Two Opportunities for Exploring Open Educational Resources at W&M

OpenVA 2.1 and OER Adoption Grants

Creative Commons is one example of a collection of open educational (potentially) resources.

Creative Commons is one example of a collection of open educational (potentially) resources.

With the hubbub of this semester’s end upon us, I’m happy to announce a couple of ways you can already begin thinking about next semester. Both opportunities surround open educational resources (OER). OER are free, open, customizable, and high quality alternatives or amendments to traditional textbooks.

By promoting greater access to material, reducing costs, and leveraging the expertise of scholarly communities, OER are an innovative tool to address rising costs of education while advancing faculty instructional goals.

1. Faculty Grants for Incorporating Open Education Resources into Courses

First, there are two upcoming information sessions for grant opportunities to support the incorporation of open educational resources (OER) into your course(s) for the 2015-16 academic year. Supported by the provost’s Creative Adaptation Fund, we are offering 18 grants of $1,000 each as well as training and professional support to facilitate compelling projects.

These information sessions will provide an overview of what constitutes OER, some examples of their implementation, as well as introduction to some of the possibilities of teaching with OER. This will be followed by an explanation of how we will support your own plans for OER exploration and implementation and the brief application process.

Grant funded projects could include:

  • identifying and adapting existing OER for your course,
  • refining and openly publishing OER that you have developed and are already using,
  • and/or exploring currently licensed materials for your course.

Course projects could center around existing courses or new COLL courses you have under development.

Who Should Attend?

All faculty members and instructors interested in exploring the possibilities of teaching with OER, reducing textbook costs for their students, or those just OER curious are welcome to attend.

When and Where?

Both sessions will be held in the Cox Classroom of the new Media Center on the ground floor of Swem Library. They are at:

April 29, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. and
May 19, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact Kathleen DeLaurenti or me (Jamison Miller).

2. OpenVA 2.1: Sharing Thoughts and Practices of OER


As I alluded to in a previous post, OpenVA 2.1 will be a 3-hour workshop on OER that will be hosted at the College of William and Mary on Saturday, May 2. Although OER are gaining exposure and adoption across the globe, awareness remains one of the chief obstacles to implementation. This event, then, is about fostering a rich and varied awareness of the many faces of OER. We are organizing two focused panels to critically discuss:

  1. the current OER landscape and what constitutes OER, and
  2. first-hand accounts of OER implementation from a variety of disciplines and contexts.

These panel sessions will be broken up by an expectedly spirited keynote address from Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. Space in the agenda will be reserved for audience input, as we hope to encourage an engaged dialogue relevant to attendees. And lunch is on us!

Who Should Attend?

This event is intended to embrace administrators, faculty, librarians, and technologists with interests in OER — from piqued novices to seasoned veterans. We will be hearing from programs that are just starting out in their investigations of OER, to fully integrated curricula. Those attending OpenVA 2.1 will be exposed to a variety of perspectives and reflections about OER and their implementation, as well as resources for exploring OER in their disciplines. There are no prerequisites. We will cover topics such as course (re)design utilizing OER, concerns about quality and copyright, and why OER are gaining traction in higher education.

When: Saturday, May 2, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (doors open at 10 for coffee); conversations to continue offsite following the event.

Where: Ford Classroom in the Media Center
Ground floor, Swem Library

The event is FREE, but pre-registration is required as there is a cap of 50 attendees, and there are only a few slots left! Register at

Preliminary agenda:




Coffee, getting settled



Michele Jackson, W&M Associate Provost of e-Learning Initiatives


Session 1: Intro to OER

Moderator: Richard Sebastian (VCCS)

Panel of expertise

  • Marc Sher (W&M)

  • Olivia Reinauer (TCC)

  • Jane Rosecrans (J. Sarge)



Introduction: Gene Roche (W&M)

Gardner Campbell, VCU

Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success


Session 2: OER Implementation

Moderator: Jim Groom (UMW)

Panel of exemplary practice

  • Sue Fernsebner (UMW)

  • Tom Geary (TCC)

  • Andrea Livi Smith (UMW)

  • TBA


Continued work and discussion


2:00 and on