Inspark OER for All

Developing Essential Skills through Active Open Educational Resources (OER)

What is Inspark OER?

Inspark OER develops open education resources (Active OER) that foster essential workforce skills as part of a $3.4M funded program by the Department of Education. The development team includes Arizona State University's Center for Education Through Exploration (ETX) and three community college partners: Maricopa Community Colleges, Ivy Tech Community College, and Miami Dade College.

3 Community College Partners

4 Inspark OER Tools

6 OER Textbooks

What is available?

Tools + Content Packages + Hub = low-cost OER textbook. Inspark offers plug and play OER textbooks for six different courses that can be directly used by students. These packages can also be customized and supplemented to tailor specific course requirements using Inspark OER tools and the Argos platform. The Inspark OER tools can be used standalone or supplemented with the ready-to-use assignments, guides, and quality, existing OER materials, all made available on the Inspark OER Hub. The digital resources enable active learning fostering essential skills which are portable across disciplines. Active learning is at the heart of the Inspark OER vision because skills are best learned by doing.

Inspark OER


Ready-to-use student assignments and teacher guides for Inspark OER Tools that place them in particular course and disciplinary contexts

Content Packages

Faculty-curated best-of-breed existing OER resources that can be integrated with Inspark OER Tools and Tool Resources


A web repository for accessing all Inspark OER resources, licensed CC BY (or as remixed OER material directs), and an active user community

Inspark OER can be used a la cart or bundled together as a textbook.

Textbooks exist for the following courses:

  1. English Composition I & II

  2. Interpersonal Communication

  3. Student Success

  4. Introductory Chemistry

  5. Introductory Biology

Why focus on Essential Skills?

Essential Workforce Skills are skills that are used every day in the academic, personal, and vocational life, and include skills such as

  • Critical Thinking

  • Creativity

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Communication

  • Innovation

  • Reasoning

  • Technical Proficiency

  • Visualization

Targeted development of essential skills is often overshadowed by the need to cover disciplinary content. Therefore, faculty need innovative tools that can simultaneously teach disciplinary content and develop and practice essential skills.