EDUCAUSE Comments: Making Federally Funded Educational Resources OER


On August 4, 2015, a group of 90 higher education and related organizations, including EDUCAUSE, released a letter asking the Obama Administration to establish a new policy on education, training, or instructional resources developed with federal funding. Under the proposed policy, any federally funded educational resources would be made available as open educational resources (OER). The following text from the letter summarizes the group’s position:

We, the undersigned organizations from the education, library, technology, public interest and legal communities are writing in response to the Office of Science and Technology Policy's call for ideas to strengthen the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. To ensure that the value of educational materials created with federal funds is maximized, we call upon the President to issue a strong Administration policy to ensure that they are made available to the public as Open Educational Resources to freely use, share, and build upon.

The Federal Government currently invests billions of taxpayer dollars each year in programs that include the creation of educational, training, and instructional materials through grants, contracts, and other cooperative agreements…. While these materials are created for the public good, they are generally not open to the members of the public who paid for them. At a time when educational opportunity, workforce development and access to knowledge are critical to America’s future, these valuable publicly-funded resources should be openly available to students, teachers, businesses, workers and the public to use in new and innovative ways.

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