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Open Education at UTA: Grants

As colleges and universities across the country seek ways to make education more affordable and increase student success, a growing number of educators are adopting open educational resources (OER). OER are free teaching and learning materials that are licensed to allow for revision and reuse The cost of commercial textbooks and other resource packages, which has been rising at an unsustainable rate for decades, demands exploration of alternative publishing models. Teachers, authors, and other stakeholders have responded, resulting in a large corpus of educational materials suitable for courses at a variety of levels in nearly every discipline.

The UTA CARES Grant Program, sponsored by UTA Libraries, was established in 2017 to support educators interested in practicing open education through the adoption of OER and, when no suitable open resource is available, through the creation of new OER or the adoption of library-licensed or other free content.  Additionally, the program promotes innovation in teaching and learning through the exploration of open educational practices, such as collaborating with students to produce educational content of value to a wider community.

Funding will be awarded in the following three categories:

  • Adoption Stipend
  • Scale Grant
  • Innovation Grant

Adoption stipends of $1,000 are available to instructors of record teaching credit-bearing courses during the 2018-19 academic year. They are intended to promote rapid adoption of OER or other free resources to increase affordability and equity in education by eliminating financial barriers to course content. The stipends support the revision of syllabi, assignments, and other course materials necessary for the transition to OER.

Requirements

  • The total cost of all required resources in the course may not exceed $0 per student.
  • Resource to be adopted must be selected at the time of submission.
  • Applicant pledges to use the resource (or another free equivalent) for a minimum of two years, distribute student surveys each semester, and provide annual feedback on course material use.
  • The affordable resource is expected to be adopted in Fall 2018 (exceptions will be considered).
  • See the FAQ below for additional requirements.

Support

  • UTA Libraries’ Adoption Support Team is available to assist applicants in locating OER or library-licensed content to replace current educational resources. The team will host open office hours during Open Education Week to match faculty with resources. Other consultation times are available by appointment.
  • In situations in which modification of OER is necessary for the resource to meet class needs, the Libraries may provide software and technical support to assist in updating the materials.
  • Resources requiring significant modification may be eligible for an Innovation Grant.

Application Checklist

A complete application for Adoption Stipends includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Letter of support from dean or director

Scale Grants are intended to facilitate rapid and widespread adoption of OER. The grants support adoption of OER across all sections of a single course, course series, or program. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support the revision of syllabi, assignments, and other course materials necessary for the transition to OER.

Requirements

  • The cost of required resources for all sections of all courses supported by the grant may not exceed $0. Though individual instructors may use additional resources to meet their needs, requiring any resources that impact the total cost of the course for students will result in cancelation of funding.
  • Resource to be adopted must be selected at the time of submission.
  • Applicant pledges to use the resource (or another free equivalent) for a minimum of three years, distribute student surveys each semester, and provide annual feedback on course material use.
  • The affordable resource is expected to be adopted in Fall 2018 (exceptions will be considered).
  • See the FAQ below for additional requirements.

Support

  • UTA Libraries’ Adoption Support Team is available to assist applicants in locating OER or library-licensed content to replace current educational resources. The team will host open office hours during Open Education Week to match faculty with resources. Other consultation times are available by appointment.
  • In situations in which modification of OER is necessary for the resource to meet class needs, the Libraries may provide software and technical support to assist in updating the materials.
  • Resources requiring significant modification may be eligible for an Innovation Grant.

Application Checklist

A complete application for Scale Grants includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Narrative
  • Budget
  • Letter of support from dean or director

Please note that proposals should not exceed ten pages.

Innovation Grants of up to $10,000 are available to support OER creation when no existing OER or library-licensed content is available to meet the learning objectives in a course. Additionally, the grants support designing and implementing open pedagogy projects to provide students with experiential learning opportunities that allow them to demonstrate mastery of course content through the act of creation. Preference will be given to highly collaborative efforts. 

Requirements

  • The cost of required resources for all sections of all courses supported by the grant may not exceed $0.
  • Applicant pledges to use the resource (or another free equivalent) for a minimum of four years, distribute student surveys each semester the OER is used, and provide annual feedback on course material use.
  • The narrative for applicants proposing new OER creation should clearly explain why no existing OER are adequate to meet the learning needs in the course. Applicants are encouraged to be specific about their OER discovery process.
  • See the FAQ below for additional requirements.

Support

  • UTA Libraries’ Adoption Support Team is available to assist applicants in locating OER or library-licensed content to replace current educational resources. The team will host open office hours during Open Education Week to match faculty with resources. Other consultation times are available by appointment.
  • UTA Libraries provide access to Pressbooks for authoring new OER. Platform training and technical support are also provided.
  • UTA Libraries will assist in marketing the resulting OER and identifying external repositories (e.g., Open Textbook Library and OER Commons) appropriate for sharing the content with potential adopters at other institutions.

Application Checklist

A complete application for the Innovation Grant includes the following:

  • Application form
  • Narrative
  • Budget
  • Letter of support from dean or director

Please note that proposals should not exceed ten pages.

