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Open Educational Resources: Open Mines

An introduction to open educational resources (OER).

Purpose and process

The Colorado Department of Higher Education has awarded the Colorado School of Mines with funding to develop a local institutional OER incentive program, called Open Mines.  There are both pragmatic and principled benefits of OER, including lowering the costs of higher education for our students, increasing the accessibility to higher education, increasing the visibility of work, and allowing coursework to be tailored to the Mines curriculum.  The Open Mines program has funded 20 OER projects on campus, saving students approximately $476,000 annually in required and supplemental textbook and course material costs.


The Mines OER Steering Committee will assist awardees by providing the following support: 

  • Identifying and recommending high quality OER based on individual course needs 
  • Consulting on copyright and licensing issues related to OER 
  • Providing baseline technical support for adapting and creating OER
  • Connecting grant recipients to external expertise in this area 
  • Facilitating dissemination of OER adapted and/or created at Mines 
  • Assessing the effectiveness and impact of OER implementation  

The OER Steering Committee looks forward to reducing the costs of higher education for Mines students and contributing to open pedagogy. 

Award levels

Spearheaded by the Library, Mines was awarded an institutional-level grant to develop a mini-grant program, Open Mines, that would incentivize faculty on campus to use OER in their courses, as well as support workshops and other outreach efforts. The mini-grant program funded faculty at 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.

Award level 1

  • Select and adopt an existing OER 
  • Up to $500

Award level 2

  • Adapt (adopt and modify) an existing OER  
  • Up to $2,000 

Award level 3

  • Create an original OER  
  • Up to $5,000 


Emily Bongiovanni's picture
Emily Bongiovanni