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Open Educational Resources (OER): OER @ NOVA

This guide is maintained by NOVA librarians to assist faculty with OER initiatives and sources to locate OER materials. If you have questions or comments, please contact

Student Perspective: Textbooks & OER

Having access to required textbooks is crucial to student success in a course, so we hit the halls to find out how much students spent this semester.


Northern Virginia Community College was selected to be a part of a Virginia consortium of six community colleges for the Open Educational Resources (OER) Degree Initiative which, "seeks to boost college access and completion, particularly for underserved students, by engaging faculty in the redesign of courses and degree programs through the replacement of proprietary textbooks with open educational resources.  Over the next three years, the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative will lay the groundwork for nationwide adoption of OER Degrees."  Achieving the Dream



"NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) and Lumen Learning have teamed up to make these “zELI” courses and degree pathways broadly available to the education community. These courses fulfill all requirements for NOVA Associate’s degrees in General Studies and Social Sciences. Published with open, Creative Commons licenses, anyone can freely use, revise, remix and repurpose the courses." 

An article from EdTech@VCCS can be found here.

The Z x 23 Project is a one-year grant to support the VCCS’s long-term goal of scaling Z-Degrees to all 23 VCCS colleges. The $200,000 grant from The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, combined with matching funds from Chancellor DuBois and the System Office, will be used to fund, support, and train faculty and staff at up to fifteen Virginia community colleges interested in building Z-Degrees. An initial cohort of six VCCS colleges will work through the summer. A second cohort will begin work in early fall 2015. Each cohort will pilot the open courses in the semesters subsequent to course development. Lumen Learning will work closely with faculty and staff at participating colleges to help build these pathways, host courses in Blackboard Learn, and evaluate the outcomes of the pilots.

Full article from EdTech@the VCCS can be found here.

NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) was honored as runner-up for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) Excellence in Education Award for Best Practices in Teaching Face-To-Face, Online and Student Success at New Horizons 2015.

Dr. Preston Davis was recognized for leading NOVA’s Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative through ELI’s Digital Open project. The Digital Open initiative at NOVA addresses the need for increased access to affordable higher education through the innovative use of free digital materials and OER in online courses across the curriculum. NOVA’s nationally recognized OER Digital Open project was launched in 2013. With the help of dedicated faculty and staff across NOVA, the project has quickly grown into two full textbook-free associate degree tracks offered online through ELI.

Full article from Intercom: NOVA's Weekly Online Newsletter, can be found here.

This video was published by WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) (2:30) to highlight NOVA's OER-based Associate Degree Project as a winner of a 2014 WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award.  

The WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award recognizes outstanding efforts by member institutions and organizations in applying an innovative, technology-based solution to a challenging educational need. Works nominated for WCET Outstanding Work award:

  • address a significant need or problem in higher education.
  • incorporate creative and/or innovative uses of technology or resources.
  • demonstrate a positive impact towards addressing need.
  • represent a significant contribution to the field of technology-enhanced postsecondary education.
  • can be adapted or used as a model for others.

Excerpt from 

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