Denver public schools_DCIS Montbello

A student raises her hand at DCIS Montbello during a reading assignment in a classroom at the Denver school in May.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has approved awards ranging from $1,000 to $76,000 for 34 projects to make free and openly licensed instructional materials available in higher education. The University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Mines are among the entities to receive one or several such grants.

“With this year’s $1 million investment in open education, Colorado is signaling that we support our faculty and institutions in their innovative teaching practices,” said Brittany Dudek, Colorado Community Colleges Online librarian and Open Educational Resources Council chair. “Colorado continues to showcase the talent, engagement and dedication of its faculty and institutions to open education.”

This is the second year of grant funding to faculty members and institutions. The projects could pertain to a single course or encompass a larger effort university-wide. The commission projects that the $1 million in projects will save $3.4 million from the cost of purchasing instructional materials. There will be an additional $1 million for another round of awards next year.

“Kudos to the colleges and universities implementing OER on their campuses,” said Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “They are on the front lines redesigning teaching approaches and transforming education and the future of learning. Some say our education system hasn’t changed in the last 50 years, but this is proof it has.”

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