The OPEN VIRGINIA ADVISORY COMMITTEE originates from language in the Appropriation Act that states that “[t]he Executive Director, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, may appoint an advisory committee to assist the council with technology-enriched learning initiatives.” Such a committee was constituted in 2005 as the Learning Technology Advisory Committee or LTAC, but has since become moribund. The proposed action to convene a new committee, the Open Virginia Advisory Committee, pursuant to the budget bill authorization, will effectively sunset the LTAC.
In support of SCHEV’s Statewide Strategic Plan for Higher Education, the Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC) will make recommendations to Council regarding initiatives and policies that may facilitate the adoption of open educational resources and instructional technology by the public institutions. The committee’s work will support the following Strategic Plan goals and associated strategies:
Goal 1: Provide affordable access for all
- Strategy 1.3: Cultivate affordable postsecondary pathways for traditional, non traditional and returning students.
Goal 2: Optimize student success for work and life
- Strategy 2.2: Provide effective academic and student services infrastructures focused on persistence and completion;
- Strategy 2.3: Increase on-time completion of certificates and degrees.
Goal 3: Drive change and improvement through innovation and investment
- Strategy 3.2: Cultivate innovations that enrich quality, promote collaboration and improve efficiency.
In addition, the committee will organize events such as workshops and conferences to facilitate inter-institutional networking and the sharing of best practices. The committee will serve as a network of experts with whom SCHEV staff can consult regarding issues related to instructional technology and affordable educational resources.
The committee will consist of one representative from each public four-year institution. Community college representation: pending consultation with VCCS.
Mission and Work Plan
At its first official meeting, the committee will vote for a Chair or Co-Chairs, and determine the appropriate term of service. A mission statement will be crafted which will align with the purpose set forth above. The committee will then establish a work plan, schedule future meetings, and assign tasks to members or subcommittees.
(1)Budget Bill Item 142 G. The language further provides, “[t]he advisory committee may assist the council in (i) developing innovative, cost-effective, technology-enriched teaching and learning initiatives, including distance and distributed learning initiatives; (ii) improving cooperation among and between the public and private institutions of higher education in the Commonwealth; (iii) improving efficiency and expand the availability of technology-enriched courses; and (iv) facilitating the sharing of research and experience to improve student learning.
(2) The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines open educational resources (OER) as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”