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College of Engineering: Open Educational Resources Grant Initiative


Available to Faculty/Instructors in the College of Engineering

Development stipends ranging between $500-3,000/course

Deadline: Monday, February 11, 2019, 11:59pm

The College of Engineering, Academic & Instructional Services, and USU Libraries are pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support USU faculty/instructors in adopting, adapting, and creating Open Educational Resources (OER) to support their courses. OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that are copyright-free (public domain) or released under an open license that permits others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute the content. Examples of OER include textbooks, videos, images, course modules, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, games, simulations, and other resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

The cost of textbooks can be a significant barrier to student success and learning. The goal of the Engineering OER Grant Initiative is to encourage faculty/instructor experimentation and innovation in finding or creating new, high-quality, and less costly ways to deliver learning materials to their students by using OER in USU classrooms. With this grant, the university is providing incentives for converting courses from using traditional textbooks to OER material.

Individuals, teams, and departments/programs may submit proposals describing a project to:

  1. Adopt an existing open textbook (or other educational resource); up to $500.
    • Incorporate an existing open resource into your course, significantly reducing costs for students.
  2. Adapt an existing open resource, customized to your instructional needs; up to $1,000.
    • Remix existing OER and create new open content to bridge gaps in available resources. Examples of this would include editing existing chapters, adding new materials from other sources, removing extraneous sections, merging several openly licensed resources, or creating supplemental content for existing sources such as quiz question banks, lecture slides, or lab manuals.
  3. Create substantially new OER material in areas where existing content is limited; up to $3,000 per project (final amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis). We encourage colleagues who team teach to consider this category. For those individuals interested in writing an open textbook, USU Press is offering access to complete copy editing, design, and publishing services for an additional fee. Please indicate your interest in these additional services in your proposal.

What support will I receive?

Faculty members selected for the OER grant will receive individualized consulting with librarians on their OER efforts and strategies, as well as dedicated technical and instructional design support from CIDI's instructional designers to effectively incorporate open materials in Canvas. Librarians from USU will be available to help you locate and select high quality resources for your courses from a number of OER online repositories. Additional services, including copy editing, peer review management, typesetting and design will incur a fee.

What is the timeline?

Faculty with successful proposals will conduct their research, planning, and design during the 2019 calendar year with new course materials being available for incorporation into the curriculum by Fall semester 2019 or Spring semester 2020. Faculty will be expected to teach the course at least twice using the newly adopted materials.

What are the requirements for awardees?

  • Share your work with an appropriate open license so that others can easily adopt and reuse.
  • Work with the Library and CIDI to develop a timeline of deliverables, payment schedule, and assessment data.
  • Publicize your work by providing the Library and CIDI with press-worthy updates; participating in webinars, workshops, and professional meetings; giving a presentation to your department colleagues; and posting your adoption on the USU Digital Commons website.

How will the stipend be disbursed?

Payments will be made in installments, based on completing milestones in a customized project plan. Faculty members selected for the “adoption” category will receive the full amount after submitting the USU Textbook Form listing their selected OER. Faculty selected for the “adaption” or “creation” categories will receive the remaining amount after submitting their completed OER prior to the beginning of Fall semester 2019 or Spring 2020 and submitting the USU Textbook Form listing their selected OER.

Proposals are due by 11:59pm on Monday, February 11, 2019.

The grant committee will notify successful applicants by Monday, February 11, 2019.

Apply for this Grant

Proposals should include the following information:

  1. Cover sheet with title, unit, and Department Head and Dean signatures.
  2. Course number, title, and amount of grant funding sought (with the category).
  3. Typical enrollment of course and frequency taught.
  4. ISBN of book or books to be replaced and cost.
  5. Project summary, no more than two pages, that includes the following:
    • Rationale for the OER grant, including how the project will contribute to the campus-wide OER initiative at USU;
    • Detailed description of how use of open resources might improve the course and/or student engagement;

How will my proposal be evaluated?

Proposals will be evaluated on the potential to increase student engagement and reduce student expense. Preference will be given to proposals affecting multi-section courses and courses with large enrollments. Preference will also be given to required general education courses and to courses selecting OER as their primary text.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about the proposal or the initiative in general, please contact Erin Davis, Library Coordinator of Statewide Campuses & E-Learning at