Open Educational Resources (OER) are "free AND openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research and other purposes." (Creative Commons Wiki 2018). When used in the classroom they can be accessed by students for free or at minimal cost. By collaborating to create high-quality shared texts, the academic community can dramatically lower the cost of textbooks and class materials for the students they teach. Learn more at the SPARC website or on our Research Guide.
Open Educational Resources
The University Libraries and the Global Campus offer extra compensation funding to encourage faculty to convert their courses from traditional textbooks to open educational resources (OER).
All applicants must request a pre-application consultation with the OER Team prior to applying.
The University of Arkansas OER Course Materials Conversion Program
The University Libraries and the Global Campus offer faculty extra compensation funding to encourage moving from high cost commercially published textbooks to open educational resources (OER). There are three levels or compensation: $7500 for OER creation; $4500 for OER adaptation; and $3000 for OER adoption. The end goal for each course is to dramatically reduce the materials cost (textbooks) for enrolled students. The OER must replace the current textbook.
Adopting OER is defined as choosing existing open educational resources such as textbooks, online video, online learning modules published under open licenses into one's class, thereby eliminating the need for students to purchase textbooks or other course materials. Adopters choose to adopt textbooks as they are making few changes to the resources. It is expected that adopters will possibly need to revise their course layout, assignments, and possibly create ancillary materials. However, there is a growing body of ancillary materials available for existing open textbooks.
Adapting OER is defined as choosing existing open educational resource and significantly remixing it to update the material or to fit the needs of the course. It is expected that the adapted OER would be published under an appropriate open license for use by others. The OER would then be assigned in the specified course, thereby eliminating the need for students to purchase textbooks or other course materials.
Creating OER is defined as an original creation of at least 75% of the course content. The remainder can be adopted from existing openly published resources. The final product must be submitted as a complete textbook that can be used to fully teach a course. It must be submitted as a format that can be printed in pdf format. It may also be created as an interactive online resource as well. It must eliminate the need for student to purchase traditional textbooks.
Adoption = Reuse
Adaptation = Remix
Creation = Build from scratch
Affordable/OER Course Redesign Workshop (Pilot Program)
These workshops provide a "Sprint" style opportunity for faculty members to work on converting courses that currently utilize traditionally published textbooks to an open and/or affordable model that does not require a full/complete textbook but utilizes open and free resources and library resources that can be collected and embedded or linked in the campus LMS. The goal is to provide students with affordable access to course content in lieu of purchasing textbooks.
How to Apply
All applicants must request a pre-application consultation with the OER Team prior to applying. After the consultation, participants will be sent a blank application and the scoring rubric. Applications are reviewed by members of the Open Education Resources Core Team and Campus Advisory Group, which includes teaching faculty, Libraries' faculty, instructional designers, and students.
ALL applicants must meet with an OER team member(s) before applying.
All applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed before funding decisions are made.
Selection of program participants will be based on the overall quality of the application and the feasibility of the completion timeline. Preference will be given to proposals that:
- Serve more students
- Focus on a university, college or departmental core course
- Will be used in multiple sections or classes
- Replace expensive course materials
- Demonstrate the most viability and impact at the pre-selection interview
Course Conversion Program Participants
Each participant will be required to create a timeline for completion and submit it to the OER team upon agreeing to participate in the program before any funds will be disbursed. Each participant will have up to 3 semesters (not including summer term) to complete the project, implement the OER in a class, and complete the final report. Compensation for projects not completed within the time frame will be forfeited unless other arrangements have been made and agreed to by both the applicant and the OER team.
Librarians will help faculty search for open access materials and navigate copyright issues. Instructional designers will help faculty organize developed or curated resources, remix and adapt chosen textbooks, and assist in creating supplemental learning components/materials if needed. They will also assist in checking materials for accessibility and compliance. Additional meetings with the team as well as with a member of the bookstore team may be recommended.
OER Adoption compensation will be disbursed in three phases:
- $1000 upon meeting with the team and submitting the textbook and/or course content outline and sources
- $1500 upon teaching the class with the adopted material
- $500 upon submitting a short evaluation on OER use after teaching with the material for at least one semester.
OER Adaptation compensation will be disbursed in four phases:
- $1000 upon submitting the remix project outline and project completion timeline
- $1000 at the mid-point of the completion date if all timeline targets have been met
- $1000 upon the delivery and publication of the final project (edited and formatted) and made available on an accessible open platform or format and published with an open creative commons license
- $1500 when the resource is adopted and used in one or more courses and a short summary reflecting on the implementation of the resource(s), its impact on teaching, and student reception and interaction with the OER.
OER Creation compensation will be disbursed in four phases:
- $1000 upon submitting the textbook outline and project completion timeline
- $2000 at the mid-point of the completion date if all timeline targets have been met
- $3000 upon the delivery and publication of the final project (edited and formatted) and made available on an accessible open platform or format and published with an open creative commons license
- $1500 after the OER is implemented in the course(s) and a short summary reflecting on the implementation is submitted to the OER team.
Affordable/OER Course Redesign Workshops compensation disbursed in two phases:
- $1000 upon completion of four workshop sessions and the deliverables outlined in project plan
- $500 after teaching the course with the resources and submitting a final report.
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