Four Institutions Awarded Grants to Mark Courses Featuring Open Educational Resources
April 24, 2023
As more college and university faculty create courses that use Open Educational Resources — which are free to use, customize and share — an important next step is alerting students to their availability when they are registering for classes.
The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) announces the four selected independent institutions in the Northeast participating in the Open Education Course Marking Grant, a new 15-month initiative to support institutions in the expansion of student awareness and use of no-cost learning materials.
With the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, NEBHE will support:
- Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI)
- New England College (Henniker, NH)
- St. John Fisher University (Rochester, NY)
- Thomas College (Waterville, ME)
The institutions will implement a course designation visible during student registration in the Spring 2024 term that identifies courses using Open Educational Resources (OER) and other no-cost materials such as library-licensed content.
Course marking is the process of assigning specific, searchable attributes to courses in the student information system to enable students to make the best- informed decisions about their schedules based on their financial situation when they register for classes.
The selected institutions will be provided step-by-step support to implement course marking, participate together in a yearlong virtual community of practice and have access to topical OER consulting services. To participate, institutions must have at least 23% of undergraduates enrolled awarded Pell grants and have an institutional commitment to advancing OER.
“Tagging courses that use OER expands the awareness and agency of individual students as they weigh the overall cost of higher education, including textbooks, said Lindsey Gwozdz, Fellow, Open Education, New England Board of Higher Education. “And marking courses that use OER can contribute toward of the goal of ensuring that all students have the required materials they need to succeed on the first day of class.”
Open educational resources are guided by the idea that high-quality educational materials should be available to everyone. OER are educational materials—everything from a single lesson plan to an entire textbook—that save students and teachers money because they are free to use, customize, and share.
The New England Board of Higher Education works on expanding Open Educational Resources and its benefits through research, collaboration, and programs.
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The four regional education compacts—the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education—are working together to help scale the adoption and use of open education resources nationally to allow millions students access to free, high-quality learning resources.