An equitable path forward
With the high costs of higher education a top concern of students (not to mention their families), open educational resources (OER) have emerged as a foundational strategy for improving student equity and college affordability.
OER play a key role in AAC&U’s mission of democratizing higher education. Faculty and students can use, customize, and share these free educational materials, from single lessons to entire textbooks, regardless of the size and type of institution.
But affordability is only one benefit of adopting and implementing OER in higher ed settings. AAC&U has partnered with members in advocating for ways to use OER as a lever to develop more equitable, inclusive, and diverse classrooms. Successful OER initiatives do not need to be massive, resource-intensive, or exhaustive. They do, however, require strategic planning, targeted approaches, collaborative leadership, and goal-oriented advocates. AAC&U’s Office of Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation (OCPI) has a variety of programming and events available to support our members in such efforts.
Open educational resources (OER), such as textbooks freely available through an open license, help narrow performance gaps, reduce failure rates, and level the academic playing field. Through the yearlong online Institute on OER, participating teams gain the skills needed to design, launch, expand, and hasten their own campus OER plans for large-scale engagement and adoption. Teams interact with expert consultants and participate in regular webinars and planning sessions.