Open educational resources (OER) increase equitable access to education and empower students in the learning process.  Open pedagogy – an approach to teaching and learning that draws on OER – places the student at the centre of that learning process in a more engaging, authentic, and collaborative learning environment in order to achieve social justice in the community.

This global award-winning fellowship[1] provides faculty with an opportunity to work with their colleagues and students to impact change via open pedagogy and community engagement. Based on the conceptual framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs),  a set of 17 goals that address a wide range of social issues, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and peace and justice, this fellowship is committed to supporting social justice through an international partnership in which faculty can work across institutions to maximize global impact.  The UN SDGs are designed to achieve and maintain social justice and a sustainable future, with a target of the year 2030 set for the attainment of each goal.

This fellowship is designed to assist faculty with creating renewable assignments[2], all of which will carry a Creative Commons license, to help students become agents of change in their own communities.  Each fellowship team is expected to design three renewable assignments over the summer.  A minimum of two renewable assignments is expected to be deployed in the classes of each fellowship team in the Fall Semester.  Faculty are expected to present on their proposed assignments prior to their deployment.  A student showcase takes place during the Spring Semester in which a select number of students will present on how they improved their communities and achieved global justice through the UN SDG framework.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Open Pedagogy Fellowship was launched by Shinta Hernandez and Michael Mills at Montgomery College (Maryland, USA) in 2018, and has grown each year as additional institutions join the fellowship.  For a breakdown of the current and past institutional partners, see the Organizational Structure chapter.

In 2020, Montgomery College was recognized by the Open Education Global consortium (OE Global) for their innovative open pedagogy fellowship. The College was named winner in the Open Pedagogy category of the 2020 Open Education Awards for Excellence. OE Global is a global, non-profit organization supporting the development and use of open education around the world. More information about the award can be found at the Open Education Awards for Excellence website.


[1] The fellowship was awarded the Open Pedagogy Award for Excellence by Open Education Global (OE Global) in November 2020.

[2] Renewable assignments (also known as non-disposable assignments) are those that add value to a student’s world, live outside of the boundaries and beyond the duration of the course, and are likely to have a lasting impact.  Disposable assignments, on the other hand, are those that only the instructor and students will see and which students are likely to throw away once they have been graded (Seraphin et al., 2019; Wiley, 2013).


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UN Sustainable Development Goals Open Pedagogy Fellowship by Deborah Baker; Christine Crefton; Urooj Nizami; Jamie Witman; Josie Milliken; Rajiv Jhangiani; Robin DeRosa; Michael Mills; and Carla Ghanem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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