Advocacy Basics

General OER Communications

Communicating with Students

A flyer to help students understand the “no-cost” icon in the schedule

Engaging Students

Sample Resolutions

Starting an OER Workgroup/Committee/Task Force

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A great way to move an advocacy effort forward is by creating a body that is dedicated to that effort. There is no secret recipe that dictates how you do this, but having a clear vision and the right people at the table is a great way to get started. If you opt to create a task force to create a more permanent entity, keep in mind that the composition of the task force is potentially nothing like the committee that will move the work forward

Regardless of the approach you take, people who are often helpful to have include (presented in alphabetical order, not by order of importance):

  • Accessibility experts, Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) staff, or other personnel who are involved with providing services to students with accessibility challenges
  • Administrators
  • Bookstore representative
  • Classified staff
  • Counseling faculty
  • Financial aid representative
  • Food and housing insecurity personnel
  • Instructional faculty
  • Instructional operations (or whoever is involved in identifying your sections for recognition as “no-cost” sections)
  • Librarians
  • Student services representatives
  • Students
  • Whoever may be interested in the cause [/bg_collapse]

Create an OER Web Presence

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You may find a website from another college that you like and ask for permission to copy, edit, or remix – or you may choose to create your own.

Websites often include information about how and where to search for OER, information for who to contact on your campus for assistance, financial or release time incentives for faculty adopting or adapting OER if offered, an outline of your process for identifying course sections with no associated textbook cost, and other resources to assist faculty in moving to OER.  The website might also include resources for learning more about OER and/or local professional development opportunities.  An OER website might also include information regarding local policies with respect to OER and curriculum, course outlines, articulation, accessibility, and peer review in regards to textbooks in general.


Apply to be an OpenStax Institutional Partner

This one year program (no financial support but no cost to apply or be a member) gives colleges the opportunity to learn about tactics other colleges have used to increase OER adoptions on their campuses and try some of these tactics out on their own with the support of OpenStax and approximately 10 other colleges and universities across the country.  About a dozen CCCs have gone through this Institutional Partnership.

OpenStax Institutional Partner

Advocate for Positions or Release/Reassigned Time

Many colleges are finding that there is a measurable return on investment (i.e., the cost savings on textbooks for students) as a result of giving release or reassigned time to a faculty member for coordinating OER and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) efforts. Other colleges are utilizing students for advocacy.

From the Open Education Rising Podcast (Houston Community College Scaling Up OER): (Links to an external site.)

Student Advocacy: From BCCampus OER Student Toolkit:

Invite a speaker to come to your college

Invite a speaker to to talk about OER or schedule a viewing time and place for an introductory and/or discipline specific OER/ZTC Webinar

There are many folks who would likely be interested and available to speak on your campus and there are webinars available to continue to spread information.

Stay Focused on the Facts

There are many of rumors and myths about OER.  Here are a couple of sources to refer to: