K12-Higher Ed Connections for OER

By | May 10, 2024

Open Oregon Educational Resources has exciting news to share: a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation offers funding for Oregon community college and university instructors who teach courses for preservice teachers to redesign their courses, using open educational resources with an equity lens. The goal of the course redesign is to prepare future K12 teachers to be open educators who can leverage open practices to customize their curriculum and better represent and support the students in the classroom while aligning with Oregon standards.

What we’re going to do

  • 9am-3pm, September 11, 2024 Open Oregon Educational Resources will host the first of 2 virtual summer convenings for preservice faculty in order to build community and reach a shared understanding of high-quality course redesign goals: relevant, aligned with course outcomes, accessible, and designed with an equity lens.
  • 2024-25 academic year: Preservice faculty receive support to redesign their courses to emphasize awareness of classroom opportunities for preservice teachers to practice open educational practices (if possible preservice faculty also adopt OER). Pilots begin on a rolling basis and continue through the 2025-26 academic year.
  • Summer 2025: Open Oregon Educational Resources will host the second of 2 virtual summer convenings.
  • 2025-26 academic year: Preservice faculty pilot their redesigned courses.

Preservice faculty are invited to register!

  • 9am-3pm, September 11, 2024 virtual convening. Convening participants receive a $400 stipend and as-needed childcare stipend of $100.
  • Two-year course redesign and implementation grant – an additional $750 stipend to redesign your course by June 30, 2025.
  • Register for one or the other, both, or just sign up to stay involved, by June 14!

Background on this project

In 2020-2021 a workgroup from the Statewide OER Steering Committee convened to explore how K12 and higher education in Oregon can collaborate on OER. This workgroup created an “explainer” to help OER champions in higher education and K12 better understand each other and explore areas for collaboration. The document can be found via K-12 and Higher Ed OER Connections.

The workgroup identified preservice teacher training programs as an area of interest for two reasons. First, courses in these programs can adopt OER and use open education practices. Second, these courses can train future teachers to become open educators themselves when they enter the classroom.

Adopting OER can save students money and provide more access, but the content or teaching practices won’t necessarily be more inclusive or equitable. This project supports equity-minded course design for preservice faculty, and encourages coursework that prepares preservice teachers to also design for equity.

This project builds on longstanding interest in Oregon to explore the open education connections between K12 and higher education. The “Explainer” created in 2021 defines key similarities and differences between the environments, establishes areas of overlap, and makes recommendations for collaboration. This project operationalizes those recommendations for the first time.

We are excited to connect with an educator network in Oregon that has an interest in open education for equity, and grateful for the Hewlett Foundation’s support of this work!