NSights Blog

2024 Open educational grant awardees announced

The University Libraries are awarding grants hoping to save students money and make education more attainable

The University Libraries recently selected five project teams to receive grants to adapt courses to use open education resource (OER) materials. In awarding these grants, the Libraries hopes to both save students money, making education more attainable, and to encourage the use and development of high quality open textbooks that instructors can adapt or borrow from to create exactly the right materials needed for their classes.

By using OERs in place of textbooks students would have to purchase, instructors can ensure that all students have access to required course materials to support their academic achievement. The courses included in this grant cycle--Anthropology, Astronomy, English, Geography, and Spanish—have an average enrollment of approximately 3,200 students in a typical academic year. With an estimated textbook cost of $100 per student, per class, this has the potential to save students approximately $320,000 in the 2024-2025 academic year.

For this grant cycle, all the selected projects were submitted by teams who plan to work collaboratively on the adaptations. The courses and team leaders selected in this grant cycle are:

  • Anthropology 101 (Department of Anthropology), Professor Erin Stiles, Adjunct Faculty Maria Bruno, and Associate Professor Mikaela Rogozen-Soltar
  • Astronomy 110 (Department of Physics), Teaching Assistant Professor Kelly Kosmo O’Neil
  • English 102 (Department of English, Core Writing), Teaching Assistant Professor Cody Hunter, Teaching Assistant Professor AnnElise Hatjakes, Teaching Assistant Professor Jenna Altherr Flores, and Director of the Writing and Speaking Center, Maureen McBride
  • Geography 203 (Department of Geography), Associate Professor Julie Loisel and Hannah Mitchell, graduate student
  • Spanish 305 and 306 (Department of World Language and Literatures), Teaching Professor Michelle Wilson

To support faculty in making OERs available for their students, the Libraries launched Open Wolf Books in 2023. This service on the popular Pressbook platform is available not only to grant recipients but also to any faculty who wish to create, curate, or edit open textbooks. The platform allows you to save and adapt open textbooks published through Pressbooks or to author and disseminate your own OERs.

This is the third year that the University Libraries have awarded OER grants, and we hope to continue to offer the grant in the future. Future grant cycles and deadlines (typically in February) will be announced on the Open Educational Resources Grant Program website. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $4,500, depending on the size of course enrollment and the complexity of work involved in adapting an OER textbook to use in a class.

If you would like to find out more about OERs and how to find them, as well as affordable course materials the library can provide, visit Affordable and open educational resources or reach out to Teresa Schultz, scholarly communications & social sciences librarian or Molly Beisler, director of collections & discovery.

Molly Beisler
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