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 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 for Scale and Innovation Grants in Spring 2019. Additionally, applications for Adoptions Stipends will be accepted and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible projects until allocated funding is depleted. All awards are competitive.
Adoption stipends of $1,000 are available to instructors of record teaching credit-bearing courses during the 2019-20 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. Adoption stipends may be used in support of open pedagogy, as long as all requirements are met. The stipends support the revision of syllabi, assignments, and other course materials necessary for the transition to OER.
A complete application for Adoption Stipends includes the following:
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. The Libraries recommend adoption of existing OER for Scale Grants in order to facilitate committee/departmental review and approval, as appropriate.
A complete application for Scale Grants includes the following:
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.
A complete application for the Innovation Grant includes the following:
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:
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.
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:
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 cost center must begin with the number 3 (such as 310661). Cost centers that begin with a 5 are usually endowed or special interest cost centers, and UTA Libraries cannot transfer funds to those cost centers. The remaining half of the funding 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. Community events that facilitate the creation and adoption of new OER are also supported (e.g., departmental creation sprints). 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.
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:
How are award decisions made?
This is a competitive grant award. Preference will be given to projects that utilize or create the most open materials, that have the greatest impact as described in the application narrative, and that foster collaboration and interdisciplinary connections. Departmental funding history may also impact award decisions with preference given to departments that have not received UTA CARES funding in this or previous funding cycles. Requests may not be funded in full.
Where can I find OER?
The Libraries' Introduction to OER provides resources for getting started.
Scale and Innovation Grants
Proposal Deadline: March 31, 2019
Awards Announcement: by April 19, 2019
Applications are reviewed within two weeks of submission, and funding is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is depleted.
Adoptions are expected to be implemented by the start of the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 semester. Timelines may vary.
UTA's College of Science awarded its first OER grant in Summer 2018 through the Improving Student Success in Science Program. Interested faculty and staff are encouraged to contact their department and college to inquire about the availability of funding to support the transition to open resources that eliminate financial barriers known to impede student learning.
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launched a new OER grant program in Summer 2018, awarding $100,000 in grant funding to educators throughout the state. The program is expected to continue.
The U.S. Department of Education announced a first-of-its-kind Open Textbooks Pilot Program in 2018. The federal agency awarded a single grant totaling $4.9 million to support the development of OER for STEM. Congress renewed program funding for a second year.