Who’s behind this site?

That’s me: Jenn Kepka. (Contact me through the form below). I teach online for Lane Community College and Linn-Benton Community College. I have an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon (2009), and M.S. in Education–Information Technology from Western Oregon University (2017), a graduate certificate in Instructional Design (WOU), and I’m a doctoral student in Educational Technology at Boise State University (2017-). I have been working with OER in writing courses in Oregon since 2011.

What’s the story of this project?

rectangular image of cover of Oregon Writes Open Writing Textbook

This project was born from a smaller project and a bigger idea. The idea is that Open Educational Resources would be better if they were more often shared and remixed and less often re-created. In the course of compiling a Writing 121 textbook, I discovered that most colleges in Oregon have already spent thousands of dollars to create writing textbooks — and that few of these texts have made it into widespread use statewide. This is, in part, because there is no statewide Writing 121 or Writing 122 curriculum for Oregon, and I don’t contend that there should be. However, the lack of statewide sharing has meant that even schools with similar themes and ways of teaching these courses are starting from scratch in creating somewhat open resources. In other places, schools have paid multiple faculty within the same department to create resources that are not widely used or shared beyond their own class.

So, in 2015-16, with a grant from Open Oregon, I explored the statewide outcomes used in Writing 115, 121, and 122. I found the outcomes overlapped, even though they were rarely identical, between most of Oregon’s public institutions of higher education. I compiled a Writing 121 textbook from other resources that met these outcomes and held a small conference — a hack-a-thon — where writing instructors gathered to compile and critique these resources while also learning about how to work with Creative Commons-licensed materials. The project concluded with the compilation of a Writing 121 textbook based on current state outcomes.

In the same month as that conference, the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission called for proposals for the creation of textbooks for the classes in Oregon colleges which enrolled the most students. This included a combined grant to create a Writing 121 and Writing 122 textbook. I was awarded $22,500 to create these textbooks and planned a schedule of conversations and research to make them as adaptable and useful as possible. The finished textbooks will be available for critique, remix, and reuse on/around June 30, 2017, and a collective online asynchronous course will be held in August 2017 for any interested faculty (or librarians!) that want to work with the text, contribute assignments or supporting material, or review it for use in their own teaching or departments.

Interested in participating? Just want to chat?

Let me know!

This site was created through the financial support of a grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Committee, though the content here does not reflect the opinions of the Commission or the state. Unless otherwise marked, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Jenn Kepka.