Massachusetts Open Education: Achieving Access for All is a collaborative project focused on building capacity for open educational resources (OER) across the state.
Robert J. Awkward, Ph.D.,
Director of Learning Outcomes Assessment
2018 – Present
Massachusetts Open Education: Achieving Access for All is a collaborative project focused on building capacity for open educational resources (OER) across the state. Leaders of the project include open education advocates from University of Massachusetts, State Universities, and Community Colleges. Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes (https://sparcopen.org/open-education/). This collaboration offers direct benefits to faculty and students at the 28 public higher education institutions in the Commonwealth.
An important outcome of this project is to assess the OER landscape at all public higher education institutions in Massachusetts. By gathering data and information from each college about current OER usage, we will analyze the results to determine regional training needs, assisting the project in achieving its goal of lowering overall costs for students, increasing student and faculty engagement, and ultimately improving college completion rates.
On October 22, 2019, the Board of Higher Education accepted the Final OER Report & Recommendations, Fall 2019 from the Commissioner’s OER Work Group and endorsed implementation of its recommendations. The OER Work Group, co-chaired by Marilyn Billings, Head, Office for Scholarly Research Communications, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Susan Tashjian, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Northern Essex Community College, led a team of 21 individuals from the University of Massachusetts System, state universities and community colleges who worked assiduously over four months to convene, study, evaluate, and make recommendations to address: a) the growing legislative interest in lowering the cost of educational resources, b) the issues of achieving equity for under-served, low-income, and first-generation students, and c) the enhancement of instructional effectiveness. The recommendations from this working group, comprised of librarians, faculty, administrators, students, and external representatives, were time-based, i.e., short-term, mid-term, and long-term. The to be created statewide OER advisory council and the statewide OER coordinator will be responsible for implementing the short-term recommendations and developing plans, after conducting additional research, for how to implement the mid and long-term recommendations. This effort was accomplished due to the strong and consistent advocacy of the Student Advisory Council.
Topics include, but not limited to:
Faculty who attend a regional training event will have the opportunity to review an open textbook and receive a $200 stipend. Faculty will have six weeks to complete the open textbook review.
Register today by filling out the OER Training Registration Form.
February 1, 2019
Northern Essex Community College
February 8, 2019
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
March 12, 2019
Bridgewater State University
March 14, 2019
Worcester State University
March 20, 2019
Roxbury Community College
May 23, 2019: OER Course Development Day - Northeast OER Summit
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Call for OER Developers - Apply for $1,000 stipend!
The MA Open Education project team is seeking applications from faculty from all 28 MA Public Higher Education institutions to join us for a launch event where faculty will work in teams to pool resources and experiences to curate, adapt and develop materials for specific high enrollment courses.
Course Development Day is your chance to work with other innovative faculty from across MA in a team-based approach to develop ancillary materials (i.e., lecture slides, assessments, study guides, test banks) for a specific group of high-enrollment courses (listed above) included in the Mass Transfer block.
Do you teach one of the eligible courses? Apply today!