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Replacing Traditional Textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER)


Available to Faculty/Instructors in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,

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

Deadline: Tuesday, March 14, 11:59pm

The College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Academic & Instructional Services, and USU Libraries are pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support USU faculty in adopting, adapting, and creating Open Educational Resources (OER) in their courses.

The cost of textbooks has become a significant barrier to student success and learning. The goal of the OER CHaSS Grant Initiative is to encourage instructor experimentation and innovation in finding new, better, and less costly ways to deliver learning materials to their students by using open educational resources in USU classrooms. Open in this context means free plus reuse rights, which is generally accomplished through a Creative Commons license.

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 textbook or open course content into your course syllabus and curriculum, significantly reducing costs for students.
  2. Adapt existing open educational resources to your instructional needs; up to $1,000. Remix existing OER and create new open content to bridge gaps in available resources. New content may include adding missing chapters to existing OER or creating supplemental content such as quiz question banks, lecture slides, or lab manuals.
  3. Create an open educational resource where none currently exist; up to $3,000 per project (although the final amount will be determined on a case-by-case basis). We encourage colleagues who team teach to consider this category.

What support will I receive?

Faculty members selected for the OER grant will receive individualized consulting by librarians on their OER efforts and strategies, as well as dedicated technical and instructional design support offered by CIDI's instructional designers to effectively incorporate their 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 existing OER digital repositories.

What is the timeline?

Faculty with successful proposals will conduct their research and planning during the spring and summer of 2017, with new course materials being first used during the 2017–2018 academic year. Faculty will be asked to teach the course at least twice using the newly adopted materials.

What are the requirements for awardees?

Awardees agree to do the following:

  • Facilitate the distribution of the OER via an OER-compatible Creative Commons license by working with the OER Library support team. The OER and any other deliverables associated with this grant qualify as a “commissioned work” under the Utah State University Intellectual Property Policy (No. 587) and, as such, title of the OER and any other deliverables will reside in the University.
  • Deposit the most appropriate version of the work into USU’s Digital Commons.
  • Participate in an orientation meeting discussing the OER grant process and best practices (Spring 2017).
  • Assess student learning outcomes using pre-and post-surveys (created by the Library) and share any data/information with the library, CHaSS, and Academic & Instructional Services (Fall 2017).

How will the stipend be disbursed?

Faculty members selected for the “adoption” category will receive payment after submitting the USU Textbook Form listing their selected OER and participating in an orientation session. Faculty selected for the “adaption” or “creation” categories will receive payment after submitting their completed OER prior to the beginning of the semester and submitting the USU Textbook Form listing their selected OER.

Proposals are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

The grant committee will notify successful applicants by Friday, March 24, 2017.

Apply for this Grant

Proposals should include the following information:

  1. Cover sheet with title, unit, and signatures (Cover Sheet Template).
  2. Course number and title.
  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 for Regional Campuses & E-Learning, or 797-2075.