By Julie Curtis, VP Strategy & Communication

One of the best parts of my job at Lumen Learning is the opportunity to meet the extraordinary people who are choosing to be flag-bearers for open education.

Adopting the language of a movement, we call these people “champions.”

During the age of chivalry, champions were knights who fought for a cause on behalf of others. This definition of “champion” applies perfectly to the cause of open education.

Our current-day OER champions are those who dare to blaze trails for others to follow. Many of these champions create and curate learning materials for others to use and build on. Other champions do the hard work of making the case for open education, building believers, and creating support systems to sustain and grow the impact of OER at a college or university.

A Playbook for Champions

Because our work creates many opportunities for close collaboration with OER champions, Lumen has been in a privileged position to see and help support many different activities associated with evangelizing for OER. These experiences have created a treasure trove of ideas and expertise around building effective OER initiatives.

Earlier this year we began compiling these ideas into a single, sharable resource that could be helpful to anyone engaged in an open education project. The framework we eventually settled on is a digital “Playbook” – a set of tactics and activities designed to help OER champions strategize, score, and win at successful, sustainable OER adoption.

We first test-drove the OER Champion Playbook at a couple of events earlier in the summer. After receiving enthusiastic feedback and ideas to help further expand this resource, today we’re officially introducing the Playbook to the world at large. Check it out!

The OER Champion Playbook is organized into five categories that correspond broadly to different stages of growing an OER initiative:

  • Making the Case for OER
  • Measuring Impact with OER
  • Building Awareness & Enthusiasm
  • Supporting Faculty through Change
  • Sustaining Change & Impact

You can browse the Playbook for ideas, tips, how-to instructions, examples, and tools you can repurpose to plan and execute your own strategies aimed at achieving your goals for OER adoption.

We’ve also created a companion tool, an OER Champion Workbook that walks through a step-by-step process for planning and executing an effective OER initiative. If you share your email address with us when you enter the Playbook, we’ll send you a copy of the Workbook as well. 

The Playbook is a living document. We’ll continue adding to it as we collaborate with, learn from, and support many and diverse champions for OER. We’ll continue collecting and attributing wonderful resources we encounter along the path supporting OER adoption. Do you have a suggestion or something you’d like to contribute? Send us feedback using this form

Here’s to the Champions

OER champions are creating a tide of change towards affordable, open learning materials. Thanks to their efforts, millions of students are saving many millions of dollars in textbook costs. Faculty are finding OER adoption is simpler and better-supported than ever before. Campus leaders are recognizing the role OER can play in student success and building open education into strategic plans

It’s inspiring to witness remarkable persistence, creativity, and energy focused on helping students and faculty realize the benefits of open education. And it’s really fun to share these things through the OER Champion Playbook.



Photo: The SUNY OER Services team receives recognition for outstanding efforts at a 2017 Lumen Client Appreciation event.