Broadening your curriculum with inclusive OERs

Have you seen the calls to diversify your curriculum? What does that mean? And how can you do that with OERs?

Diversifying your curriculum simply means that you are intentional and inclusive of a diverse set of voices and perspectives in your course materials: texts, readings, case studies, problem sets, lectures, and any other course materials. In particular, one should highlight the contributions, experiences, and expertise of marginalized communities rather than solely focus on the historically dominant narratives.

Adopting Open Education Resources (OERs) into your course that are inclusive and culturally responsible are a great way to take a step toward diversifying your curriculum. OERs can address social justice issues by aligning with social justice principles of redistribution, recognition, and representation (Lambert, 2018). Creating and using OERs that are intentional in their connection with social justice can increase student access, develop deeper student relationships with course content, and strengthen our collaborative capacity to pursue the larger goals of a more empowered educational ecosystem. 

 I’ve created three two-page quick guides to facilitate faculty in adopting, adapting, or creating/co-creating OERs that center diversity and inclusion. In these guides, you’ll learn about social justice principles as they connect to open education, read tips tailored to your stage (i.e., adopt, adapt, or create) of the process, discover how you can connect your work on inclusive OERs to promotion and tenure, and connect to additional resources.

If you don’t believe me, just listen to what the students have to say, “I enjoyed focusing on DEI in STEM and thinking about how seeing someone in the field with whom you identify can completely change your decision to go into said field” WPI student.

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