by Brittany Dudek, Library Coordinator, Colorado Community Colleges Online, Colorado Community College System
On May 31, 2019, the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Colorado OER Council hosted the inaugural Statewide Colorado OER Conference to explore best practices in adoption and adaptation. A pre-conference training by Open Textbook Network preceded this event, attended by OER campus champions from more than 27 institutions.
The Colorado OER Council was delighted to welcome over 220 attendees to Statewide Colorado OER Conference event, national OER thought leaders like Nicole Finkbeiner from OpenStax, Nicole Allen from SPARC, David Ernst from Open Textbook Network, as well as presentations from OER leaders from around the state. The OER Council was particularly thrilled to start the day with a charge from Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Executive Director, Dr. Angie Paccione, United States Congressman Joe Neguse, and Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis.
The feedback survey has indicated high levels of satisfaction. In fact, 92% of survey respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that: “As a result of attending the conference, I improved my awareness and understanding of OER and open education as a movement for achieving student success in education.”
Colorado is making great strides in OER awareness and adoption. Championed by the General Assembly in 2018, H.B. 18-1331 established a grant program and charged Colorado’s OER Council to review and administer the proposals. “I’m proud that Colorado is a leader in this important work and we have the support and encouragement of our Governor and Commission,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of CDHE. “By removing one of the obstacles in the path of traditionally underrepresented students, we set a level playing field and get to the heart of our work—seeing everyone succeed after high school.”
“There is limitless potential when it comes to Open Educational Resources,” said Commissioner Pardis Mahdavi. “We know from national data that adoption and implementation of OER can positively impact both affordability and student success. Colorado is well-positioned to make a great push forward in this arena to lead innovative practices in education.”
The RFP for Year Two Grants will be coming out late this summer, along with a second Open Textbook Network training event in the late Fall.
To keep up with Colorado OER Council happenings, visit http://masterplan.highered.colorado.gov/oer-in-colorado/.