OER Community Conversation Series: Creating Equity through Connection

The 2022 -2023 OER Community Conversations is a series of four presentations that represent how we can use Open Educational Resources (OER) to address equity through connection, the Network for Educational Development theme for this year.

We will showcase these definitions, barriers and strategies through the voices and experiences of our Minnesota State faculty, students, and staff, and administrators.

Learn more about this year’s NED theme in the NED Course Catalog.

View the flyer

Session One

November 16 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

Host: Dave Anderson, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Instructors commonly upload course content into D2L as Word or PDF documents. Unfortunately, these formats prove challenging to read and interact with on mobile devices. Explore how we can leverage the HTML editor in D2L to engage students.

Learn how Dave Anderson specifically integrated OER into his course using the HTML editor in D2L to create course content and transfer his edited version of an existing OpenStax textbook into his course, using notepad, to ensure that his course is truly accessible to his learners regardless of their device. 

Session Two

December 7 @ 3:00 – 4:00 PM

Host: Brock Behling, Minnesota State

Listen to a student panel focused on how students define or think about accessibility in terms of their everyday experiences in accessing course content. Hear real barriers they face and successful methods that some faculty are using that are meaningful to them

It will be a valuable look into student perspectives on how faculty can make those powerful changes to make their learning experience exceptional and equitable.

Session Three

February 22, 2023 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Host: Ed Minnema, Minnesota State

Join Ed Minnema for a discussion on equity, how it is an ongoing process, never perfect, but a work in progress, and how OER compliments this process. He will also share some ideas for and examples of best practices in OER course and content creation.  

Session Four

April 5, 2023 @ 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

megaphone on white surface Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com
Seeking 3-6 panelists

We will end the series with a panel of OER Learning Circle faculty that have intentionally focused on equity and accessibility as they worked on their OER Learning Circle projects.

Faculty will share examples of that focus using OER and again highlight how the OER Learning Circle process and philosophy closely aligns with ideals of the four strategies of equity and inclusion through connection. 

Contact Karen Pikula if you are interested in sharing your experiences with creating OER content or courses that align with the four strategies of equity and inclusion through connection.

Pre-Session Resources

We encourage those who wish to join in the series to familiarize themselves with the following resources.

John Scott’s Four Strategies

Four strategies related to belonging and empathetic practice:

Strategy 1: Connecting to content. This strategy discusses techniques for designing more inclusive course content to improve student engagement

Strategy 2: Connecting to self. This strategy draws from “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy” and shares examples of learning activities designed to help students connect to their identity, experience, and interest.

Strategy 3: Connecting to preference. This strategy explores reflective practice and learner choice in helping develop metacognitive strategies and self-regulated learning practices.

Strategy 4: Connecting to texts and concepts. This strategy discusses “remix literacy” as a learning activity designed to facilitate peer dialogue, develop higher-order understanding, and create multimodal artifacts that “act” in the world.


Supporting First-Gen Students through Inclusive Course Design

John Scott – October 27, 2020

For first-generation students, higher education offers a gateway to career advancement, valued social capital, and intergenerational mobility. Yet despite the best efforts of instructors, first-generation students face numerous challenges to successfully completing a degree, evidenced in higher drop-out rates compared to their peers. Understanding those challenges can help inform course design strategies that foster a greater sense of inclusion and belonging that can help all students find academic success.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn about key tenets of inclusive design and accessibility and how they relate to the needs of first-generation learners.
  • Understand instructional strategies designed to address the specific challenges faced by first-generation learners.
  • Discover tools institutions can adopt to support learner preference and promote inclusive education.

What Is Neurodivergence and What Does It Mean to Be Neurodivergent?

By Ariane Resnick, CNC


Contact Karen Pikula.

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