The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) on Dec. 11 announced its launch of OPEN Attribution Builder. The application helps Open Educational Resources (OER) users properly cite their sources, making the OER more user-friendly. The goal behind OER is to make high quality materials easily available to students and instructors at a much lower cost than that of published textbooks and other classroom materials.
“We’ve found that confusion over attribution and licensing is a pain point for many in our system who otherwise want to take advantage of OER,” said Mark Jenkins, SBCTC director for eLearning and open education. “OPEN Attribution Builder Maker solves problems for them by eliminating a barrier to using OER easily and correctly. It’s an important tool in our effort to make teaching with OER an easy choice for our faculty — and for their colleagues across the US and beyond.”
OPEN Attribution Builder, part of SBCTC’s OPEN Washington site which launched in July, is part of SBCTC’s effort to increase the availability of free and low-cost educational materials to students and instructors. By simplifying the attribution process, open source advocates hope to see an increase of open source material adoption in the classroom.
Many of the resources on OPEN Washington — like other OER — are released under open licenses offered by the nonprofit Creative Commons. Under the terms of license, users are required to properly cite the author and licensor.
Through the OPEN Attribution Builder and its parent site, OPEN Washington, SBCTC continues to find ways to help reduce costs for students enrolled in Washington’s community and technical colleges. SBCTC and college faculty built and launched in the 2013 the Open Course Library, a collection of open source materials for 81 of the highest-enrolled courses throughout the community and technical colleges. The initiative was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Washington state Legislature. SBCTC also established an “open” policy to ensure materials of public and grant-funded projects at community and technical colleges are open source and available to any user.