SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

University of Missouri - Columbia

Columbia, MO, United States
Official Website @Mizzou

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 35,425

  SPARC Member  

OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


New System-Wide OER Initiative

On 21 June 2017, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and Chancellors Leo Morton, Tom George, Garnett Stokes and Christopher Maples announced a plan that will save students significant amounts of money on textbooks and other course materials. This effort is designed to reduce the cost of attendance and enhance learning for students. The plan takes advantage of Open Educational Resources (OER), or class materials that are free for students, and AutoAccess, which is a program that makes textbooks and class materials available online at a lower cost than traditional learning resources.

To accomplish this goal, a working group of faculty, staff and students, including a team of librarians, bookstore personnel and campus instructional design staff, will be formed to provide input from all four campuses. The group will work collaboratively to develop a system-wide strategy to increase awareness of affordable and open resources, incentivize the transition to those resources, and encourage University-created materials to be shared as open resources. This work will be done in conjunction with campus-specific working groups.

Currently, some campuses are already using online resources to reduce the costs of textbooks for students. The working group will review that progress and see how the resources can be shared throughout the system. One example of these online resources is a program known as AutoAccess, which is available to all four campuses within the University of Missouri System.

The system-wide initiative is launching this summer, and the working group is committed to making fast progress toward its goals.

Previous Campus-Level OER Efforts

In conjunction with other SEC universities, the University of Missouri’s graduate and undergraduate student governments passed a joint resolution in 2014 calling for the university to explore OERs. In response, a campus OER Interest Group was formed. Sponsored by the University Libraries and led by Outreach Librarian, Grace Atkins, the OER Interest Group includes representation from the Libraries, the Mizzou Store, Educational Technologies @Missouri, faculty, and representatives from student government. The group has worked to spread awareness of OER on campus, identify stakeholders, and share information about OER.

The campus OER Interest Group's work includes
1. Creating and actively managing an Open Educational Resources information site at The site provides information about the open educational resources movement, support for OER and textbook affordability at Mizzou, and external resources supporting OER.
2. Sponsoring OER Week activities in 2016 which included social media activities and a speaker from OpenStax (, a well-known open textbook initiative based at Rice University.
3. Conducting faculty and student surveys in FY17 to help assess current awareness and use of OER at the University of Missouri.

In the fall of 2016, the Office of Undergraduate Studies tasked the OER Interest Group with gathering data on current OER use and implementation among University of Missouri faculty and instructors. By gauging OER use and creation, as well as student need, the OER Interest Group could better determine strategies for expanding OER use, as well as establish a means to assess usage. Key findings from the data were compiled into a report:

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Point of Contact

Joe Askins
Head of Instructional Services, University of Missouri Libraries