Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are textbooks and ancillary learning materials that are accessible via the Internet at little or not cost to the student or the institution. Among the rising costs of postsecondary education, one of the most significant is the price of learning materials such as textbooks. As a result, some states and many institutions (and some higher education systems) have adopted or are seeking to adopt what are termed “Open Educational Resources”

MHEC's efforts in OER are to explore a potential reduction of instructional costs, insure the availability of high quality instructional materials, increase student performance and completion, and increase access and equity.

MHEC has created an OER Advisory Committee comprised of institutional representatives who have varying levels of experience implementing OER but who all share an interest in increasing and expanding the Midwestern implementation of OER.

The committee has asked MHEC to consider a convening of Midwestern representatives in order to learn from experts in the field of OER, as well as from individuals and groups who have already adopted OER and adapted classes and programs accordingly. MHEC has reached out to to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and their WCET staff, and is actively engaged in pursuing such a convening.

MHEC is also creating an environmental scan of the institutions and companies in the Midwest who are most active in the OER landscape. The Compact welcomes recommendations of any individuals or organizations in MHEC member states who are exploring, implementing, and supporting the expanded use of OER, in order to connect and learn from them about their efforts.

State Leaders in OER

Do you know any individuals or organizations who are doing important OER work in the Midwest? Whom would you nominate as an OER leader in your state?

OER Advisory Committee
Gretchen Bartelson Northwest Iowa Community College Iowa
Andy Bennett Kansas State University Kansas
Deb Brennan Central Community College Nebraska
Kim Carlson University of Nebraska at Kearney Nebraska
Rebel Cummings-Sauls Kansas State University Kansas
Megan FitzGibbon Minnesota Office of Higher Education Minnesota
Catherine Fraser Riehle University of Nebraska - Lincoln Nebraska
Monte Kramer South Dakota Board of Regents South Dakota
Poonam Kumar Saginaw Valley State University Michigan
Brian Lindshield Kansas State University Kansas
Pat Mielke Western Technical College Wisconsin
Ilir Miteza University of Michigan-Dearborn Michigan
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Jenny Parks

Director of Innovation