OER From Vision to Action


***Discover Conference Content Here***

Open Educational Resources (OER) are gaining momentum in higher education. To build up regional partnerships and collaborations on OER, GWLA/Alliance developed their first OER conference themed “From Vision to Action”! If you are interested in or working on OER, please see more details below. Contact events@gwla.org with questions.

The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (Alliance) joint conference, "From Vision to Action, on Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education took place August 1-2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.



8:00 am-9:00 amPick-up registration credentials
9:00 am-9:30 am Conference Opening
9:30 am-10:15 am Opening Envisioning Speaker: Nicole Allen, SPARC "The Evolution of Academic Libraries and Open Education"
10:15 am-10:45 am Break/Networking Time
10:45am-11:30 am Advocating Speaker: Teri Gallaway, LOUIS
Abstract: The textbook affordability and OER initiative in Louisiana was solidified through the efforts of the academic library community. Working together with the Board of Regents, the Louisiana Library Association, vendor partners and the eLearning community, LOUIS has kept a small pilot project in the spotlight and leveraged early successes to create opportunities and a community for longer-term growth. Advocacy by librarians has led to the development of a statewide plan that addresses systematic barriers to change, prioritizes course redesigns with OER, all while improving library collections and enhancing the professional status of librarians.
Bio: Teri Oaks Gallaway is Associate Commissioner for LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Association at the Louisiana Board of Regents. In this role she oversees the operations of the consortium, which includes a library services platform and electronic resources licensing support for 47 academic libraries. Prior to joining LOUIS, she served as the Associate Director of Research and Technology for the Honors Program and the Systems and Web Coordinator at Loyola University in New Orleans. As a lifelong learner, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education at Louisiana State University where her research explores the opportunities of open educational resource (OER) programs and their institutional impacts.
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch at Conversation Tables (Included in registration fee)
1:00 pm-1:45 pm Advocating Speaker: James Wiser, Community College Library Consortium
Title: California and OER: Is the Giant Bear Sleeping?
Abstract: California’s higher education system has supported OER initiatives for more than 20 years, but opinions vary widely regarding the efficacy of the state’s efforts. A small number of efforts have succeeded; many more have failed. In this presentation, James Wiser of the Community College League of California will describe what has and hasn’t worked in this always large and frequently unwieldy state, perhaps offering a cautionary tale of what not to do in your locale and ending with a glimpse of the Golden State’s future in OER efforts.
Bio: James Wiser is the Library Consortium Director for the Community College League of California, the library consortium that is comprised of California’s 114 community college libraries and serves 1.1 million student FTEs and more than 15,000 full-time faculty. Before assuming this role in 2015, he held librarian and library-related positions at SAGE Publications, SCELC (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium), Pepperdine University, and General Motors. He earned his MLS degree from Indiana University and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He is married to a political scientist, has two daughters under the age of three, and resides in suburban Los Angeles.
2:00 pm-2:30 pm Lightning Rounds-1st session:
Sarena Nguyen, Colorado School of Mines
Stan Trembach, University of Northern Colorado
2:30 pm-3:00 pmBreak/Networking Time
3:00 pm-3:45 pmActualizing Presentations-Session 1 (select 1)
A. “State and Legislative OER Panel”: Meg Brown-Sica, Colorado State University; Brittany Dudek, Colorado Community Colleges Online; Karen Danielson, Ph.D., Community College of Denver; Bruce Herbert, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station; Lily Todorinova, Rutgers University
B. “OER Incentive Programs: Reflection and Learning as You Go to Establish Approaches and Tactics for Campus Success”: Elaine Thornton, University of Arkansas; Stephanie Pierce, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
C. “OER adoption: Moving Beyond Early Adopters and Empowering Everyone Else to Use the OER, Too”: Alice Anderson, Kansas State University; Sara K. Kearns, Kansas State University
4:00 pm-4:45 pm Actualizing Presentations-Session 2 (select 1)
D. “Building a Community of Practice: Strategies Developed by Librarians in the SPARC OpenEd Leadership Program Panel” Amanda Larson, Penn State University; Abbey Elder, Iowa State University; Elaine Thornton, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Grace Atkins, University of Missouri; Talea Anderson, Washington State University
E. “OER Lessons Learned: Three Institutional Perspectives” Cheryl Cuillier, University of Arizona, Cinthya Ippoliti, Oklahoma State University; Michael J. Whitchurch, Brigham Young University
F. “Quantifying an OER Program: Maintaining, Analyzing, and Reporting Data” Cody Taylor, University of Oklahoma
G. “Cross-Campus Collaborations for OER Success: Best Practices and Dialogs” Brittany Dudek, Colorado Community Colleges Online
5:00 pm-6:30 pm Conference Reception (Included in registration fee)


