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MSU Denver receives $62,000 to support OER projects

Funds will primarily support the Open Roadrunners program, which provides faculty stipends to encourage exploration and adoption of open educational resources.

By Emily Ragan, Ph.D.

March 17, 2021

Student working with press in printmaking studio.Metropolitan State University of Denver received $62,000 from a State of Colorado Open Educational Resources grant offered through the Colorado Department of Higher Education. An institutional award of $60,000 will support the third year of the Open Roadrunners program, which provides faculty members with stipends to explore and adopt open educational resources for their courses. This will fund Open Textbook Review workshops ($200 stipends), faculty learning communities ($500 stipends) and $750 OER adoption grants through the coming year.

Faculty members are invited to attend an Open Textbook Review workshop April 22 from 2-3:30 p.m. (via Teams).

In addition, grant funds will support a transition to OER in ENG 1008, ENG 1009 and ENG 1010, a move that is expected to benefit about 3,000 students per year.

“It is very important that OER materials meet our focus on genre and embrace appropriate linguistic diversity, which is essential to the success of our multilingual students and our anti-racist practices,” said Jessica Parker, Ph.D., director of First Year Writing. “This grant will allow us to adapt resources to meet the needs of our students.”

Jade Hoyer, assistant professor of Art and coordinator of the Printmaking Area, received an individual $2,000 grant to create a graphic “how-to” printmaking guide inspired by comic-book art for use in MSU Denver’s art printmaking classes. Through the project Design, Print, Matrix: Creating OER Materials for the Studio Art Printmaking Classroom, Hoyer will provide students with simplified visual documents for use in the print-shop classroom or remote learning use.

“Students within the Department of Art already have to spend a lot of money each semester on art supplies, so textbooks are often an additional financial burden for them,” Hoyer said. “Thanks to this grant, students will be able to print off this resource whenever they need it, and I’m excited to offer students the opportunity to co-author this resource. Hopefully, classes will use this guide as a fun and accessible way to engage in the printmaking medium.”

Hoyer adds that implementing OER resources in the studio classroom is a great way to address a practical challenge in hands-on spaces. “Textbooks are often impractical in the studio setting,” she said. “If you have inky hands, you aren’t exactly eager to be handling an expensive textbook in the print shop.”

Faculty members who are currently using OER or other low-cost options and plan to use them in upcoming semesters are encouraged to fill out a course-marking survey for summer or fall so those courses can be designated as no-cost or low-cost for materials. This course-marking initiative is required by the state as a condition of our grant funding and provides important information to students about course-materials costs.

Topics: Academics, Access, OER, Open Educational Resources, Student Success

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