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OER and Textbook Alternatives: Dec. 2021 Newsletter


The first session of the OER Series is now available for viewing.


Please provide your valuable feedback before Jan. 15, 2021 (deadline extended), and we will send you a certificate of participation.

OER Fest March 17, 2022

Upcoming Events

AAC&U Virtual Forum on Open Learning and ePortfolios (January 24)
As colleges and universities look to the future of learning and student success, they carry with them important lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instruction, learning, and connecting all had to be reimagined. Now, institutions must consider which new and old practices work well and which need to be modified or removed in order to best support student success in today’s world and beyond. AAC&U’s 2022 Forum on Open Learning and ePortfolios will focus on these practices and advance the goals of providing access to a quality education that is equitable and affordable.

Kansas OER Virtual Summit (February 16-17)

Join sessions to learn more and share ideas about OER, open pedagogy, and other open education initiatives. Open education can assist Kansas institutions to continuously improve affordability, accessibility, and equality of education. Collaborate with your Kansas colleagues in discussions and workshops on a number of different topics and discipline areas to obtain more insight on how you can utilize open education within your own institutions or classrooms. With the support of the Kansas Board of Regents and MHEC, together we can make a difference in Kansas education.


"E”ffordability+ Summit

"E”ffordability+ Summit (February 22-24)

Minnesota and Wisconsin are collaborating on a regional statewide virtual OER Summit this coming February. This year’s theme is READI (Reaching Equity, Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion), Set, Open!  The team invites educators across both states to share their hard work in adopting and advancing OER and education, lowering costs, and making resources READI for our students, and efforts to support, advocate, and collaborate for student access, privacy and the development and use of READI.

OER and Dual Enrollment Conference (February 24-25)

Save the date for the Southern Regional Board’s conference on OER and Dual Enrollment in Atlanta, Georgia. Contact SREB's Charlotte Dailey for more information.


Iowa OER Virtual Summit

Iowa OER Virtual Summit (March 1-3)
This year Iowa OER wants to team up with you! Register now for the Iowa OER Virtual Summit. Iowa OER needs more OER superheroes to support students. By joining this team, you will have opportunities to forge connections, collaborations, and partnerships that promote openness. Together, we can lift our students, celebrate our success, share our challenges. Help us reinvent the future where all have access and opportunity to create knowledge for the public good. Iowa OER looks forward to you joining us on this adventure!



MATC OER Faculty Feature

Every month, the OER Newsletter features a MATC faculty member who regularly uses OER materials in the classroom.

In December 2021, Dr. Krystia Nora sat down with Dr. Elaine Strachota, part-time faculty and OER Facilitator in the Healthcare Pathway for this brief interview about her experiences with OER. 

1. How did you learn about OER?

I was searching one day for a health-related topic and the Open RN link appeared, so I began to read about this innovative project only to find out that it is a Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) initiative led by Chippewa Valley Technical College. The Open RN initiative is funded by a 2.5-million-dollar grant from the Department of Education to create 5 OER nursing textbooks. Then in March 2021, I was reading my MATC email, and I saw a part-time job posting for an OER pathway facilitator. I applied and got the job and I have been learning about OER ever since. I have had the opportunity to attend the OER Global conference, speak at the WTCS OER symposium and the MATC OERseries, complete the ZERD-209 course, and learn from other OER facilitators and members of the Open Access Team.

2. What led you to believe that OER is the future?

I believe that OER is the energy that will change the future of education. Students can no longer afford the rising costs of textbooks. So, when students can’t afford a textbook, they try to navigate a course without one. They soon struggle as they don’t have the necessary resources for success. OER allows a student to have a free textbook on day one. OER provides equity for all students.

The time is also right to change the mindset among educators. OER is about sharing of resources and knowledge. Instead of developing curriculum in isolation, OER allows for the creation of shared resources through a Creative Commons license. There are OER textbooks that can be adapted and since we have a state-wide curriculum model in Wisconsin we can work as teams to develop resources with faculty from various technical colleges. That is how the Open RN project is creating 5 OER nursing textbooks.

3. How are you promoting OER at MATC?

I currently am serving on a committee at the WTCS level where we are adapting an existing OER textbook for the HEALTH-101 course, Medical Terminology. The project isn’t grant funded but is supported by the energy of individuals that believe in the initiative. The committee work is facilitated by a librarian from Western Technical College, faculty from Lakeshore Technical College, Gateway Technical College and MATC. Laurie Zielinski, MATC Lead Health faculty member and I are collaboratively working on reviewing the textbook content and developing the assessments for this course. We hope that the adapted version of the textbook will be ready to pilot for fall, 2022. This one OER course will save approximately $25,000 - $30,000 for students since MATC offers 12-14 sections of this course plus 7-9 sections of dual-enrollment for high school students each fall/spring semester. This one OER will then be made available for all colleges through a Creative Commons license. OER development efforts can be time consuming however the benefits can be seen at the local college level, the WTCS level and globally.

4. What is a highlight of your experience teaching with OER?

-Access on Day 1


-Currency with Content

-Control over when textbook updates are made

-Sharing of knowledge and learning from peers

- Working with faculty in the Healthcare Pathway, the Open Access Team and OER facilitators

If you would like to ask Dr. Elaine Strachota, PhD, MS, OTR more about her work with OER, she can be contacted at


OER Opportunities


"E”ffordability+ Summit

Call for Proposals - "E”ffordability+ Summit (February 22-24, 2022)
"The “E”ffordability+ Summit Planning Committee is excited to share the call for proposals for the upcoming virtual event on February 22-24, 2022. READI (Reaching Equity, Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion), Set, Open! The committee hopes that you and your colleagues will be willing to share your hard work in adopting and advancing OER and education, lowering costs, and making resources READI for our students. Proposals are are due by January 3, 2022. View the call for proposals. Questions may be sent to"


Open Science No Text Logo

Job Opportunity: Campaign Manager: Open Climate and Biodiversity Research

"Creative Commons, SPARC and EIFL are launching a global campaign to make open sharing of climate and biodiversity research the default. We are looking for an enthusiastic Campaign Manager to devise, plan and create materials for a 4-year global campaign to open climate and biodiversity research; and then organize, coordinate, and deliver on that detailed campaign plan. Applications are due January 4, 2022."


