Oregon’s Equity & Open Education Faculty Cohort Model Update

By | April 13, 2021


This post provides updates and lessons learned about Oregon’s Equity & Open Education Faculty Cohort Model. This professional development course was created by library faculty member Jen Klaudinyi at Portland Community College. Open Oregon Educational Resources now offers the course statewide with support from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Faculty often assume that their course is more equitable when they adopt affordable materials, and it is true that affordable materials remove a significant barrier to success. However, an open license does not ensure that the course materials or course design are inclusive of the diverse students in our classrooms. The Equity and Open Education Faculty Cohort professional development course seeks to transform curriculum by asking faculty to consider open educational practices with an equity lens, including universal design, cultural relevance, and diverse perspectives.

The core of the course is a four-week exploration in small groups in order to build learning communities that can dive into innovative ideas together. Optionally, faculty may continue the course for another four weeks and redesign a course component, incorporating open and equitable materials and/or pedagogy.


  • 2018-2019 – Jen developed and offered the EOE course at PCC with contributions from Kaela Parks and support from PCC’s OER Steering Committee
  • Summer 2020 – Received grant from Hewlett foundation and offered first statewide faculty cohort with 60 seats
  • Fall 2020 – Convened curriculum advisory group for expert feedback
  • Winter break 2020-21 – Jen revised course based on expert feedback
  • Winter 2021 – Offered second statewide faculty cohort

Next steps:

  • Continue to offer the Equity & Open Education course statewide two times per year
  • Work with RMC (external research firm) to assess the impact of the model
  • Share widely and seek a partner to launch a similar model in one other state/system

Curriculum Review Process

The idea of inviting a curriculum advisory group was suggested by Angela DeBarger, Education Program Officer at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. We had plenty of ideas about revisions to make after piloting the course as a statewide offering during summer 2020, but our reviewers brought expertise in relevant areas and made suggestions that we could implement with confidence. Explore the current version of the course in Canvas.

With feedback from our reviewers as well as previous cohort participants, we made several changes to the course before offering it again in Winter 2021. Here are some examples of the changes:

  • Improved our “module 0” content and facilitator introductions to better welcome participants to the course
  • Organized our small group conversations by affinity group preferences
  • Centered more BIPOC scholars in our materials
  • Improved our introduction to culturally responsive teaching, and deepened our exploration of those ideas
  • Adapted our group prompts to make them more scenario-based and active to help participants build toward implementing the concepts covered
  • Improved the accessibility of our content pages

Thank You Reviewers

Dionna Camp, Accessible Technology Specialist, Linn-Benton Community College
Kim Grewe, Instructional Designer, NOVA Online
Jaclyn Caires-Hurley, Assistant Professor, Multicultural Education, Western Oregon University
Rudyane Rivera-Lindstrom, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission