Open Educational Resources

We seek to advance affordable, equitable, culturally relevant, and high-quality learning experiences for postsecondary students by increasing the number of courses and faculty that use open educational resources (OER).

Open educational resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.


The affordability of instructional materials


Successful student learning outcomes


Equitable access to educational opportunities


of 2020 students surveyed reported skipping buying a textbook because of cost


in student savings through OpenStax’s free, openly licensed textbooks 


of students who use OER do as well or better than those using traditional materials
*Data provided by U.S. PIRG, OpenStax, and Open Education Group

Our Work


OpenStax provides free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks for post-secondary students. The nonprofit ed tech initiative is a Michelson 20MM grantee based at Rice University and is committed to helping students access the tools they need to complete their courses and meet their educational goals.

Changes to the Cash Management Regulations: Diminishing Students’ Choice Over How to Obtain Their Textbooks and How Much to Spend

Michelson 20MM Foundation funded a new legal white paper from the National Student Legal Defense Network (Student Defense), published through its Postsecondary Equity & Economics Research (“PEER”) project. Student Defense examined whether automatic textbook billing increases student choice, promotes price transparency, and protects competition within the textbook marketplace. 

New White Paper Investigates Legal Underpinnings of Inclusive Access Programs

United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund

Michelson 20MM supported a report by the United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (U.S. PIRG) analyzing the textbook industry’s new automatic-billing framework, also known as “inclusive access,” which has been adopted by major publishers as a tactic for recouping market share and increasing sales revenue. The report found that this new model fails to save students money and reduces faculty and student choice around instructional materials.

American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Through a Michelson Spark Grant, AAC&U worked with teams from five of California’s Community Colleges during their Institute on Open Educational Resources (IOER), which is designed to support the development of OER programs. Ultimately, AAC&U’s IOER provided an opportunity for the campuses to develop and actualize their OER adoption plans.


Creative Commons Certificate Bootcamp

Michelson 20MM, in partnership with Creative Commons (CC) and the California Community College’s (CCC) Academic Senate’s Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI), hosted a CC Certificate Bootcamp at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. By the end of the weeklong program, participating CCC faculty gained CC certified open licensing expertise. 

Creative Commons Certificate Bootcamp: Equipping Educators With the Tools to Go Open

OER Commons

The Michelson 20MM-funded CCC Community Hub enables faculty and staff within the California community college system to access a localized repository with rich collaborating, sharing, and evaluation tools. Each California Community College has its own group inside the hub; there are also discipline specific hubs for the California community to work together on developing and supporting OER.

California Community Colleges

Our Partners

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National Student Legal Defense Network
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Stay Engaged

For more information about our Open Educational Resources initiative, please sign up for our newsletter or reach out to Cailyn Nagle, OER Program Manager, at