:sync: Systemwide Collaborations for Building OER: California’s OER Initiative

Authors: Suzanne Wakim, Dave Dillon, Michelle Pilati, Shagun Kaur, Jennifer Paris, Amanda Taintor
Institutions: Butte Community College, Grossmont College, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, De Anza Community College, College of the Canyons, Reedley College
Country: United States

Topic: Applications of Open Education Practices/Open Pedagogy/Open Education Research
Sector: Community College
UNESCO Area of Focus: Inclusive OER
Session Format: Panel


Great things happen when faculty have coffee and wifi. Even greater things happen when faculty collaborate! The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges built a statewide OER Initiative that connects faculty responsible for educating 2.1 million students across 114 colleges in the largest higher education system in the United States. Our network includes OER Liaisons at each campus that regularly meet to brainstorm strategies and share resources to educate and advocate for OER as well as best support their faculty. This has helped the OER Initiative (OERI) build a community of practice for OER advocates across the system. Prior to this initiative, OER knowledge was spotty across the system; a few colleges had grants and made strides forward, while other colleges had limited support. This initiative granted the access of OER training and support to all California Community Colleges by training and supporting at least one point person per campus. The benefits of OER for students are most pronounced when there is a concerted effort across a system. This initiative demonstrates the start of such a process.

The OERI also provides training and funding for faculty to build discipline-specific statewide collaborations that fill discipline and course specific gaps in available OER. This takes the form of stipends, training, and mentors to support faculty in building resources needed for their discipline. The stipends require faculty to collaborate outside of the coziness of their own college and district. Discipline groups are founded with a specific focus on creating or curating OER for known common gaps in our system. Faculty are required to collaborate with others across the state to ensure that the final product is broadly useful. This also helps build a community of OER practitioners in different disciplines. Faculty are provided training in licensing, accessibility, and curation. As with the liaisons, these faculty then share this knowledge with their home campuses.

The ASCCC OERI was funded in trailer bill language during the summer of 2018 and is a five year project. The purpose of the ASCCC OERI is to coordinate efforts between the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC), the California state Chancellor’s Office, grants, initiatives, and colleges to advocate for, expand, and sustain OER efforts in the California Community Colleges. The ultimate goal of the ASCCC OERI is to make the adoption of OER as ubiquitous as traditional textbook selection in the CCC culture. In this presentation we will share the advocacy that started this project as well as the lessons learned in our first two years.


Building collaborations, Filling Gaps in OER, Connecting Systems

Hello and Welcome! Please visit the ASCCC (Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges) OERI (Open Educational Resources Initiative website: https://asccc-oeri.org/

Our presentation slides are here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1GEEuhrAEoOqYvEtygXrqqLak8Pu5656k/edit#slide=id.p1

We look forward to sharing and discussing with you!

  • Dave, Suzanne, Shagun, Jennifer, and Michelle

Recording of the session: