EDUCAUSE Supports Call to Make Federally Funded Ed. Materials OER

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(August 4, 2015) A group of 90 higher education and related organizations, including EDUCAUSE, released a letter today calling on the Obama Administration to establish a new government-wide policy on educational, training, and instructional resources developed with federal funds. The proposed new policy would make any such materials open educational resources, and therefore freely available for anyone to use or adapt as needed. As the letter states:

The Federal Government currently invests billions of taxpayer dollars each year in programs that include the creation of educational, training, and instructional materials through grants, contracts, and other cooperative agreements. This investment produces educational resources ranging from innovative curricular resources to workforce training materials to English language learning tools. While these materials are created for the public good, they are generally not open to the members of the public who paid for them. At a time when educational opportunity, workforce development and access to knowledge are critical to America’s future, these valuable publicly-funded resources should be openly available to students, teachers, businesses, workers and the public to use in new and innovative ways.

To support implementation of the policy across federal agencies, the group identifies five core principles on which it should be based:

  1. A broad definition of educational materials subject to the OER requirement
  2. Free online access to such resources
  3. Funding conditions that grant the public permission to reuse or adapt relevant resources subject to appropriate attribution
  4. Prompt implementation (proposed timeframe: 12 months)
  5. Regular progress reporting to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

If other organizations of which you are a member might be interested in joining this call for expanding the federal government’s commitment to OER, please invite them to visit, which links to a page where they can indicate their support.