OER Conference getting closer

OER Conference getting closer

In conjunction with Open Education Week, the North Dakota University System will hold an Open Education Resources (OER) Conference, Friday, March 6 at the Holiday Inn in Fargo.

The full-day program will include an overview of the OER landscape at a national level, a panel of representatives from Mayville State University, University of North Dakota and Valley City State University who have successfully implemented OERs, and research conducted by UND professor, Dr. Virginia Clinton, regarding of the effects of using open textbooks and student learning outcomes. Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Lisa Johnson said conference attendees will be instrumental in shaping the future of OER in North Dakota.

“Adoption of OERs is gaining tremendous momentum not just in our state but throughout the country,” Johnson said. “Open education resources support the creative potential of innovative faculty and reduce the financial burden to students.”

Attendees can choose from a variety of afternoon breakout sessions focusing on the OER perspective of faculty and students. Jennifer Parks from the Midwestern Higher Education Compact will provide a checklist of options to consider when choosing an OER repository. Conference participants will also be able to learn what options are available using OER in general education courses or Z degrees.

The conference will conclude with a discussion led by Johnson that will focus on the next steps for OER leadership in the university system. Registration link is here. Full program information is as follows:

Time Event/Program Information
8:15 am – 8:45 am Registration Check-in and Continental Breakfast – Sterling Room
8:45 am – 9:00 am Opening Remarks

Lisa Johnson, North Dakota University System, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs


9:00 am – 10:00 am

National Landscape of OER in Higher Education

An overview of OER landscape across the US and abroad.  Examples of best practice, policy, and strategic implementation. The presentation will also include what is next for “open” in the context of diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Tanya SpilovoyEd. D., Director, Open Policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)

10:00 am – 10:15 am  

Morning Break


10:15 am – 11:15 am Landscape of OER in North Dakota

Panel members will share information about OER adoption on their campus, and campus culture.  Gather ideas you can take back to your campus.

  • Julee Russell, Ph.D., Director Online Initiatives & Dept Chair, Language & Literature, Valley City State University
  • Kelly Kornkven, M.S., Library Director, Mayville State University
  • Stephanie Walker, Dean of Libraries & Information Resources, University of North Dakota



11:15 am – 12:15 pm


Open Text vs Traditional Textbook Research


Numerous studies have examined the learning outcomes of open textbooks with various findings.  Dr. Clinton will present her statistical analysis of the overall effect of open textbook adoption (meta-analysis) in which the learning outcomes from 24 different studies and the withdrawal rates of 11 different studies were aggregated. She will also include her interpretation of these findings.


Dr. Virginia Clinton, Assistant Professor in Educational Foundations & Research, University of North Dakota



Time/Event Program Information

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm


Luncheon – Crowne Room

Join your fellow colleagues at a table topic of interest.   Or find an open table and start up your OER Topic.



1:15 pm – 2:00 pm

Breakout Session 1 – Choose from:

A: Student Success with OER – Frontier Room

A panel of students and bookstore personnel will provide their perspective on how they can work together to provide access to class materials.

B: The Wide-Open Faculty Perspective – Prairie Room

Whether you are new to OER or an experienced user, this session will cover the various levels in the OER realm.  Topics will include adopting an OER textbook, creating an OER, adding accessibility features and lastly, take a few minutes to look at OEP (Open Ed Pedagogy/Practices).


Attendees will get a link to resources, have a chance to view OER textbooks in their physical form, and ask questions.


Presenters are faculty from North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton & Fargo

  • Cindy Lee Deuser, Assistant Professor
  • Sybil Priebe, Associate Professor
  • Ronda Marman, Associate Professor
  • Dana Anderson, Associate Professor
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm Break

2:15 – 3:00 pm

Breakout Session 2

A: Open Textbook Repositories – Frontier Room

A checklist of the various options to consider when choosing a repository for your OER textbook will be presented.   Followed by an example of a repository used by DPI, the OER Commons.

Jenny Parks, Senior Director of Policy & Academic Initiatives, Midwestern Higher Education Compact

Amanda Peterson, Assistant Director, Office of Academic Support, Dept. of Public Instruction

B: Z Degree/General Ed OER – Prairie Room

Examples of general education and Z Degrees (Zero textbook cost) from the US and abroad. Participants explore various pathways and discuss what might work for their campus strategy.

Tanya Spilovoy, Director, Open Policy, WCET


3:00 pm – 4:15 pm


Shaping the Future of OER in North Dakota

Lisa Johnson, North Dakota University System, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

Hotel Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn for the evening of March 5 at the state rate.

Holiday Inn, Fargo

3803 13th Ave. So.


Room block will be released on February 4, 2020.

Call in reservations can be made by dialing 1-877-282-2700.

Ask for the room block under NDUS Open Education Resources Conference.

Other suggested hotels within close proximity to the Holiday Inn are listed below: 

  Remember to ask for state rate.

  • Holiday Inn Express: 1-701-282-2000
  • Ramada by Wyndham (formerly Doublewood Inn): 1-701-235-3333
  • Country Inn & Suites: 1-701-234-0565
  • Delta Hotel by Marriott: 1-701-277-9000



Registration link:  NDUS OER Conference   Registration limited to the first 125 registrants.

Registration deadline: Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Cancellation Policy:   Full refunds if request is made by March 2, 2020 by emailing: NDOERConf@NDUS.edu

Payment can be made by NDUS campus P-Card or institution credit card, except American Express.

Other inquiries can be directed to  NDOERConf@NDUS.edu


Thank you to the planning committee

Stephanie Walker & Laura Egan, Chester Fritz Library, UND

Beth Twomey & Jenny Grasto, NDSU Library

Julee Russell, Valley City State University

Cindy Lee Deuser, North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton

Amanda J. Peterson, ND Dept. of Public Instruction

Kimberly Anvinson, NDSU Bookstore

Lindsey Pouliot, NDSU Student Association

Tanya Spilovoy, WCET/WICHE