2 Guidelines

Crafting formal OER Guidelines acknowledges the institution’s commitment to OER by clearly identifying the purpose and expectations for developing and using open materials in the classroom. At a minimum, OER Guidelines should (1) Articulate the college’s purpose for using open resources, and (2) Identify how the college’s current OER activities comply with other state and system OER policies or regulations, and related campus policies or guidelines already in place.

Note that Wisconsin currently does not have OER state policy in place as of Spring 2021. State policy has been introduced and adopted across several states, and could expand to Wisconsin in the future. To keep up to date on OER state policy changes use SPARC’s OER State Policy Tracker.

Also note that the Wisconsin Technical College System Office recommends the adoption and expansion of OER as a best practice, yet there is not a set policy in place for this work, allowing college flexibility regarding OER. For federal reporting, there is a WTCS Client Reporting code (program fee code 71) that colleges submit to designate which course sections use OER as the required text. See the OER Client Code for more information.

Ideally, OER Guidelines would also set expectations for OER courses and summarize course development processes and supports. For example, they might specify OER course development, review, and approval procedures; identify available professional development and technical supports, and describe the requirements and responsibilities for receiving an OER course designation from the college. OER Guidelines should be developed in collaboration with appropriate campus stakeholders, including campus administrators, faculty, and leaders in the campus OER initiative.

Colleges may have previously developed policies or guidelines for other campuses activities, such as online learning or campus technologies, which could serve as a model for OER. For example, many colleges have established course development guidelines and review checklists for online courses which might be adapted for OER use.


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WTCS OER Field Guide for Sustainability Planning Copyright © by WTCS OER Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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