The Future of OER and Accessibility at PPCC

I am writing this post, because a couple things have come up in terms of my work duties at the college. Namely, that my duties will be shifting to meet the needs of PPCC.

I was hired in January of 2015, to be the Course Designer that focused on Digital Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Since that time, Pikes Peak has had many successes in improving the accessibility of our curriculum, our website, and other digital services/resources that we provide to our students and the community.

A lot of this work was through the training that I offered to faculty and staff, along with my work as chair of the Digital Accessibility Committee (formerly the Web Accessibility Implementation Committee). The committee itself has done wondrous things.

Our institution’s efforts have not gone unnoticed, as many of our peer institutions in the state (and even nationally), have remarked on how awesome of a job we have done in the areas of digital accessibility and UDL.

The truth is, digital accessibility should always be a focus for our institution, as it benefits all of our students, and is something that has become part of the culture of higher education as a whole.

In addition to my duties in the areas of digital accessibility and UDL, I have assisted faculty with D2L (PPCC Online), and recently have been helping faculty incorporate Open Educational Resources (OER) into their curriculum.

This past Fall, I worked with faculty to have it where all sections of SOC 101, CCR 092, and ANT 101 utilized OER in lieu of traditional textbooks. This saved students around $200,000.

Because of this, I assisted the institution in receiving a grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, which will provide funds to spur the development and utilization of OER at PPCC.

Like any other major project, my workload in OER has grown by leaps and bounds. To the extent that I could easily have my work in OER become a full-time position. Which leads us to the topic of this post…

Unfortunately, starting this semester, I will have to focus more heavily on my work in OER. Which means that there will be some drops in coverage relating to digital accessibility and UDL at PPCC. I have tried my best to get coverage for some of the duties in those areas, however there are still very large gaps in coverage remaining.

What does this mean? To be honest, I’m not sure, as some discussions and decisions will have to be made involving Instructional Services as a whole. For the other stuff, we’ll just have to see what the future holds.

Thankfully, eLearning recently hired an Instructional Technologist (Rob Fredricksen), who can provide assistance for anything D2L related.

In the meantime, I will try my best to provide the best possible support to you when it comes to OER, digital accessibility, and UDL. Just all I ask, is that you are patient in case there are any bumps in the road.

As always, I love working at PPCC, and I promise I will do everything I can to support our students, and of course you (our faculty).

4 thoughts on “The Future of OER and Accessibility at PPCC

  1. Mark, PPCC is very lucky to have you. Your drive and passion is inspiring. I really don’t know how you get everything done that you do.

  2. Marc- Our Humanities department is just beginning to work on developing OER materials for our students. I may contact you with questions. It is good to have a resource. Thanks

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