Grant from the Hewlett Foundation to Expand Inclusion and Diversity Focus for Open Educational Resources in Undergraduate Quantitative Biology
QUBES is pleased to announce that it has received funding from The Hewlett Foundation as part of a $380,000, 1-year award to Bates College to support implementation of several collaborative projects related to the sustainability of Open Education.
Sustainability and Partnerships. QUBES operations transitioned from an NSF RCN-UBE incubator idea to a virtual center after significant NSF IUSE Idea Lab funding in 2014. Since then we have developed a virtual hub for community resources and discussion, a flexible OER publication pipeline, and a virtual professional development model (FMNs) to support and recognize instructors. This is all possible through our over 100 partnerships with amazing groups such as the Ecological Society of America, HHMI Biointeractive, and the Network for Integration of Bioinformatics in Life Science Education (NIBLSE). During the last couple of years, we have been moving towards addressing sustainability, and have been pleased to have the financial support of many projects as they contract web, conference support, and FMN services. Together, we have been working to support the community outreach and broader impact goals of our partners.
To further explore opportunities for sustainability, QUBES Partnerships Director, Dr. Diaz Eaton, co-founded the Sustainability Challenges for Open Resources to promote an Equitable Undergraduate Biology Education (SCORE-UBE) Network. SCORE explores the promise of equity and the realistic challenges of sustainability assumed by open educational resources (OER) in undergraduate biology education, broadly defined to include open access publications, software, and digital platforms that enhance college biology instruction. Funded by NSF RCN-UBE Incubator, the SCORE Network held its first meeting in October, 2019 at Bates College. In order to tap a wide range of expertise from those involved in OER discussions, the SCORE Network membership includes libraries, foundations, and OER textbook databases in addition to representatives from faculty and OER projects.
SCORE Participants on October 17-19, 2020 at Bates College, Lewiston, ME.
Hewlett Foundation Support. The Hewlett Foundation shares SCORE concerns that a challenge to Open Educational Resources (OERs) is how to keep an eye on equity and inclusion while simultaneously keeping efforts financially sustainable. We are pleased that Hewlett Foundation has recently awarded Bates College a one year grant to subsidize QUBES infrastructure and support implementation of ideas discussed at the SCORE Summit (October 2019, Bates College).
The Hewlett Foundation award will support SCORE organizations who will pilot shared practices for sustainability, as well as support, invite, and expand the community of educators and OER organizations to align universal design for learning and inclusivity goals with classroom and organization practice.
Support and Grow Social Justice Thinking. To move OER intentionally toward a social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusive framework, we intend to normalize these conversations and weave practices into organizational missions, curriculum development, and delivery. Programming over the next several months will support the SCORE community in their thinking at the intersection of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (affectionately referred to as S-JEDI training) and open education. SCORE is collaborating with QUBES to launch a new professional development program called SPLINE (STEM education Project Leaders Inclusivity NEtwork) which will center S-JEDI conversations for QUBES Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) mentors. Later this summer, we will also launch an S-JEDI reading group for organizational leaders to consider how these principles intersect with the core of their organizational missions.
In these unprecedented times, Hewlett’s commitment to equitable education is more important than ever, by providing focused opportunities to develop thoughtful, impactful educational tools and programming, which will strive to serve the full community of learners.