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Mission and Vision


Open.Michigan enables University of Michigan faculty, students, staff and others to share their educational resources and research with the world.

Open.Michigan is a University of Michigan (U-M) initiative dedicated to increasing knowledge dissemination across the higher education community through encouraging a culture of sharing. Open.Michigan is founded on the principle that public universities have a responsibility to share the knowledge and resources they create with the public they serve. While Open.Michigan works to encourage collaborative knowledge building and foster a participatory learning environment, most of the activity in service of its mission is directly related to Open Educational Resource (OER) production and publishing in some form. OER are learning materials and tools offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to adapt, improve, and redistribute.


Open.Michigan’s vision is to position U-M as a leader in sharing educational resources, dramatically expanding the University's global impact and influence and strengthening it as a point of reference for learning and teaching materials for educators and learners worldwide. Sharing OER advances knowledge dissemination and supports the University’s mission of “serving the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating and applying knowledge.” Additionally, opening U-M’s resources and education process provides opportunities for disruptive innovation and for new education models to emerge. Investing in OER and open education is a long-term strategy that acknowledges the cultural shift towards public licensing and inter-institutional collaboration happening in higher education and positions U-M to take advantage of the benefits of this shift.



Progress Toward Goals


Open.Michigan’s efforts contribute to two primary goals:


-- to sustain a thriving culture of sharing knowledge at U-M; and

-- to provide comprehensive public access to all of U-M’s scholarly output.


These goals will remain open-ended, but span a range of measurable activities at Open.Michigan:

Building communities of OER producers and users: Open.Michigan participates in and supports campus and international communities in OER production, including a U-M OER legal and policy team, the African Health OER Network, the OpenCourseWare Consortium, and Global dScribes. This work strengthens ties between U-M OER practitioners, creates and sustains pivotal relationships with domestic and international higher education institutions, and attracts outside funding.


Consulting and outreach services to facilitate OER production: Open.Michigan’s outreach and education programs teach U-M faculty, students, and staff about the value and benefits of using public copyright licenses and creating OERs. Open.Michigan partners with faculty, students, and staff who wish to create any form of OERs, including courses, textbooks, and datasets. The initiative also supports faculty and students who are seeking open content to use in their teaching and learning. Open.Michigan provides consultation and resource production support for current projects and initiatives hosted by individuals or organizations across campus.


The development of processes and software to support OER production and publishing: Open.Michigan developed and continues to refine a distributed OER production process called dScribe, which relies on student volunteers in U‐M courses to collect, format, and publish learning materials as OERs. To support this work, Open.Michigan developed and maintains software called OERca that facilitates the OER production process. Open.Michigan also worked with a software development firm to build OERbit, an OER publishing website on the Drupal platform.


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The content on this page has been adapted from the open.michigan website, on, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( by The Regents of the University of Michigan