Our History

Open educational resources (OER) help increase access, equity and affordability for college students. MSU Denver established its OER task force in the fall of 2018 to promote awareness and use of OER at MSU Denver.

Early Bird Articles

The OER team has published multiple articles in the MSU Denver’s daily news publication for faculty and staff, the Early Bird.

Read the Early Bird stories below to learn more about grant funded OER initiatives and the course marking system that gives students information about courses with no or low cost for materials at the time of registration.

Spring 2022

Fall 2021



Current Grants

Learn more about the three State of Colorado OER grants awarded to MSU Denver

Read our reward history

OER Task Force

Institutional Faculty Awards

Spring 2019 - Roadrunners who soar awards

Dr. Andrew Bonham ( Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Todd Laugen (Department of History) were recognized as MSU Denver’s Open Educational Resources Used in a Course winners.

  • Dr. Bonham was recognized for his adoption of OER in a master course for CHE 2100, Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry, a course taken by about 120 students per year and with a high textbook cost (over $100).
  • Dr. Laugen co-wrote “Colorado History Detectives: Teaching Historical Literacy to School-Aged Readers”, which benefits K-12 students and teachers across the state and was also used in Dr. Laugen’s Spring 2019 section of HIS 3425, “Colorado and the Nation”.

Alex McDaniel (Associate Director of Instructional Design) received the OER Promotion on Campus award.

  • Since 2005, Alex has worked with individual faculty members to create or improve hundreds of online, hybrid and face-to-face courses. Throughout this time, Alex sought out opportunities to infuse OERs into course design processes, maximizing student learning and making learning more affordable.
  • In his current role as Associate Director of Instructional Design, he has worked with his team to increase the overall adoption and creation of OERs within the design of Online and Hybrid courses.

August 2020 - SOAR Awards

Samuel Jay (Department of Communication Studies) and Brooke Woolman (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) were recognized as MSU Denver’s Open Educational Resource Used in a Course Champion Soar Award winners.

  • Samuel Jay, associate professor of communication studies, adopted OER in the online section COMM 1010, Public Speaking. He then scaled the project to all sections of the course, which enrolls approximately 1600 students a year!
  • Brooke Woolman, lecturer in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, taught 234 students in OER sections during the 2019-20 year for an estimated cost savings of up to $29,000 and developed OER sections of three different chemistry courses.

Ellen Metter (former Auraria Research Support Librarian and Library OER Lead who retired May 31, 2020) was recognized as the OER Promotion on Campus Champion.

  • Ellen was an effective champion for OER at MSU Denver as well as CCD and CU Denver.
  • She served on MSU Denver’s OER task force, including the grant-writing sub groups that wrote grants to CDHE that led to $136,000 over two years.

Zero Textbook Challenge, November 2020

Gov. Jared Polis recently honored Metropolitan State University of Denver programs and educators in the Zero Textbook Cost Challenge. Read more

MSU Denver winners include:


Fall 2021 SOAR Awards

Dr. Ann Diker, Professor, Department of Nutrition, adapted an OER textbook for NUT 2040 Introduction to Nutrition and prepared the Canvas template which has been used in all sections of the course since Fall 2020. This free textbook is estimated to be a $170,000 cost savings for the over 1,000 MSU Denver students taking this General Studies Natural and Physical Sciences course annually.

Emily Ragan looking out a window holding two books in each arm

Our OER Coordinator

Emily Ragan

Emily is an associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry and has been fortunate to represent MSU Denver on the state Open Educational Resources Council since its inception in 2017. Emily helped establish the MSU Denver OER task force in September 2018 and has led the University’s efforts to obtain grant funding to support faculty work around OER.

Interested in implementing OER in your courses?

Email US

Email the OER Coordinator, Emily Ragan, to learn more about OER opportunities and to learn how to start the OER process.

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