OER in Montana 2020

The Montana University System and the Treasure State Academic Information & Library Services (TRAILS) consortium partnered to create a statewide open education program which officially launched in the spring of 2019.  In just over one year’s time, we have created and launched a dynamic program. After the first year of this program, students and faculty across the state are already seeing its benefits.

We are proud to share details about this work in our Year One Report.  This report records activities and achievements for the first year of this program as well as goals and priorities for the future. 

Open education is the future of higher education.  In a time where digital and remote access is essential for students who are also being faced with new and more dramatic access and financial challenges, open educational resources are the investment that will not only support our students succeeding but benefit our institutions’ enrollment and image.  The Montana University System Office of the Commissioner and Higher Education and TRAILS are excited about these efforts and continued investment in making higher education more affordable for students across our state. We ask that you join with us in celebrating the program’s success on your campus and invite you to continue to support your faculty and students in helping us address affordability and quality education at your institution.

If you are new to the open educational movement or want to know more about how you can become a part of it, we have options.

To find out more about the program, visit us here.  To join one of the weekly OER workshops or learning opportunities, visit us here.  Or reach out to Christina Trunnell, our Statewide OER Coordinator today.

Blazing New Trails: The Evolution of Licensing Big Deals – Webinar

Please join us for an overview on the major issues developing in the world of e-resource acquisitions.

Hannah McKevley (MSU-Bozeman Assistant Professor and Electronic Resources & Discovery Services) will discuss the value of the Big Deal—a traditional subscription model that includes full-text access to all or most of a publisher’s journal holdings. With no right or wrong model in place, multiple libraries have already cancelled their Big Deals; others have flipped their Big Deal agreements to include open access publishing fees for their institutional authors; and some have expanded the value of their Big Deals by adding additional platforms, tools, or resources to their agreement.

This session will provide an overview of how negotiating license agreements for electronic journal subscriptions is changing and what impact these changes might have on existing and future Big Deals in an academic library consortium like TRAILS. The presenter will also share resources that libraries are using to help analyze and understand their own Big Deals such as SPARC and Unpaywall Journals.

Thursday, March 12
Noon – 1:00 p.m. MST

Register here – 

New OER opportunities

The Montana statewide OER program is pleased to announce the following new opportunities for faculty to engage in open education and textbook affordability work.

Faculty OER Grants – the new round of OER grants is now open and accepting applications!  Applications must be submitted by December 6th, 2019. 

ReDesign Your Course class – it’s not to late to join this class.  If you are transitioning to OER in your course, this is a perfect opportunity.  The class will help you build and create your course with open materials, is asynchronous so can be taken at your pace, and runs from November thru February.  Signing up does not commit you to taking the class, but gives you access to the course so you can decide.

Upcoming Workshops Open Pedagogy Virtual Workshop: November 15th, 10 a.m., OER Textbook Review Virtual Workshop: November 20th, 2 p.m.

The statewide OER program will be hosting more professional development and grant opportunities during the spring semester. 

With any questions, please contact Christina Trunnell.

Updated Fall OER Schedule

It is officially fall, or maybe the new Montana hybrid of fall/winter.  During this season that is often full of preparing for family gatherings, work events, and more, TRAILS is busy ramping up the work in open education and textbook affordability.

New workshops have been added to the fall schedule.  New opportunities for professional development are coming up.  New grant opportunities are being prepared to be shared later this month.  Check out our latest schedule with links to sign up for any or all events.  Here’s the highlights.

More Virtual Review workshops have been added by faculty request.  This are a brief introduction to what OER is and how it may benefit you.

The ReDesign Your Course with OER class is running again!  This was a great success with faculty who participated this summer.  This fall, faculty will be joined with colleagues from Montana and other west coast states in this iteration of the class.  This is asynchronous to best fit your schedule and allow for the maximum benefit.  Questions?  Check out the introductory sign-up here.

NEW!!! An Open Pedagogy workshop is now on the schedule!  Yes, you requested it; it has been added.  Interested in learning more about open teaching practices but not sure about switching textbooks, maybe you don’t even use a textbook?  This is the workshop for you.

Looking for more from TRAILS OER?  Let me know what you need.  In the meantime, if you missed the Fall OER starter packet, this is full of lots of links and ideas to get you started.


Upcoming OER Events!

Now that school is underway, are you ready to get involved in more with Open Education and Textbook Affordability initiatives?

The MUS TRAILS OER program is offering the following opportunities to Montana higher education institutions.  All events are free and open Registration.

