Aug. 27, 2020, Austin, Texas – On Sept. 1 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will launch OERTX, the state’s digital repository of open educational resources (OER) for Texas students and educational institutions. OERTX is provided through a partnership between the Coordinating Board and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) and is made possible by an appropriation from the Texas Legislature.
House Bill 3652 (86th Texas Legislature, Regular Session) provided $250,000 in initial funding for the creation of a customized OER web-based repository to provide Texas students and public and private higher education institutions access to high quality OER materials. In addition, Governor Abbott and state legislative leadership recently announced that$10 million of federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding will be committed to improve the quality of online learning. These funds will be used to strengthen institutions’ online course offerings and develop OER course materials to significantly reduce costs to students.
“I applaud Governor Abbott and Texas legislators for supporting the Coordinating Board’s efforts to increase access and affordability and minimize barriers to higher education for students across the state,” said Commissioner of Higher Education Harrison Keller. “OERTX is a strategic investment that will accelerate innovation in teaching and learning, strengthen collaborations across our colleges and universities, and help keep students on track to complete high-value credentials and enter the workforce with the kind of education tomorrow’s economy will demand.”
The Coordinating Board will partner with Texas institutions to populate the repository with faculty-created, high-quality digital resources that align with Texas Core Curriculum courses, co-requisite courses, and career and technical programs. OERTX will also be used to support institutions in creating and sharing teaching support and training materials for faculty.
“Last session, I authored House Bill 3652, the creation of an Open Educational Resource State Repository, to help further the use of open educational resources to provide an affordable alternative for students who need to buy textbooks and other materials for their courses,” said Chair of the House Higher Education Committee Rep. Chris Turner. “In the COVID-19 pandemic, open educational resources will be even more important in helping students in Texas succeed in their education. I look forward to seeing the creation of this repository through THECB’s partnership with ISKME, a data and research-driven company dedicated to innovation in education.”
All OERTX materials are licensed through Creative Commons or are in the public domain, free and available to any user who can become a part of the community by authoring material within the site, providing reviews of materials, or joining an OER group.
“Making higher education more affordable has always been a priority of mine,” said Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee Sen. Brandon Creighton. “The Texas OER Repository created with House Bill 3652 will do just that by reducing costs for instructional materials and making educational support tools widely available. OERs are needed now more than ever as more students work full-time and look for innovative education delivery models. I commend Commissioner Harrison Keller, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board staff, and ISKME for swiftly moving to launch the OER repository ahead of schedule.”
OERTX is designed to facilitate the curation of OER e-textbooks and other OER materials used frequently by Texas institutions of higher education and to support the creation and customization of new resources to meet the needs of Texas students and faculty. All OERTX resources will be free and available to any student.
THECB Mission Statement
The mission of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is to provide leadership and coordination for Texas higher education and to promote access, affordability, quality, success, and cost efficiency through 60x30TX, resulting in a globally competitive workforce that positions Texas as an international leader.
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