Open Educational Resources (OER) are "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions" ( 2012 Paris OER Declaration, UNESCO, Paris, June 20-22,2012). Open Textbooks are a specific type of OER. They provide a free or low cost substitute for a traditional textbook.
Many faculty on campus have been using free resources in their courses for years, however the official “OER movement” on campus is relatively new. This movement was sparked by the FOAM student group’s work and a Colorado Department of Higher Education grant, which funded Mines $30,000 to create an OER incentive mini-grant program. The mini-grant program had three award levels, up to $500 for adopting an OER in a course, up to $2,000 for adapting an existing OER, and up to $5,000 for creating a new OER.
The first set of applications exceeded expectations. The Committee was initially limited to $25,000 to fund awards, however, Academic Affairs, Dr. Kevin Moore, and GSG contributed additional funds to this program to support more projects. A total of 11 projects were funded and they all fell under either Award Level II (adaption) or Award Level III (creation) – this is fantastic!
The Mines OER community
Part I: Open Educational Resources: Reducing Cost, Expanding Access, Improving Quality
Presented by: Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education, SPARC