  • September 13th –  Faculty Virtual Textbook Review Workshop.  Textbook Review Workshops are 1 hour, providing and introduction and overview of OER.  The workshop will answer basic questions as well as provide faculty the opportunity to write a review of a textbook in the Open Textbook Library.   Register here.
  • September 16th thru  November 10th – Open Educational Practices Course.  This course introduces participants to open educational practices. Topics include open educational resources, open content development, accessibility, instructional design, and open pedagogy. Open educational practices are applied throughout the course in a variety of individual and team learning activities. Register here.
  • September 18th –  Community College Webinar on Copyright and Licensing with OER. No matter how long you’ve been an advocate of OER, you may sometimes feel like you need a (fun and nuanced) refresher on the nuts and bolts of “open.”  This webinar will engage a panel of experts in a discussion ranging from the basics of copyright and Creative Commons licensing to the tough questions we inevitably encounter when working with open resources.Register here.
  • September 20th – Open Textbook Network Train OER Leaders Workshop. Details and Registration here.
  • September 26th – Faculty Virtual Textbook Review Workshop. Textbook Review Workshops are 1 hour, providing and introduction and overview of OER.  The workshop will answer basic questions as well as provide faculty the opportunity to write a review of a textbook in the Open Textbook LibraryRegister here.
  • October 15th –       Faculty Virtual Textbook Review Workshop. Textbook Review Workshops are 1 hour, providing and introduction and overview of OER.  The workshop will answer basic questions as well as provide faculty the opportunity to write a review of a textbook in the Open Textbook LibraryRegister here.
  • October 1st –          Open Education Leadership: a global webinar.  Join us for an informative webinar on the ways OEC is meeting the needs of leaders including State or regional leaders; the Open Policy Forum; OpenEd Tech; and including information about leadership sessions at the Open Education Global Conference in Milan.Register here.
  • October 17th –       Community College Webinar on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in OER. The OER movement is deeply rooted in ensuring equitable access to information; but there is more we can do to help increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in our resources. Join us for this webinar to learn about the ways in which colleges can consider issues of equity when designing and delivering OER courses and degree programs.  Register here.
  • November 17th –  Community College Webinar on Measuring OER Impact Research.  When starting an OER initiative at your institution, it is important to consider how you will measure the impact that OER is having on teaching and learning. This webinar will discuss the best studies that are currently out there, key research designs for institutions, lessons learned, and what data institutions should be collecting right now. Register here.

More opportunities to come. Stay tuned!

Fall Open Textbook Workshop Registration is Open

Faculty, deans, library directors, library colleagues, and curricula designers from Montana Higher Education are invited to participate in an Open Textbook Network Training workshop hosted by TRAILS on September 20, 2019 at UM-Missoula. The workshop will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in Room 330 of the University Center.

This workshop is a joint effort by TRAILS, the Open Textbook Network (OTN), the Montana University System, and the MT Board of Regents. Experts at OTN will serve to form the foundation for creating a community of practice, centered around building OER (Open Educational Resources) learning content, for affordable learning in Montana.

Space is limited.

Registration is free, but please let us know if you have to cancel so we keep costs to a minimum. In this workshop you can expect an environment of learning and sharing in areas such as:

• Using tools and resources for open textbook programming
• Exploring strategies for addressing common challenges
• Identifying obstacles to open textbook adoptions

• Developing incentives for successful programs on your local campus
• Networking opportunities with other workshop participants

TRAILS is sponsoring lodging for those who are traveling outside of the area.

Register here today!

Questions? Please contact Christina Trunnell, TRAILS OER Coordinator, at

OER Grants are open for applications.

It’s official!  The TRAILS OER program launched its first faculty incentive grant cycle last week.  We are soliciting applications today.  So, if you are teaching a course at a TRAILS  institution, you are encouraged to apply.  If you know someone teaching at a TRAILS institution, share this information with them.  Read the grant descriptions for this grant cycle and apply here.

For faculty working on  a course over the summer an thinking about adopting an open textbook, TRAILS is hosting a ReDesign Your Course with OER class during the summer.  This is a step-by-step class that will walk through changing textbooks and laying out a course with some instructional design methods woven in.  This class is asynchronous and can be taken at any point during the summer.  It will be available the first of June.  Individuals interested, curious about the details, or who want to know more before committing, please sign up here to get that information.

Aaniiih Nakoda Nominated

Aaniiih Nakoda Nominated

One of our members – Aaniiih Nakoda – has been nominated for the highest honor provided by the IMLS –

Congratulations to Eva English and Aaniiih Nakoda!

OER Coordinator Joins TRAILS

OER Coordinator Joins TRAILS

TRAILS is pleased to announce that Christina Trunnell will be joining TRAILS as the our new Open Educational Resources Coordinator. Christina is currently the Head of Library and Information Services at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon. She brings considerable knowledge of OER and experience with statewide OER efforts in Oregon. In Montana she will be responsible for rolling out and coordinating the statewide OER Initiative that is being funded by OCHE. Christina officially begins her duties with us on March 20.

TRAILS - Treasure State Academic and Information Library Services

Treasure State Academic
Information & Library Services
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3320

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