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
To encourage faculty to move from textbooks to open educational resources (OER), the University Libraries and the Global Campus offer financial incentives to faculty.
All applicants must submit an application form to request funding; the request is reviewed by members of the Open Education Resources Committee, which includes teaching faculty, Libraries' faculty, and instructional designers.
The University of Arkansas OER Incentive Program
To encourage faculty to move from high cost commercially published textbooks to open educational resources (OER), the University Libraries and the Global Campus offer incentives to faculty of $3000 to adopt OER, $4500 to adapt existing OER or $7500 to create OER. The end goal for each course is to dramatically reduce the materials cost (textbooks) for enrolled students. Ideally, OER will 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 creating at least 75% of the course content as new and original course material, with the remainder being adopted openly published materials, thereby eliminating the need for students to purchase textbooks or other course materials.
Adoption = Reuse
Adaptation = Remix
Creation = Build from scratch
How to Apply
All applicants must submit an application form to request funding; the request is reviewed by members of the Open Educational Resources Committee, which includes teaching faculty, Libraries' faculty, and instructional designers.
All applicants selected as finalists will be interviewed before award decisions are made.
Adoption and Adaptation award applicants are encouraged to request a meeting with an OER team member or a subject librarian to explore the availability of existing OER for the course before the application is submitted.
Download the application form.
OER Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Selection of award recipients 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-award interview meeting
See the full scoring rubric.
Incentive Award Winners
Each incentive award winner will be required to create a timeline for completion and submit it to the OER team upon acceptance of the award before any funds will be disbursed. Each winner will have up to 3 semesters (not including summer term) from the time of the award to complete the project, implement the OER in a class, and complete the final report. Awards 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 awards are dispersed 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 awards are dispersed 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 awards are dispersed 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.
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