In 2002, the Hewlett Foundation began investing in open educational resources (OER), which are high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose.
We were one of the first institutions to invest in the field, at a time when MIT’s Open Courseware initiative and Creative Commons were in their infancy. Since then, the foundation has partnered with several content producers as well as technical assistance advisors and policy groups to support the creation of an ecosystem of OER groups.
In addressing the costs and quality of learning in the U.S. and the dearth of high-quality course materials, we see an unprecedented opportunity to scale OER and unleash its potential to improve education for the future. Our grantmaking supports mainstream adoption and effective use of openly licensed educational resources that provide students around the world greater access to a world class education.
Support the development of effective, standards-aligned open educational resources for teachers and students in the United States, and promote OER as a way to increase educational access and equity in the developing world.Postsecondary educationReduce the cost of college and increase the quality of pedagogy by ensuring that OER, including open textbooks, are freely available for postsecondary courses, and that OER-based degree pathways are widely accessible in community colleges.Infrastructure investmentSupport people and institutions promoting OER, research on OER effectiveness, and the technical basis for OER, including policy and advocacy, research, open licenses, interoperability, and accessibility standards.
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