Open Education Resources Can Reduce Cost, Improve Quality
Collaborating to Scale Digital Learning Materials
K-12, college and university leaders are working across state lines to reduce barriers faced by students and to empower faculty with access to a wide range of instructional materials. The Southern Regional Education Board and its sister regional higher education compact organizations, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, are exploring the development of a national network to support scaling and adoption of open education resources, which are high-quality teaching, learning and research materials that are freely accessible to use and repurpose.
”Working in concert, the regional compacts will lead their member states in initiatives aimed at reducing the cost of college and increasing the quality of pedagogy through the adoption of OER. The overarching goal of this nationwide network is to promote educational access and equity by removing barriers to postsecondary attainment,” said Tanya Spilovoy, director of open policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies.
The goal is to scale adoption of high-quality open education resources in states across the country, through sustainable models and appropriate materials. This initiative will lead to evidence-based frameworks, guidelines, and structures to efficiently leverage the compacts’ existing relationships with states and institutions. Funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation supports planning this spring, including usage and coordination of a national focus group. The ongoing work, paired with and supported by in-kind contributions from the four regional compact organizations, will result in an implementation grant proposal to be submitted to the Hewlett Foundation in summer 2020.
“Open education resources are key to increasing access to college and engaging students in a digital age,” said Stephen L. Pruitt, president of SREB. “OERs remove a key cost barrier for students and will expand postsecondary opportunities across the board, from dual enrollment options to adults upskilling their education.”
For more information contact: Wanda Barker, (404) 879-5558
A nonprofit, nonpartisan interstate compact, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislators who recognized the link between education and economic vitality. SREB states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. More at SREB.org.