Toward Convergence: Creating Clarity to Drive More Consistency in Understanding the Benefits and Costs of OER.

Date & Time

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), as part of the National Consortium for Open Educational Resources (NCOER), and with the help of a workgroup of institutional, state, and national leaders is excited to release: "Toward Convergence: Creating Clarity to Drive More Consistency in Understanding the Benefits and Costs of OER."

This report will help enhance the consistency and reliability for measuring student cost savings and overall return on investment of Open Educational Resources (OER). Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, or research resources that are offered freely to users in at least one form and that either reside in the public domain or have been released under an open copyright license that allows for its free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with attribution.

We believe the impact of this work is national in scope and will be beneficial for elected officials and other policymakers across the nation. It is designed to help collectively consider a more consistent way to:

  • Communicate clearly and accurately the value of OER;
  • Recommend how to reliably measure the cost savings and return on investment of OER for students, families, institutions, systems, states, and policymakers;
  • Understand existing effective measures of OER cost savings and benefits to students;
  • Provide a needed shortcut for practitioners to help them communicate cost savings and the return on investment of OER at the institutional, system, and state levels; and
  • Ensure that OER is helping improve higher education’s efforts to increase attainment.

We hope you will join us for the release of this report and share and use and use this important work to help us create more consistency and clarity in our discussions about the benefits (and costs) of OER.


Katie Zaback
Data, Policy, and Strategy Consultant
Zaback Solutions

Jenny Parks
Vice President
Midwestern Higher Education Compact

C. Edward "Eddie" Watson
Associate Vice President, Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation
American Association of Colleges and Universities

Tim Anderson
System Director of Student Success Technologies
Minnesota State