Open Educational Resources (OER)

The MCO OER Repository Project provides a space and process for faculty and staff at Michigan Community Colleges to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute Open Educational Resources.

Steering Committee

The OER Steering Committee guides this initiative.  The committee will help guide the statewide community college OER efforts toward the goals of ...

  1. improving student success, 
  2. lowering the costs for students, and
  3. increasing inter-institutional collaboration

Some of the activities that support these goals include assisting with selecting the platform for hosting open educational resources; creating policies/procedures; promoting college OER activities; sharing resources available to assist colleges in their OER activities, and training and marketing in support of these goals.

Members of the steering committee include faculty, librarians, distance education administrators, chief academic officers, and other staff from the MCO member institutions.


The MCO works with the 28 Michigan community colleges to track OER usage at each institution. These reports can be generated on a semester basis and are available under Reports > OER Usage.

Z-Degree Guidance

Z-Degree Infographic

OER Z-Degree Infographic (PDF)


MCO Guidelines for Z-Degrees

MCO Guidelines for Z-Degrees (PDF)


Member colleges are able to develop, upload, and share OER through the Michigan Colleges Online Hub (powered by OER Commons). This repository contains collections that can be viewed by discipline or by college.


MCO OER Training

Faculty Conversation Series

MCO OER Faculty Conversations Recordings


Jim Soto, St. Clair County Community College; David Strand, Oakland Community College; Matthew Van Cleave, Lansing Community College;



Donna Giuliani, Delta College; Christina Miller-Bellor, Delta College; Erwin Selimos, West Shore Community College;



Diane Miller, Mid Michigan Community College; Claire Sparklin, Washtenaw Community College; Ryan Wilson, Northwestern Michigan Community College;



Tara Broekel, Oakland Community College; Shauna Hayes, Muskegon Community College; Suba Subbarao, Oakland Community College;



Andrew Paad, Alpena Community College



Wade James, West Shore Community College; Brad Stetson Schoolcraft College;



Paul Bilinski, West Shore Community College; Jeff Hucko, Glen Oaks Community College;



Amber Kinonen, Bay College



Dillon Carr, Grand Rapids Community College



Janice Fritz, St. Clair County Community College; Carrie Dollar, St. Clair County Community College



Alec Thomson, Schoolcraft College; Tony Perry, Henry Ford College; Jonathan Williams, Kellogg Community College;



Hassan Nameghi, Henry Ford College


MI OER Technical Training Sessions




MI OER Summits

2019 MI OER Summit

The 2019 MI OER Summit was held on October 18, 2019 and hosted by Delta College.  
Links to the presentations and keynote can be found here. PDF

2018 MI OER Summit

The 2018 MI OER Summit was held on September 21, 2018 and hosted by St. Clair County Community College.  
Keynote speech by Dr. Chris Gilliard can be viewed hereYouTube

2017 MI OER Summit

2017 MI OER Summit was held on September 22, 2017 and hosted by Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek, MI). 
Keynote speech by Dr. Robin DeRosa can be viewed hereYouTube

OER Resources

This wiki is a place for Michigan community college staff and faculty to share documents, including policies, processes, and projects related to their use of open educational resources on campus.

Michigan Community College Librarians LibGuide 
Resources for Michigan Community College Librarians providing information, training, and support for faculty adoption of open educational resources.

OER Directory - annotated listing of OER repositories


OER 101 Document PDF  
Share how OER can benefit teaching and learning at your institution.

OER Research

Student Success

  • Colvard, N. B., Watson, C. E., & Park, H. (2018). The impact of open educational resources on various student success metrics. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30(2), 262-276. (

    • "OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning."

  • Fischer, L., Hilton, J., Robinson, T. J., & Wiley, D. A. (2015). A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 27(3), 159-172. 

    • “In three key measures of student success—course completion, final grade of C- or higher, course grade– students whose faculty chose OER generally performed as well or better than students whose faculty assigned commercial textbooks.”

Student and Faculty Perceptions

  • Hilton, J. (2019). Open educational resources, student efficacy, and user perceptions: a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018. Educational Technology Research and Development, 1-24.

    • "While the impact of OER on student learning appears to be small, it is positive. Given that students save substantial amounts of money when OER is utilized, this is a particularly important pattern."

    • "The fact that consistent survey data show that both faculty and students who use OER largely rate it as being equal to or superior to CT [commercial textbooks] has important practical and policy implications for those responsible for choosing textbooks."

  • Illowsky, B., Hilton, J., Whiting, J., & Ackerman, J. (2016). Examining student perception of an open statistics book. Open Praxis, 8(3), 265-276.

    • "Survey results show that students generally had at least as good of an experience using the open textbook compared to traditional textbooks."
  • Hilton, J. (2016). Open educational resources and college textbook choices: A review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Educational technology research and development, 64(4), 573-590.

    • "Studies across a variety of settings indicate that both students and faculty are generally positive regarding OER."


  • Jhangiani, R. S. & Biswas-Diener, R. (2017). Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: License: CC-BY 4.0
MCO OER Reports

For up to date reports on OER usage across the state, visit the OER Usage page.

MCO OER Repository Usage

MCO OER Faculty Grants

Michigan Colleges Online completed a grant proposal review focused on high-impact and collaborative projects that support the use of open educational resources (OER) to increase student retention and student success and reduce instructional costs for students. There are three types of grants awarded: Adoption of an open textbook; Adaption (remix/reuse) of an existing open textbook; and Development of ancillary resources or complete open textbook not already available.

Twelve grants were awarded to a total of 26 faculty representing six colleges and one ISD collaborator.  Click here Word Document for a review of the successful grants.