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Students to Benefit from State Open Educational Resources Grant

February 25, 2020

The University of Northern Colorado is one of 34 Colorado colleges and universities that received an Open Educational Resources (OER) grant by the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE). The award of over $42,800 will support UNC faculty who wish to transform a course by using materials freely available to students.

OER are high-quality teaching and learning materials, such as textbooks, that are openly licensed and available at no cost to the student. In fall of 2019, students at UNC saved over $63,000 in course materials from last year’s state awarded OER grant.

The grant, “Open Educational Resources: Scaling up at the University of Northern Colorado” was submitted to the CDHE’s competitive process by Jen Mayer, head of Library Research Services at UNC, and Oscar Levin, an associate professor of Mathematical Sciences at UNC. The UNC OER Committee, consisting of faculty, students and staff from across campus, will recommend projects to be funded. 

Jayne Blodgett“The University Libraries is excited to continue partnering with UNC faculty to find more economically sustainable ways to provide high-quality textbooks and learning materials for our students,” said Interim Library Dean Jayne Blodgett (image at right).

In addition to the funding from CDHE, the UNC Office of the Provost is providing $10,000 in matching funds to support interested faculty in transforming a course to using all OER materials.  

The grant will also support professional development for faculty related to open education. The University Libraries, in partnership with Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL), will lead the relevant programing.

“Kudos to the colleges and universities implementing OER on their campuses,” said Angie Paccione, executive director of CDHE. “They are committed to saving their students money, but it’s so much more than that. They are on the front lines redesigning teaching approaches and transforming education and the future of learning. Some say our education system hasn’t changed in the last 50 years, this is proof it has.”

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