OER as Retention Initiative

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Media Outlet: Inside Higher Ed

“Free community college” would require major legal and financial changes, as well as some unusually farsighted political leadership. Free textbooks just require a little ingenuity. We can do this. Open Educational Resources are free (or nearly free) alternatives to commercially produced instructional materials, such as textbooks or lab manuals. They’re often supported with foundation funding, with the goal of reducing economic barriers for students. Typically they’re in electronic form, though sometimes it’s possible to get hardcopy versions for only the cost of printing.

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Lindsey Tepe is a senior policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the Learning Technologies project and PreK-12 team, where she focuses primarily on innovation and new technologies in public schools.