Since the 12th Annual Open Education Conference, staff members at Boise State and Clemson University have sought to establish institution-wide initiatives around open educational resources (OER). Despite holding a shared identity as public universities, these two institutions-one located in the Northwestern and one in the Southeastern United States-harbor distinct cultures, climates, and agendas as they relate to the sustainable implementation and support of OER initiatives. Simply stated, common solutions for spreading awareness and adoption of OER at Boise State and Clemson seemed unlikely.
Yet, over the last year, administrators, librarians, researchers, and technologists of both universities have consulted each other, surveyed additional institutions, interviewed outside representatives, analyzed strategic materials, vetted technology partnerships, developed pilot programs, built digital infrastructure, and recruited campus populations, under the notion that open education is appropriate for and important to the missions of their respective institutions. And while administrative programs have now been established at the institutional level, certain variables remain that help and hinder proliferation of OER at each university.
If minimal institutional support, a lack of technological tools for sharing and adapting resources, inconsistent skills and time for users, varying quality or appropriateness of resources, and issues of trust between faculty and administrators can be considered common threats to the creation of long-lasting OER programs in higher ed., the members of this panel (having faced these stakes firsthand) claim that the best approach toward tackling such problems is an open one that spans disciplines, departments, and institutions.
In pursuit of sharing novel experiences and identifying common ground, panel members will discuss their recent research and experiences in founding, supporting, and sustaining OER initiatives at universities in the U.S.