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Open Educational Resources: UNA OER Funding

Open Education at UNA

As part of UNA’s commitment to student success, the OER Working Group is opening applications for faculty stipends for adapting, adopting, or creating Open Education Resources (OER) to replace traditional high-cost textbooks and course materials in their classes.  The funds will be awarded to faculty who are pursuing innovative uses of course materials, including technology, textbooks, and ancillary materials that will help reduce the burden of textbook expenses for our students.  Funding will vary depending on the scope and impact of the individual projects and the total number of projects chosen for funding.

Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years, creating a huge impediment to college success and retention.  Textbooks cost the average student $1,200 per year and 65% of students say they have not purchased a required textbook due to the cost, according to a 2014 Public Interest Research Group survey and the 2018 Florida Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey.

Funding will be awarded on a rolling basis – there is no deadline to apply.  Possible approaches to course material alternatives include:

  • Creating a new open textbook or collection of materials
  • Adopting or adapting an existing open textbook
  • Assembling a collection of open resources into new course materials
  • Licensing an e-textbook, video, or other media content for classroom use or e-reserves
  • Using subscribed library resources

As faculty develop proposals, librarians and instructional designers are available to share expertise in copyright, licensing, open access, course management software and tools, electronic reserves, subject-matter content, and multimedia resources.

The OER Working Group has developed a self-paced Canvas course to introduce faculty to OER and working group members are available to answer questions faculty may have about the process of proposing a project. Email oer@una.edu to be added to the canvas course.

Faculty Awards

To date, 13 UNA faculty have received stipends to redesign their courses using OER or by utilizing library resources, fair use, and other means to keep the cost of course materials under $50. To date, these faculty members are on track to save our students almost $170,000 per year.

  • Prof. Lilia Alexander - PS241
  • Dr. Cynthia Burkhead - EN 450
  • Prof. Lisa Darnell - COM 330
  • Dr. Sarah Franklin - HI 201
  • Dr. Ulrich Groetsch - HI 101
  • Dr. Rebecca Hopkins - EEX 341
  • Prof. Jason McCall - EN 324, EN 355, and EN 456W/556W
  • Dr. Melissa Moore - ES 131
  • Dr. Katie Owens-Murphy - EN 222
  • Dr. Ansley Quiros - HI 479
  • Prof. Christa Raney - EN 099
  • Dr. Sunhui Sim - GE 184
  • Dr. Tammy Winner - EN 339W

How to Apply

To apply for OER funding, first you must complete OER training.  Currently we have a self-paced Canvas course, but the OER Working Group is working on offering small group sessions via Zoom or in person once it is safe to do so. To be added to the Canvas course, send and email to oer@una.edu. Once you have completed the course, you can submit your application here.

There is no deadline for applications, currently we accept them on a rolling basis throughout the year.  Once the OER Working Group has reviewed your application, you will be contacted with any questions or issues and then funding, if applicable and available, will be offered. Once you have accepted the funding offer, an OER Agreement will be prepared for you, your department chair, dean, and the provost to review and sign.

Help is always available!  If you have any questions about finding or using OER, or have questions about applying for the faculty stipend, please email us!

Evaluation Criteria for Funding

How do we decide who gets a stipend and how much we award? There are a variety of factors involved.

  • Number of learners served (as measured by class size, number of sections, and frequency of course offering)

  • Potential impact on cost savings to students (cost of standard course materials vs. no/low cost of proposed materials)

  • Potential for the reuse of the OER in subsequent terms or potential to be shared and used at other institutions

  • Evidence of need for OER on this topic (for Adaptation or Creation)

  • Feasible goals and timelines

  • Plan for measuring learners’ experience with the OER and sharing that data with the OER Working Group

  • Plan for providing mid-project and final project reports to OER Working Group