by: Regina Gong, OER Project Manager, Lansing Community College
Nearly 180 people from around the state participated in the Michigan OER Summit on September 22 at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek. The attendees were faculty, administrators, librarians, instructional designers, staff, and students representing 24 community colleges, 14 universities, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Community College Association, and MCLS—the statewide library consortium.
Dr. Robin DeRosa, professor and chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at Plymouth State University was the keynote speaker. Robin’s keynote focused on open pedagogy and the ways in which we can come together as a community of learners to transform courses, assignments, and ultimately, our public colleges and universities. Aside from the keynote speaker, there were 13 excellent and informative breakout sessions and discipline-specific roundtables where faculty from various disciplines convened to talk about their OER adoptions and plans to incorporate open pedagogy into their courses. In addition to the faculty roundtables, librarians, instructional designers, and administrators also convened to talk about how they can encourage, support, or accelerate OER adoptions on their campuses.
At the conclusion of the event, Robin remarked: “What was most inspiring— aside from the students-first ethos that permeated all of the ideas and initiatives that were being shared— was the statewide coalition that was being developed as colleagues from institutions all across Michigan came together. I’ve come to believe that the open movement will be best served if our public colleges and universities work together as collaborators rather than competitors, and Michigan’s institutions are taking real steps to come together in service of increasing access to higher education.”
It was truly an inspiring day for the participants. Many are lauding the efforts spearheaded by Ronda Edwards, Executive Director of Michigan Colleges Online (MCO), and the 28 community colleges represented in the OER Steering Committee to raise awareness, encourage, and support OER initiatives across all types of institutions in Michigan. What was started in 2015 with the first statewide OER Summit sponsored by Lansing Community College (LCC) followed by another OER Summit at LCC in February 2017, helped paved the way for this MI OER Summit. There will be another Summit in 2018 with a different community college hosting the gathering.