Regional Compacts Collaborate to Support a National Network for the Scaling and Adoption of OER
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 Midwestern Higher Education Compact and its sister regional higher education compact organizations the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies) are exploring the development of a national network to support scaling and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER).
”Working in concert, the regional compacts will lead their 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 national 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.
Funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been awarded to support the research efforts and coordination of a national focus group during a Spring 2020 planning period.The planning period serves as a long-term purpose to scale the adoption of high-quality OER using sustainable models and appropriate materials across regions of the country and for individual states. This initiative will lead to evidence-based frameworks, guidelines, and structures to efficiently leverage the compacts’ existing relationships with states and institutions.
"MHEC has been helping its member states build the capacity to implement OER since 2018," stated MHEC President Susan Heegaard. "One of the most effective strategies has been to facilitate state-to-state sharing of ideas and inspirations. Combining our efforts with those of the other regional higher education compacts means we will have even more opportunities to share states’ successes and learn from the success of others."
She added, "We can multiply our efforts to implement OER, thereby making higher education more affordable, accessible, equitable, and high quality for all."
For more information about MHEC's work with OER, contact Jenny Parks, senior director of policy and academic initiatives.