The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER Adoption
A growing body of research confirms the financial and academic benefits that accrue to students whose faculty adopt open educational resources, or OER. While there are no content licensing costs associated with using OER, there are several real costs that must be incurred by an institution that chooses to support its faculty in adopting OER. The Z-Degree initiative at Tidewater Community College utilizes only OER for the 21 courses, providing a pathway for students to earn an associate of science degree in business administration without ever buying a textbook. The authors introduce and illustrate the INTRO (INcreased Tuition Revenue through OER) model for sustaining the provision of OER adoption services. The adoption of OER as part of the Z-Degree decreases drop rates among Tidewater students, allowing the institution to retain tuition revenue it would otherwise have refunded. This retained revenue provides a renewable source of funds to sustainably support the adoption of OER.