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WICHE aims to increase access, affordability, and equity using Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are openly licensed and freely accessible materials used for teaching, learning, and research. OER can include textbooks, ancillary materials, media, and other digital materials. OER can be reused, revised, remixed, or redistributed while retaining credit to the original creator of the materials.

WICHE’s regional OER focus includes working with leaders, policymakers, higher education systems, institutions, and other organizations to scale the usage of high-quality open education resources to promote success for students in the west.

Our approach, with support from the Flora & William Hewlett Foundation, is to enhance collaboration among OER champions in western states and affiliated territories to:

  • Broaden support for OER adoption and scaling,
  • Develop greater availability and use of research concerning gaps in state and system on the impact and outcomes of open education activities, and
  • Focus on the role of OER in closing equity, postsecondary attainment, and skills gaps for all students in the west, and
  • Meet state, system, and institutional OER needs at-large.

The OERwest Network

The OERwest Network, composed of members from western states and affiliated territories, work collaboratively to undertake challenges to the adoption, scaling, and implementation of OER. The Network pays particular attention to equity in the work it conducts, specifically in the development of OER policies and practices.

Update Corner

Gap Analysis and Environmental Scan

Sharing Observations, Priorities, Opportunities in the National OER Landscape

December 2020

The four regional education compacts—the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the New England Board of Higher Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education—are working together to help scale the adoption and use of open education resources nationally to allow millions students access to free, high-quality learning resources.

This publication provides a summary of the work of two focus groups compromised of experts in the field of OER. The report shares the group’s observations on the OER landscape, identified opportunities and priorities, and recommendations and next steps.