Opportunity and Enhancing the Academic Enterprise. OER is valuable to all students in all disciplines and affords them the ability to acquire a multitude of resources needed to be successful in their coursework thus enhancing their B-CU learning experience. It also enables faculty to share and be recognized for best practices, quality teaching and efforts to reduce student costs by using free or low-cost digital and print content in their B-CU courses.
“This event will provide a great opportunity for a meeting of the minds who are exploring educational modalities that will enhance student knowledge while relieving the cost of an education,” said B-CU Interim President Hubert Grimes who will provide the HBCU keynote.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.