Learning community announcement: Building Just and Sustainable OER

Do you lead an organization, project, or professional development related to Open Education or STEM Education in higher ed? Need help improving your broader impacts and sustainability in a way that centers justice and equity? Are you interested in tools and feedback to better reach your audience and communicate the value of your work? If so, join with teams from other projects like yours (e.g. BioQUEST/QUBES and RIOS Institute) in a new workshop.

RIOS Institute (formerly SCORE Network) is collaborating with Science Gateways Community Institute to offer a virtual, two-week workshop for organization and project leaders who work to support open education while centering a commitment to social and racial justice - all disciplines and all types of leaders are welcome.  We particularly encourage teams of two or more! (Registration link is at the bottom - we can accommodate up to 10 teams at no cost thanks to the support of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation). 

During the two-week workshop (August 9-12 and September 13-16 - see full schedule below), teams engage in hands-on activities to reflect on their organizations’ mission, articulate the value of their work to key stakeholders, and define a path to impact and sustainability - all centered in equity and inclusion. Participation in this workshop is an opportunity to jump start your engagement with RIOS, an active learning community around the sustainability of educational reform.

This dynamic, collaborative workshop offers participants a flexible toolkit that you can use as your project continues to mature. Participants will be led by expert instructors through a series of activities where they develop resources for their projects. By working closely across teams, participants have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. 

This workshop is based on the successful sustainability Focus Week program created by the Science Gateways Community Institute. The SCGI-RIOS workshop has been fully customized to offer creators of open educational resources the chance to apply well-tested sustainability concepts, in ways that support and advance values of social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.


Here is a small sampling of the topics we cover during the workshop. 

  • Napkin Drawing
     Effectively communicate the value of your project through verbal and visual communication.

  • Value Proposition
     Identify the primary value that your project brings to its users and community.

  • Understanding Your Audience & Key Stakeholders
     Explore and assess your audiences and stakeholders to better engage them.

  • Budgeting & Goal Setting
     Use impact-driven goals to begin developing a budget and financial forecast

  • Delivering a pitch
     Learn how to use principles of marketing to connect with your users and stakeholders, whether the “ask” is financial, in-kind, or volunteer participation.

Teams are strongly encouraged to apply. Past participants have found it extremely useful to work on these questions with their project partners. 


Because this workshop provides an iterative series of activities where you build resources for your project it is important to commit to full participation. Participating as part of a team will make it easier for your project to participate in all sessions.

The main sessions occur from 12-1:30 pm ET with two additional afternoons per week reserved for facilitated peer-feedback sessions where you benefit from advice on your specific project/organization

Week One: Focus on Strategy (August 9-12, 2021)

  • Monday: Introduction. S-JEDI principles as a path to Sustainability. Defining your Value Proposition.
  • Tuesday: The Environment
  • Wednesday: Defining and understanding your Audience
  • Thursday: Defining Success

Week Two: Focus on Operations (September 13-16, 2021)

  • Monday: Goal Setting & Budgeting
  • Tuesday: Revenue Models compatible with Open Education
  • Wednesday: Delivering a pitch
  • Thursday: Sustainability strategy “Pitch”

Registration link: https://forms.gle/qFDTR7ToY3bstFHQA 

Deadline for registration is August 2nd.

Please email Claire Stirm (cstirm@ucsd.edu) with any questions.

  1. learning community
  2. rios
  3. sgci
  4. sustainability

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