:sync: OER Development at a Distance: Revising & Remixing OER in an Online Faculty Grant Program

Author: Monica Brown
Institution: Boise State University
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Higher Education
UNESCO Area of Focus: Building capacity
Session Format: Presentation


Some have explored the challenges facing faculty development of OER and the creation of effective publishing pathways (Bachelor, 2019; Lashley, et al., 2017). While the insights offered may be helpful in a range of contexts, there exists a unique set of obstacles to address when providing support for faculty to compile and adapt resources for their particular needs.Two of the Rs of OER - remix and revise - lie somewhere between straightforward adoption of an OER textbook and the creation of a whole new resource from scratch.

Providing the specific type of faculty support needed for the successful adaptation of an OER textbook is its own unique challenge. These obstacles include a lack of time, access to the right technology, and the expertise to navigate not only finding materials but interpreting their licenses (Belikov & Bodily, 2016; Stagg, 2014). During the compilation process, there are additional questions including understanding attribution and adaptation statements, making use of fair use, and properly citing the sources of content.

The complexity also increases when attending to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in course materials. Relatively little work has been published to thoroughly explicate how to revise materials for greater equity in the OER context (Nusbaum, Cuttler, Swindell, 2020; Lambert, 2018; Kalir, 2018). Course materials can serve as a vehicle for reinforcing stereotype threat, obscuring systemic structures of oppression, and erasing the contributions of marginalized communities. As such, it is vital to provide space and support within OER programs to not simply create greater awareness of equity barriers but to transform them as they manifest in course materials.

To address these concerns, a newly developed distance grant program was developed. The program was structured to support faculty in working through the unique constraints of revision and remix with open licenses. Using a cohort model, this institution fostered the development of these remixed OER textbooks via a distance learning experience over the course of Summer 2020. Careful attention was paid throughout the program to diversity, equity, and inclusion in course material development. This included space for both reflection on the intersections of equity and the faculty’s given discipline alongside action on principles of inclusive teaching. As a result of this program, a new community of practice was fostered for online faculty at the institution that resulted in the uptake of OER adoptions in online courses.


distance learning, equity, faculty development

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Hey, everyone!

I’m so looking forward to connecting with you all next week to talk more about OER strategies! I wanted to hop online and provide a bit more context, in the hopes that it is helpful.

I am an OER Coordinator for my university’s eCampus Center. Essentially, this means my role is to support online faculty in implementing and developing OER for online courses. At my institution, this can be a bit tricky since I am the only person on campus with a role dedicated to OER. Luckily, we have a thriving community of practice I can rely on to help make sure faculty get the support they need.

In the spring of 2020, I was able to get my unit to support a more publishing-focused approach: and the Open Book Summer Grant program was born! I hope my session will serve as an inspiration for folks who are looking to extend their faculty professional development programing beyond traditional in-person opportunities. In addition, as a Black woman at a predominantly white institution (PWI), my work includes a special focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Throughout the summer, I worked to bake underlying equity principles into the grant program curriculum.

I’m so looking to sharing what’s worked for us and learning from ya’ll. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and say hi!

See you soon,


Hi Monica, I loved your presentation, great work! I have a question for you regarding the best license for a pressbook. Where can I get a hold of you? Thank you!

Recording of the session: