A College of the Canyons dean has received an excellence award for his work on open educational resources (OER) which provide free or reduced cost textbooks, officials said.
For his exceptional contributions to advancing open education around the world, James Glapa-Grossklag, Dean of Learning Resources at College of the Canyons, received the President’s Award for Excellence at the 2019 Open Education Global Conference, according to COC officials.
“Receiving this was a real surprise,” said Glapa-Grossklag, who is also a former President of the Open Education Consortium (OEC). “I’m especially honored because this award has been given only twice before.”
His efforts to expand OER offering at the college have yielded tremendous results. At COC, free OER textbooks are used instead of commercial textbooks in hundreds of courses, saving students more than $4 million in textbook costs last year, according to the college.
During the spring 2020 semester, students can find 340 class sections that use OER materials instead of commercial textbooks.
“I wish to congratulate James on this tremendous achievement and well-deserved award,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “COC has always been at the forefront of OER innovation and that can be largely credited to James’s vision and passion to remove textbook costs as a barrier to a high-quality education.”
Glapa-Grossklag was recognized at the OEC’s annual conference held in Milan, Italy last month, according to COC officials.
“OEC is honored to present this prestigious President’s Award recognizing James for being instrumental in advancing open education around the world through his exceptional dedication, outstanding contribution, and exemplary service,” said the non-profit organization in a press release.
In addition, Glapa-Grossklag received the Best Open Course in the World award for “Zero Textbook Cost Pathways: OER & Equity,” a course that explores the fundamental connections between Equity, OER, Guided Pathways, and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC). Glapa-Grossklag developed the course as part of the CCC ZTC program with Aloha Sargent, a Cabrillo College librarian.
Highlighting the role that students play in advancing OER at the college, Trudi Radtke—COC alumna and current short-term employee—was one of the conference’s opening keynote speakers, along with students from Italy and Germany.
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