8:00 am-8:30 am Pick up registration credentials
8:30 am-9:00 am Welcome and Day 1 Recap
9:00 am-10:30 am Closing Envisioning Speaker: Rajiv Jhangiani, Ph.D., Kwantlen Polytechnic University, British Columbia
Title: An open athenaeum: Supporting access, equity, agency, and innovation
Abstract: Higher education promises to be a vehicle for economic and social mobility; however, this promise increasingly goes begging as our institutions are subtly structured to reinforce existing inequalities, with engagement, persistence, and achievement still closely tied to affordability. The oft-heard institutional claim to be student-centered is similarly hypocritical, as it is usually faculty, accreditation requirements, and budgetary constraints that dictate both the structure and content of the learning experience. It is against the backdrop of these paradoxes that open education practices have emerged as a transformational force in higher education.
Open educational practices (OEP) encompass the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, open course development, and even the design of renewable assignments where students are empowered as co-creators of knowledge. OEP represents a truly learner-centered approach to education that radically enhances both agency and access. This presentation will draw on a diverse set of examples to make a case for why the shift away from traditional (closed) practices is not only desirable but also inevitable, and how academic libraries are perfectly positioned to leverage OEP to support the modern university’s mission by serving both social justice and pedagogical innovation.
Bio: Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani is a Special Advisor to the Provost on Open Education and a Psychology Professor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where he conducts research in open education and the scholarship of teaching and learning. A co-director of the Open Pedagogy Notebook, Dr. Jhangiani also serves as an Associate Editor of Psychology Learning and Teaching and an Ambassador for the Center for Open Science. His most recent book is Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (2017). You can find him online at @thatpsychprof or thatpsychprof.com
10:45 am-11:30 am Lightning Rounds-2nd Session
Jeffrey Marzluft, University of Hawai'i, Maui
Abbey Elder, Iowa State University
Grace Atkins, University of Missouri
11:30 am-1:00 pm Lunch at Conversation Tables (Included in registration fee)
1:00 pm-2:30 pm Collaborating Workshops (select 1)
A. “Getting Started with Open Pedagogy,” Rajiv Jhangiani, Ph. D, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Abstract: Traditional course assignments are usually “disposable” in that students work to produce a discrete artefact that will be seen by just their instructor. It is little surprise then that students struggle to see meaning in these types of assignments, which usually end up in the recycling bin. Faculty, on the other hand, take pains to provide meaningful, formative feedback that we often find has been retrieved and read by only a tiny fraction of our students. So what if we ditch the disposable assignment and instead harness our students’ energy, potential, and creativity and work with them to produce resources for the commons? This is the philosophy behind OER-enabled pedagogy. This hands-on workshop will equip participants with practical strategies and a suite of supporting resources with which to (re)design their course assignments. During this workshop participants will work collaboratively to generate and provide feedback on one another’s draft projects, which will themselves be shared as a public resource.
B. "Beyond Baby Steps: Learning how to walk (or run) with your OER program", Rebel Cummings-Sauls, FALSC. Note: Participants should bring a laptop or other device to work on
C. "Open Education Leadership: How to Build a Campus-Wide OER Movement", Nicole Allen, SPARC
D. “Copyright, OER and CC Licenses 101”, Ethan Senack, Creative Commons
E. “OER Advocacy Crash Course,” Chealsye Bowley, Ubiquity Press
2:30-2:45 pm Break/Networking Time
2:45 pm-3:30 pm Action Items and Final Thoughts
3:30 pm Conference ends
Return to your institutions inspired and ready to light the OER fire on your campus!

Hotel Information

  1. Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown
  2. 1715 Tremont Place
    Denver, CO 80202
  3. Homewood Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown-Convention Center
  4. 550 15th Street
    Denver, CO 80202
  5. Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Downtown-Convention Center
  6. 550 15th Street
    Denver, CO 80202

Program Information

The planning committee invited proposals from librarians, administrators, and all others involved with OER, for presentations or panels (45 minutes), lightning rounds (7 or 15 minutes), and posters.

Presentation, panels, lightning rounds, and posters might address OER topics including but not limited to:

  • Successful initiatives and programs: methods and results
  • Flops and failures: lessons learned and suggestions for others
  • Securing resources such as funding, additional staffing, and staff release time
  • Identifying, engaging, and influencing partners and stakeholders
  • Practical aspects of developing initiatives and sustaining programs
  • Engaging students and student government/leaders
  • State-level policies and legislation
  • Overcoming challenges and obstacles
  • Best practices, standards, and shared solutions for metadata and discovery of OER
  • “Almost OER” hybrids that combine open and licensed content
  • Demonstration (non-vendor affiliated) of tools/software/strategies to promote the uptake of OER on campuses.
  • Sponsorship

    This conference was co-sponsored by the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries (Alliance).


    The Colorado Alliance and Greater Western Library Alliance was pleased to offer four (4) scholarships for the upcoming conference: OER: FROM VISION TO ACTION.

    Two (2) scholarships were targeted towards current students in ALA accredited Library Science graduate programs. The other 2 scholarships were directed to library employees in a community college.

    The chosen applicants had their registration fee for the 2-day conference (including lunch both days and the conference evening reception) WAIVED! Please note that all transportation and lodging costs were the sole responsibility of the scholarship winner(s).

Browse the contents of OER From Vision to Action: