OER Summer Institute


BranchED is the only non-profit organization in the nation dedicated to strengthening, growing, and amplifying the impact of educator preparation at minority serving institutions (MSIs), with the larger goals of diversifying the teaching profession and intentionally addressing critical issues of educational equity for all students. This project aims to expand the creation and use of high-quality, standards-aligned open educational resources (OER) by MSIs.

Ensuring America’s future as a strong democracy depends on open and equitable access to learning for all of the nation’s populace. The hypothesis that “by making Open Educational Resources (OER) freely available will lead to increased use by students and teachers” has not been fully realized, particularly in those educational contexts and communities that stand to benefit the most from the reduced costs and the opportunity to personalize learning. As such, a shift in focus from ensuring that content is open to strengthening teaching capacity and promoting effective use of open content is warranted. Such a shift requires investment in training and technical assistance for in-service teachers and teacher educators that is directed toward improving instructional practice and implementation fidelity.

Three challenges continue to hinder the widespread adoption of OER and plague well-intentioned efforts to achieve deeper learning outcomes among PK-12 students, particularly students of color and low-income students. Those challenges are:(1) the lack of awareness among teacher educators and in-service practitioners and (2) the lack of diversity of content curators and creators, which contributes to (3) the limited availability of culturally relevant OER content. Through this OER program, BranchED seeks to sponsor up to thirty (30) teacher educators employed by MSIs to develop high quality, openly licensed online resources to empower teacher educators at MSIs nationwide.



The Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED) invites applications for the 2021 Open Educational Resource (OER) Content Development Summer Institute. The purpose of this initiative is to provide teacher educators at educator preparation programs (EPPs) in MSIs nationwide access to high quality, openly licensed teaching resources.

Through this program, BranchED seeks to sponsor teacher educators to participate in a 4-week content development institute. The institute will launch with a 2-day Summit and will consist of weekly tasks and meetings for the remaining 4 weeks. Please click on the “When” tab above for key dates. The goal of this program is to curate and develop educational materials in alignment with BranchED’s Framework for the Quality Preparation of Educators.

The key deliverable of the BranchED OER Summer Institute is to develop an Open Educational Resource for a teacher preparation course that centers diversity and grapples with issues of equity. BranchED is seeking the development of OER for foundational or subject area teacher preparation courses. The resource should adhere to the BranchED OER template that will be presented during the launch of the institute. The resource will be housed in the BranchED OER Commons Hub and shared with educators nationwide through the BranchED network.

The 2021 BranchED OER Institute includes train-the-trainer sessions that are valued at $1,200 per person. In addition to BranchED sponsoring these sessions, participants will receive an honorarium of up to $2,000. Participation requires completion of an OER module that adheres to the BranchED template. Completed modules are to be submitted to BranchED’s Director of Professional Learning by July 9, 2021. Honorariums will be paid to individuals upon submission of the completed module.

Focus Area of Module

BranchED is requesting applications that propose modules that relate to one or both of the focus areas from the table below. The proposed module can either explicitly approach one of these focus areas or can incorporate the proposed topic in conjunction with another topic in a content-based approach (e.g., inclusive pedagogy through the teaching of Math).

Inclusive PedagogyIntersectional Content
(Instructional approaches, strategies, experiences)(Curricula and instructional materials)
Instructional materials that encompass inclusive pedagogy minimize or remove barriers to learning or assessment and support the success of all learners, while ensuring that academic standards are not diminished. Such pedagogy includes the integration of culturally and linguistically sustaining practices, social, and emotional learning, cognitive science, and trauma-informed care within disciplinary content areas.Intersectional instructional materials integrate content related to learners, learning, the subject matter, content knowledge for teaching, pedagogical knowledge, assessment, and engagement with families and communities. Materials that integrate such knowledge are dynamic, constructed, and overlapping.

Eligible individuals may apply to be considered to develop an OER module that meets the following criteria:

1. The proposed OER module must be directly related to at least one of the focus areas identified above.

2. The proposed OER module must be developed with the intent to fully support or supplement a widely taught foundational or subject-area course in educator preparation that will be taught by the applicant during the Fall 2021 semester. The audience for the module must be teacher education faculty in educator preparation programs.   

3. The content of the proposed OER module should be:

    • high quality (research-based, reliable, accurate, current, and relevant),
    • culturally-responsive and centers diversity and equity, individuals and communities,
    • accessible and readable by students at a variety of levels, and
    • multi-modal (video, text, activities, articles, etc).

4. The module should be created using the BranchED template and guided by the BranchED OER Quality Equity Standards.

5. Content developed as part of this project will be openly licensed and accessible to educators who access the BranchED OER Hub.

6. The module created in the 2021 Summer Institute is to be used in a Fall 2021 course in which students will be surveyed on their perceptions of the module.

7. The completed module will be reviewed by the BranchED Peer Review Committee using the BranchED Quality OER Equity Standards in the Fall of 2021.

Support Available

BranchED will provide the following forms of in-kind support to selected applicants in the development of their modules:

    • A four-week institute that provides instruction on OER skills and content development guidance as well as an OER module template.
    • A group space in the OER Commons Hub to share resources and collaborate with other institute participants.
    • Review and feedback on the completed module
    • Distribution of the OER content through the BranchED Hub