Exciting new updates

Exciting new updates

Fellow educators,

Having been a part of the OER Project as both a teacher and staff member, I know firsthand how powerful the collaboration between classroom educators and OER Project materials can be for student learning. When I took the helm as director just over a year ago, our team embarked on a mission: to advance and update our social studies curricular materials so they meet your needs and to do this while keeping them completely free for our users. Although this task turned out to be no easy feat, we’re thrilled to unveil what’s been keeping us busy.

What’s New

Climate Project: Our newest addition to the OER Project catalog is Climate Project, which you might have used in its current iteration as the three-unit Climate—Extension course.  We know that climate change is a social studies issue and aimed to update the course to delve even deeper into the impacts of climate change and explore ways to “bend the curve.” While we stand behind the content of the Extension course, we recognized the need for a more teacher-friendly design. That’s why we’ve created well-designed, easily implemented, grab-and-go lessons on climate change that are ready for widespread classroom use. This is a chance to engage your students with a topic that is likely top of mind for them, while also helping them develop their literacy and data-analysis skills. Explore the newly updated Climate Project.

A New Look: When you visit the Climate Project course page, you'll notice a refreshed user experience. Everything you and your students need is just a click away. Additionally, we used your feedback to develop new lesson plans for Climate Project that are easy to navigate, which will make teaching and learning a breeze. Wondering where to find answer keys and teacher guides? It's a piece of cake—just look for the hammer icon ( ), log in or create your OER Project account, and voilà, a world of resources is yours to explore. Download, print, or share them on your LMS—the choice is yours and the destinations and course planning possibilities are endless.

Did Someone Say Makeover? You might be wondering if this redesign is only for Climate Project. Absolutely not! The rest of our site is undergoing a transformation as well. Starting this summer, we'll begin our journey to update all our OER Project courses, starting with World History Project—Origins. By the summer of 2025, every OER Project course will have adopted this new style. You might even see a new course added to our catalog!

While we believe our new course design offers a better experience for students and teachers, we understand that there may be times when you want to access earlier versions of course materials. As new courses roll out over the next school year, the previous version of the course will remain usable on the site. We will not formally “retire” any course and remove them from the website until the end of the school year in which it is released. When courses are no longer available on the website, we will still offer a Google Drive folder with all the archived materials. The only exception here is World History Project—Origins, as we are releasing it into the wild in June. In this case, you will be able to find older materials via Google Drive, but you will not see them on the site in the 2024/25 school year.

Other Points of Order

With the changes mentioned above come other smaller but still exciting shifts.

OER Project Score: Our automated essay-scoring service, OER Project Score, will sail away from our site on June 30, 2024. In its place, we're adding a range of informal writing activities to each of our courses. We'll also offer professional learning sessions in the fall to guide you in providing feedback to your students using our updated writing rubric. Don’t worry, our Investigations and DBQs aren’t going anywhere. They will still be anchored to the units in which they’re found, they just won’t have the essay-scoring capability. While Project Score—our writing-focused extension course that features Score—will be removed from our site by June 30, 2024, in its place we’ll offer a one-stop shop, the Writing Skills page, which will include all our writing assessments across all our courses, along with rubrics, guides, and writing-specific activities.

Project X: Project X, our data-literacy extension course, will also be removed from our site by June 30, 2024. However, you will still be able to find all the Data Explorations and more data literacy resources on our Data Literacy Skills page.

Teaching Big History/Teaching World History: As we’ve made changes to our courses in style, design, unit structure, and through the addition of more AMAZING materials, we’ve found that our professional development courses (the Teaching series that you’re probably familiar with) have become obsolete. Since many of the materials are still very relevant, we’ve designed a new way to share this learning with teachers. Now, you’ll access all the wonderful tips, tools, and tricks mentioned in the Teaching courses by looking for the hammer icon ( ). You won’t have to hunt for those amazing goodies—we did the work for you by integrating it with the course content.

We know that these changes are significant. We also know that you are the ones that make learning come alive for students. These adjustments are meant to provide clarity to our materials and save you time so that you can focus on what really matters: connecting with and teaching students. Our commitment to you and your students is unwavering as we continue to innovate in the field of education. Your loyalty and feedback have been our guiding stars through this process, and we cannot thank you enough for the support and feedback that you have provided over the last decade.

So, fellow educators, stay tuned for more updates, and prepare to embrace our new materials. We can’t wait to hear and see all your exciting classroom snapshots in the OER Project Community and hope that you are as thrilled as we are for what’s to come. Sit back, relax, and get excited—the best is yet to come.

Thank you for being part of the OER Project family.

Yours in learning,

Angelina Meadows Comb 
OER Project Director


  • Would you be willing to share that reasons for eliminating SCORE as an educational tool? Will there be a similar resource for teachers and students for immediate feedback and assessment on writing submissions? 
    It is a surprising development since it is a labor-intensive resource on which the work has already been done.  I'm wondering if academic integrity was compromised. As a researcher in the area of feedback and assessment myself, I have touted its value for several years. Are you offering or can your recommend an analogous or improved resource which offers such functionality? The absence of SCORE will necessitate a signficiant chance in routine for our classroom.