Additional Information about OER Creation
UTA Libraries will not provide feedback on disciplinary content, editorial services, or accessibility remediation of new OER creation supported by the grant program. Grant recipients are responsible for the following:

  • Content Review: A portion of the grant funding must be allotted for peer review and copy editing/proofreading of new OER. The Libraries can provide guidance on hiring freelance editors who provide these services. A plan for content review should be included in the narrative, and funding necessary to support this work should be reflected in the project budget.
  • Accessibility Review: OER in the form of multimedia, such as videos or audio, must be compliant with accessibility standards and include a transcript and, preferably, closed captioning. Consult the BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit for additional information about ensuring accessibility of other OER components, including for images, tables, and hyperlinks. OER must pass an accessibility evaluation to be conducted by the Libraries; the grantee is responsible for remediation of any accessibility issues identified in the evaluation. 
  • Sustainability Analysis: The narrative should specifically address how the OER content will fare over time and present a plan for revision/future editions if it is likely the content will be outdated before the end of the four-year time period during which its use is required by the conditions of this grant program.

Additional Information about Open Pedagogy
Examples of open assignments are available on our Introduction to Open Pedagogy guide. Open pedagogy projects must include a copyright education component for students.This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including via a course presentation by a librarian.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who may apply?

Applications will be accepted from current UTA faculty, staff, and students with teaching responsibilities or responsibilities for selecting and coordinating educational resources for UTA courses.

What information should I include in the narrative?

The narrative should include the following components:

  • Objectives: This section should identify the goals of the project and place it in the context of the purpose of the UTA CARES grant program as described in the overview.
  • Impact: This section should describe who will benefit from the project and how. Impact can be measured in a variety of ways, including cost savings to students and contributions to the profession and/or community.
  • Planned Activities: This section should provide a detailed description of the proposed organization and implementation of the project and a timeline of activities. Include whatever details are necessary to enable an evaluator of the application to understand the project and the costs related to various elements of it.

Please note that a narrative is not required for Adoption Stipends.

How is funding distributed?

Half of the total awarded amount will be paid via Interdepartmental Transfer upon completion of a memorandum of understanding between UTA Libraries and the grant recipient. Grant recipients are responsible for working with their departments to provide a local cost center to transfer these funds. The remaining half will be transferred, also via Interdepartmental Transfer, at the end of the first semester of implementation following receipt of a final project report. 

How can the funding be used?

Grants may be requested to pay student assistants, salaries, and other expenses related to the project. Travel is not supported. All expenses should be justified in the application narrative. Please note that the narrative and budget are not required for Adoption Stipends.

Salary Guidelines:

The applicant may request salary support for any personnel who will be working on the project. Salary supplements are allowable; the awardee’s department is required to process salary supplements via UTFlow Form ‘Additional Pay’ and obtain provost approval. Faculty can budget summer salary representing the amount of time needed to complete the specific aims of the project. The amount of time an individual will spend on the project is expressed as a percentage of their monthly salary or calendar months of effort. Funding requests must cover both salary and fringe benefits for all project members.

What additional expectations exist?

Grant recipients are required to complete a memorandum of understanding with the Libraries, which includes the following expectations:

  • Grant recipients are required to attend a workshop for all grantees on May 15. If scheduling conflicts are anticipated, they should be noted on the application form.
  • Grant recipients must give permission for the Libraries to deposit educational resources resulting from the grant in ResearchCommons, UTA's institutional repository.
  • Grant recipients are required to share with the Libraries usage statistics for any resources housed outside of UTA’s Research Commons.
  • Educational resources resulting from the grant must be licensed under an open license, such as the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Resources may not be licensed with a Creative Commons No Derivatives clause.
  • Grant recipients are required to share data that assists in measuring the impact of the project.
  • Grant recipients will be asked to circulate surveys to all students in courses in which an open education project is implemented.
  • Grant recipients are required to submit a final project report summarizing the challenges and accomplishments of the project and its impact on student performance.
  • Grant recipients may be asked to share additional experiences working on the project with the Libraries and allow the dissemination of those observations through a variety of communication channels, including in IRIS 
  • In any publication or presentation about the project, the grant recipient should acknowledge that full or partial support came from the UTA CARES grant program administered by the UTA Libraries.
  • Courses supported by this grant program must qualify for UTA's "free educational resources" attribute and must be reported via the OER/low-cost adoption reporting forms.

How are award decisions made?

This is a competitive grant award. Preference will be given to projects that utilize or create the most openly licensed materials, that have the greatest impact as described in the application narrative, and that foster collaboration and interdisciplinary connections. Requests may not be funded in full.

Where can I find OER?

The Libraries' Introduction to OER provides resources for getting started.

Deadlines

Proposal Deadline: March 19, 2018

Awards Announcement: April 9, 2018

Adoptions are expected to be implemented by the start of the Fall 2018 semester. Timelines may vary.

Apply Now

The submission period for the UTA CARES grant program will close on Monday, March 19, at 5 p.m.

 

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