Recently, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) conducted a survey of faculty members utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) in their classroom. The survey discovered that across Minnesota State’s 30 colleges, 7 universities, and 54 campuses, a total of 70 out of the system’s ten thousand faculty/instructors were employing OERs. Spread across 19 campuses, these 70 faculty members have had a positive impact on 8,500 students to the tune of $1,083,767 in textbook savings.
While it is wonderful faculty use of OER is on the rise, the Minnesota State system serves 375,000+ students pursuing more than 3,750 academic programs. The relatively low number of faculty utilizing OERs is concerning and demonstrates there is considerably more work necessary to expand OER adoption.
One way LeadMN champions the use of OER, is by recognizing faculty through the Pocket Protector Award. Recipients of the Pocket Protector Award have gone out of their way to learn about OERs, incorporate them into their course materials, and advocate for their expansion as an innovative academic tool for faculty and a cost-savings option for students.