AOER Logo Show me the path to A&OER

Call For Proposals - Missouri Affordable and Open Educational Resources Conference

"The Missouri Affordable and Open Educational Resources Conference invites you to share your research, ideas, and best practices for using, creating, or adapting A&OER. The theme of the 2022 conference will be Show Me the Path to A&OER through Affordability, Access, and AwarenessThe call for proposals is focused on presentations, breakout sessions, panel discussions, and roundtables from faculty, librarians, instructional designers, students, and any other educator or constituent involved in creating, using, or adapting A&OER. The Conference will be held virtually on March 9-11, 2022. The deadline for proposal submission is February 1, 2022."


Job Opportunity: Open Education Project Manager

"SPARC has an opening on their team for an Open Education Project Manager. This position will spearhead key parts of SPARC’s advocacy work for open and equitable course materials in higher education."


Seeking H5P Children’s Literacy Project Contributors

"Are you passionate about media literacy? Are you excited about the potential of interactivity tools like H5P to support student learning? Hands on Media Education, one of the Rebus Community projects from the June 2021 TSP Cohort, is looking for additional contributors who are well-versed in H5P and would like to be a part of their innovative children's digital literacy project. You don't need to be a media literacy expert to join in the effort! Learn more about the project and how to join the team."


Red-Logo PNG (1)

OpenSkill Impact Grant Opportunity

"OpenSkill is supporting institutions to implement high quality OER, and providing up to $10,000 in grant funding, through the spring, summer, and fall of 2022. The team at Arizona State University will be providing services ranging from technology integration to learning design to course development in LMSs. Faculty will work with OpenSkill to bundle active learning tools (assignments using OpenSkill Tools) and curated OER (Content Packages in five disciplines) to use as textbook replacements at scale." READ MORE


Project Z-Degree Project Manager

"Project Z-Degree will fulfill the intent of the Idaho Legislature and Office of the Governor through the collaborative creation of at least one associate degree at each of the four Idaho community colleges. This project is seeking a qualified project manager to lead this effort. The person in this position will be leading the statewide Z-degree effort for all of Idaho, coordinating the work of four community colleges. It is a remote position that goes through June 2024, with possible extension. The position will remain open until filled." LEARN MORE

OER Book Features

Read more about Foundations of American Education: A Critical Lens

VIVA Open Publishing published Foundations of American Education: A Critical Lens by Dr. Melissa Wells and Dr. Courtney Clayton.

"In this survey text, readers will explore the foundations of American education through a critical lens. Topics include the teaching profession, influences on student learning, philosophical and historical foundations, structures of schools, ethical and legal issues, curriculum, classroom environment, and the path forward."


Auburn University has published "resources that University Writing has developed to support students and instructors across the disciplines in their writing and writing instruction. We define writing broadly, so you will find resources on ePortfolios, visual design, professional communication, and presentations in addition to traditional writing tasks like reflective writing, literature reviews, peer review, and editing and proofing."

OER in the News


D. Edward Davis, Ph.D. leads a classroom discussion at the University.

Faculty Fellows Develop Innovative and Student-Focused Course Materials
Showcases *nine* University of New Haven faculty who created high quality OER courses in fields of dental hygiene, public health, business management, communications, history, economics, music, & art.

University of New Haven | November 17, 2021

Why This Professor Believes OER Can Make STEM More Inclusive and Affordable

Why This Professor Believes OER Can Make STEM More Inclusive and Affordable

A Colorado State University - Fort Collins associate professor talks about why OER is the future for STEM courses.
EdSurge | November 15, 2021

To Save Its Campus Bookstore, This University Took It Online

To Save Its Campus Bookstore, This University Took It Online
EdSurge | November 24, 2021

Lumen Learning User Testing Center to Examine Equity in OER Solutions
Campus Technology | November 23, 2021

How – and Why – to Use ARP Funds for Open Education Resources (OER)
District Administration | November 18, 2021

OpenStax logo
OpenStax Gets Federal Funding for Computer Science OER
Campus Technology | November 16, 2021



Did You Know?

Recently Published OER Research

Blomgren, C. (2021). Open pedagogy and transdisciplinary thinking: Making connections through a visual artefact self-study. The Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association Journal, 1(1), 1–18. 


da Silva, S. & White, K. (2021). Development and use of open educational resources in research methods for psychology. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(2), Article 9. 


Gagné, A., Wang, X., & Yusun, T. (2021). Building bridges and breaking barriers: OER and active learning in mathematics. The Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association Journal, 1(1), 1–20.


Orzech, M. J. (2021). Planning, implementing, and assessing an OER faculty learning community: A facilitator’s lens. The Open/Technology in Education, Society, and Scholarship Association Journal, 1(1), 1–13. 


Vrana, R. (2021). Open educational resources (OER) as means of promotion of open education. International Convention on Information, Communication and Electronic Technology (MIPRO), 2021, 576-581. 



This newsletter is possible thanks to MATC support, the MATC library, the MATC Open Access Team led by Dr. Thomas Kalluvila, and Dr. Krystia Nora's coordination of materials. Many thanks to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact for their monthly OER updates that supply many of the updates and most of the news here.


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