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ALA Task Force Info Sessions and Webinars

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Note: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UT System ALA Task Force Webinars have been suspended until further notice.


The University of Texas System’s Affordable Learning Accelerator Task Force is sponsoring a series of Zoom webinars featuring colleagues from across North America who are wrestling with topics germane to the task force’s work.  Topics include efforts to expand the availability and affordability of high-quality, low- or no-cost, cutting-edge and new-generation instructional and learning resources to students, among them, Open Educational Resources.  

Scheduled throughout Spring 2020, the webinars feature leaders and advocates from a variety of higher education and organizational peers who are focused on system and systemic approaches to affordable, quality and innovative learning resources and environments.  

The webinars are open to Task Force members, and other interested colleagues from UT institutions and other systems in Texas.  Registration is required, and webinars will be recorded.

Along with several in-person info sessions, the webinars constitute a deliverable of the task force, designed to help inform the final report and recommendations, as well as disseminate information to educational colleagues across the UT System and Texas. 

Registration for upcoming webinars will be made available soon below. Alternatively, please contact Weston Rose, Program & Communications Coordinator, at if you would like assistance with registration.

Webinar 1 - March 5, 2020: Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation in the University of Maryland System, presented by Dr. MJ Bishop, William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland



Topic Presenters Date

Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (COERLL) at UT Austin

The Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) is one of 16 National Foreign Language Resource Centers (LRC's) funded by the U.S. Department of Education. COERLL's mission is to produce and disseminate OER in language learning.


Carl Blyth, Director

February 14 Task Force meeting


Austin Community College OER and Z-Degree Work

ACC’s involvement in a Z Pathways grant from Achieving the Dream.


Gaye Lynn Smith, Associate Vice President, Academic Programs, ACC

February 14 Task Force meeting


Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation in the University of Maryland System

Dr. Bishop will discuss the mission of the University System of Maryland’s Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, its philosophy, how her team has been identifying priority areas, and the way they work collaboratively with a variety of partners to catalyze new ways of thinking about student success across Maryland.  She will provide concrete examples of this work that are specific to the Kirwan Center’s leadership of the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative.


MJ Bishop, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director, William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation,
University System of Maryland


March 5
1:00-2:00 CT (2:00-3:00 ET)



The State of New York has awarded SUNY and CUNY $8 Million to implement a statewide OER initiative as an element of the state's broad efforts to make public higher education in the state more affordable.  Learn how SUNY and CUNY are working both collaboratively and separately to develop and implement the state’s initiative in two of the largest and most diverse university systems in the country.  Ann Fiddler and Mark McBride will share opportunities, challenges and lessons, including topics like engaging faculty and other institutional stakeholders, measuring impact and evidence for students and institutions, working with external partners, and thinking through tools, systems, and platforms.


Ann Fiddler, Open Education Librarian, CUNY

Mark McBride, Senior Library Strategist, SUNY


March 26 - 2:00-3:00 CT (3:00-4:00 ET)


New-Generation Platforms for Open: Creative approaches to open and new-generation learning resources/tools.

Disco Learning Media creates game-based environmental and STEM learning resources that are interactive and open.

The Rebus Foundation advocates for new publishing models and technologies with a specific focus on leading groups to create and publish OER.


Juan Garcia, Disco Learning Media

Hugh McGuire and Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa, Rebus Foundation


April 9
2:00-3:00 CT (3:00-4:00 ET)



Additional webinars are under development with topics, speakers, and times forthcoming.