Fostering OER Awareness Through Partnerships and Innovation

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This session introduces the Open Educational Resource (OER) initiatives of the Division of Digital Learning (DDL) at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The THECB is facilitating the use of OER through capacity building grants to encourage adoption of affordable, accessible, and flexible resources at scale.


Dr. Michelle Singh serves as the Assistant Commissioner of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Division of Digital Learning, the newest division at the THECB. Dr. Singh is a leader in the field of digital learning and is currently serving as Chairperson of the Board for the Texas Distance Learning Association, previously served on the United States Distance Learning Association Board, as Chair of the Texas A&M University System Council for Academic Technology and Innovative Education, Chair of the Learning Technology Advisory Committee for the THECB and Chair of the South Texas Higher Education Regional Council. Throughout Dr. Singh’s 20 plus year tenure in higher education, she has received numerous accolades and awards for her contribution to the advancement of the field of digital learning including the USDLA International Outstanding Leadership Award, the TxDLA Don Foshee Leadership Award and Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation in Distance Learning. She was also recognized for the TAMUCC College of Education and Human Development Achievement Distinction, and recently received the Corpus Christi Top Under 40 honor. Dr. Singh attained a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Dr. Singh is a strategic visionary who is internationally sought for expertise in the topics of digital transformation, optimization and modernization of data and technology, change management, and the ecosystem of digital learning.

Extended Abstract

Online Learning Support funding for Open Educational Resource (OER) initiatives will be used to enhance quality in online course offerings and reduce the costs of instructional materials for students. This will be accomplished by fostering awareness of the benefits and uses of OER among faculty and support staff at public and independent institutions, and by building and/or increasing institutional capacity for OER courses and programs.

This session will examine the successes that have been obtained by building and scaling OER initiatives in partnership with public and independent institutions and organizations across the state and nation. Several initiatives including the creation of an OER repository, the development of professional learning academies, and ongoing research projects will be discussed.

Levels of Participation:

There will be an interactive panel discussion regarding creating productive partnerships. Fundamental statewide OER projects will be highlighted, such as an OER Repository and framework grants for OER policy and program building at institutions. Innovations that have led to successful adoption of OER, the impact of the work on students and institutions, and lessons learned from the launching of the first OER grant program in 2018 to the present will be shared.

Session Goals:

Attendees will learn about building successful partnerships in OER and effectively creating and managing OER content. Participants will be encouraged to consider how initiatives could be adapted for their own OER advocacy. In addition, presenters will share pedagogical and curricular strategies for developing high-quality OER, engagement approaches, and strategies for effective collaboration.