New Funding and Collaboration Opportunities for OER Development

The Department of Labor (DoL) recently unveiled the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant Program. This announcement has generated a lot of excitement and, in some cases, frenzied activities around creating new OER on a substantial scale for two-year and community colleges.

In case you haven’t heard:

“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a solicitation for grant applications under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program. The Labor Department will award approximately $500 million this year through the program and a total of $2 billion over the next four years. Grants will support the development and improvement of postsecondary programs of two years or less that use evidence-based or innovative strategies to prepare students for successful careers in growing and emerging industries. The program will be administered by the Labor Department in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.” From: ETA News Release: US Labor Department encourages applications for Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.

While Open.Michigan cannot participate as a grant recipient in these activities, we are still very interested in supporting the efforts of two-year and community colleges to successfully apply for this program. The deadline for proposals is fast approaching: April 21, 2011. You can access the full program announcement (PDF) that provides details on the terms of licensing new materials, scope, goals and procedure for application. The DoL recently dropped the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) requirement for this initiative, making it easier to produce effective and useful OER.

Below, you will find links to resources and information that we hope will support the successful use of this investment in OER across the country.

Open.Michigan Support

Open.Michigan is eager to assist colleges, especially those in Michigan, in this effort. Creating OER can be a challenge, we understand.  Here are some ways we can help:

  • What is OER?
  • How to Share
    • Including: Creative Commons license definitions and uses; the four steps to creating open content and tips for finding and using OER.
  • OER Toolkit
    • Created for our institutional partners in the medical field, this toolkit provides instructions and background information about how to start thinking about creating useful OER.
  • Information Sheets
    • Including: How to Create Open Content, Open Educational Resources Overviews, our Clearance Process Overview (dScribe)
  • Presentations
    • Including: How to Create Open Content, Introduction to Open.Michigan, Copyright Clearance, Copyright Training
    • We also have presentations on our SlideShare group which include presentations from past and present members of the Open.Michigan team
  • How We Got Our Start
  • Contact Us if you have questions that we might be able to help you with; we can help by providing tailored consultation and training.

Other Support

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is also doing their part to try to facilitate the successful use of this funding. Their blog post, Creative Commons and the TAACCCT Federal Grant Program provides information on the TAACCCT program, explains how to specifically use their licenses on the materials and includes useful updates.

eLearning and Open Education at Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Cable Green, director of eLearning and Open Education at Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, is a large supporter of this program and has done several presentations on OER. Check out his SlideShare page for his presentations.

OER Foundation

WikiEducator, supported by the Open Educational Resource Foundation is a large portal of information, projects, resources and activities you can engage in to learn more about OER. It also hosts the OER Course Collaboratory, where folks can use, remix and recreate educational resources based on a variety of subjects.

Open CourseWare Consortium

While it focuses on OpenCourseWare rather than Open Educational Resources, the OCWC has also developed a toolkit that provides background materials and infrastructural resources for addressing open education opportunities.

David Wiley, Associate Professor at Brigham Young University

David Wiley is involved in several areas of OER development, including creating his own from his teaching materials, providing direction for the open textbook publishers Flat World Knowledge and supporting the Open High School of Utah. His most helpful resources, however, may be found in his publications.

United States Department of Labor

Head to their Grants and Contracts page for the complete announcement and links to the forms and resources you may need to complete this application process.