Recognizing the importance of general studies courses and the disconnect that online learners often feel the course was designed to simultaneously promote content learning; introduce students to all the professors in the department; foster excitement about the discipline; and help distance students feel more intimately connected to the academic department. An effective department-wide, collaborative course development process requires culture-building surrounding spirit of online education, policy regarding course “ownership”, issues surrounding compensation, and guidance for faculty that lack experience in online teaching and learning.
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The implementation of OER provides tremendous cost savings to students, faculty, and institutions. By erasing the financial burden of traditional textbooks, institutions allow more students to take more classes and to graduate on time, and faculty are better able to more effectively customize their course materials to fit specific student needs, increasing retention and student success.