The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in partnership with other campuses in the CU System has received a $60,000 award under the state’s Open Education Resources (OER) initiative.
The award will support the Open CU Initiative, which is designed to raise awareness of OER among the campuses’ combined 66,000 degree-seeking students and 9,000 faculty and instructors. Open CU is designed to help students save money while improving the quality of their learning experiences.
For students, studies show that the use of OER improves student persistence in coursework, reduced time in completing degree programs, and increases access to higher education opportunities for low-income and minority students.
Educators using OER report that their students are more engaged than when students rely on traditional textbooks.
“Through the Open CU initiative and the increased OER awareness and adoption it promises, CU’s campuses are providing another important avenue that enables all qualified students to attain a college degree,” said CU President Bruce Benson. “I encourage faculty and instructors to learn more about the effective use of OER in their courses.”
President Bruce Benson, campus provosts, and the Office of Digital Education and Engagement contributed significant additional funding to the initiative to bring the total seed funding for the initiative to over $120,000. Most of the funding supports faculty participation in workshops, materials review for their courses, and other efforts that engage in course redesign to promote adoption of OER.
Open CU aims to tap the collective impact of CU’s four campuses. Each campus has an OER Council that brings its own expertise and resources. Shared or jointly created implementation resources and methods will be customized to meet specific campus needs, cultures, and communities. All practices and resources developed and piloted in this initiative—including materials for awareness-raising—will be available and openly licensed for adaptation and reuse by colleges and universities in Colorado and worldwide.
The Open CU team is sponsoring a webinar during OpenEd Week. On March 8, from 9 a.m-10 a.m., Open CU will host MJ Bishop, Director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation at the University System of Maryland and national expert on OER. More information about how to join the webinar will be posted on the Office of Digital Education and Engagement website (https://www.cu.edu/oaa/office-digital-education-engagement),
The Colorado Commission of Higher Education awarded $550,000 to nearly two dozen public institutions of higher education. In May 2019, the Colorado Department of Higher Education will host the first-ever Statewide OER Conference at the Colorado Community College System Lowry Campus. This conference will feature national and local experts exploring topics in the open education movement at various levels and will be preceded by a pre-conference training with the Open Textbook Network.
For more information on the initiative or to express interest in participating, please contact the Anschutz Campus Open CU lead: UCD-AMC-OER@ucdenver.edu