Is OER Moving into the Mainstream? – O'Donnell Learn

Is OER Moving into the Mainstream?

Published by Carrie O'Donnell
on Nov 20, 2019

I recently attended the #OpenEd2019 conference looking for clarity on this question. You can see from the data in the infographic below that the use and acceptance of OER is increasing. Additionally, faculty resentment towards commercial publishers continues to grow, creating a more open environment for faculty awareness and acceptance of OER.

At the conference, I listened carefully to the experiences and opinions of experts around the country, and here is what I learned:

  • Most states and many institutions are promoting initiatives to increase affordability; OER is a big part of these initiatives.

  • The use of OER, while growing, is still niche, and mostly evolves around open textbooks. As long as the ecosystem relies on one primary provider, OpenStax, it will be difficult to move beyond niche.

  • There is a belief that publishers have co-opted the “affordability” conversation, at least for now, with their inclusive access programs, and that this interferes with the advancement of OER.

  • Many states and large institutions are making investments to advance OER and, no surprise, greater financial investment tends to yield greater OER usage.

  • Cross-institutional collaborations are helping to drive acceptance and usage, particularly in the states that have made OER a priority.

Increasing access to affordable and open resources is important even though the path for moving from niche to mainstream isn’t straight; yet. The leading states are forging a path and creating best practices that will help to pave the way. At our company, we are committed to engaging in cross-institutional collaborations and to increasing access to viable providers and viable content beyond OpenStax. We will be doing some of this in our partnership with PanOpen and others in our partnerships with institutions and state systems. I hope that when we next provide an infographic, like this one, we will have moved beyond niche and more into the mainstream.


Purposeful Learning DesignTM – Why People are at the Center of Everything We Do

Published By Carrie O'Donnell
on Jan 15, 2021

I’m often asked why our company is so good at collaborating with  faculty. The first time I heard this question, I didn’t realize clients found this unique to O’Donnell Learn. We’ve always been great partners  because people are at the heart of everything we do. In fact, our entire design philosophy - Purposeful Learning DesignTM - is anchored around people.  It starts with this truth: learning is for people. As such, learning design should be grounded in empathy and it should promote success for both learners and faculty. Purposeful Learning Design is the philosophy we embrace to ensure we never lose sight of this truth. It is comprised of six key considerations.

2020 Reflective: Breathe Deep and Stay Agile

Published By Joana Jebsen
on Dec 22, 2020

While end-of-year survey results are still to come for how enrolled students are evaluating their 2020 college experience, I queried two of our staff, both students, about their overall experience and considered how these compared to what I was seeing with O’Donnell Learn clients. Kellie, our graphic design intern, just completed her Associates Degree in Graphic design. Prior to 2020, all of her courses met on campus. Cathryn, a Learning Design Associate is currently enrolled in an online Master of Education program in eLearning and Instructional Design. As this program was conceived as online delivery, it serves as a benchmark to compare against courses that were forced by COVID to switch delivery modes.

Evolving Our Project Management to Advance Client Results

Published By Craig Leonard
on Dec 16, 2020

If you were to talk to anyone in our organization, you’d quickly discover that we are all truly passionate about learning. So much so, that always learning is one of our core values. Learning from our successes, failures and each other is integral to how we operate and how we’ve grown into the agile company we are today.