2021–22 Institute on Open Educational Resources
The AAC&U Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER) is designed for campuses aspiring to launch or expand initiatives to develop or leverage free and affordable materials in teaching and learning contexts.
Kick-off - Virtual
A New Institute Model
In July 2021, AAC&U, with expertise and leadership from OpenStax and ISKME, is launching a new Institute on Open Educational Resources (OER). Utilizing a new institute model, the Institute on OER provides a year-long, online engagement opportunity for teams from campuses or state systems seeking to actualize an ambitious strategy to broaden campus engagement with and adoption of OER. This new model directly engages the OER Institute teams for a full year via virtual events and interactions as participants’ OER implementation and acceleration plans are put into practice.
Institute Purpose and Design
Open educational resources are educational materials, from single lessons to entire textbooks, that are free for faculty and students to use, customize, and share. They have been proven to be a viable affordability strategy for higher education, saving students—and often institutions—money. Providing all students with free materials on the first day of class also tends to level the academic playing field. Research on OER has demonstrated that performance gaps have been narrowed and failure and withdrawal rates have been reduced in some contexts. As a result, OER are emerging as both a quality and an equity strategy for higher education that should be considered by all colleges and universities as they develop and revise their student success initiatives.
Designed for educators seeking to launch, expand, or hasten campus adoption of free and affordable instructional materials, the Institute on OER will help teams of faculty, staff, and administrators design and implement a campus transformation strategy to accelerate campus OER plans for large scale engagement and adoption. Campuses and systems exploring OER for affordability, student success, or student learning purposes are among those ideally suited for the Institute. Additionally, the Institute represents an opportunity for a campus to develop formal collaborations between various units, such as libraries, academic affairs, and student affairs, in the service of student learning and success.
The inaugural Institute will begin with a kick-off event on July 26–27, 2021. Participating teams will engage in activities to facilitate the development of an OER implementation plan. This will include a cross-unit collaborative project to be implemented during the fall semester. Institute faculty will serve as partners for campus planning and project development. Campus teams can expect consultative opportunities to interact with the Institute’s faculty throughout the fall and spring terms as their plan is implemented and evolves. Monthly webinars and cross-institutional planning meetings will be hallmarks of the year-long Institute as well. In addition to the kick-off and monthly meetings, a day-long event will be held on Monday, December 6, 2021, in preparation for the spring semester. The Institute will conclude with a capstone closing event on July 25–26, 2022.
The application process for the 2021-2022 Institute on Open Educational Resources is now closed.
Who Should Attend?
The Institute on Open Educational Resources is designed for any campus, system office, or consortium aspiring to launch or expand initiatives to develop and leverage free and affordable materials in teaching and learning contexts. Attendees can be at any stage in the process of launching and contributing to OER work on their campus. Teams should include a diverse set of colleagues and may include a senior academic officer, faculty members, librarians, center for teaching and learning staff, learning technologies professionals, or student affairs leaders. Your team may also include assessment and curriculum specialists and others with active roles in advancing OER, curricular reform, course design, student learning, and student success on campus. Although not restricted, a typical team's minimum size would consist of five individuals.
For additional information on the Institute on Open Educational Resources, please contact C. Edward Watson at [email protected].