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OpenOxy: Open Educational Resources (OER) at Occidental College

This guide provides information about finding, using, and creating Open Education Resources (OER).

Grants for OpenOxy course Design (GOOD)

Purpose

The Center for Teaching Excellence and the Library are pleased to announce the Grants for OpenOxy Course Design (GOOD) program. GOOD is intended to encourage faculty to adopt Open Education Resources as the principal source of content for courses that they teach in an effort to lower the overall cost of course material for students. Nationally, textbook costs have risen at appreciably higher rates than inflation in the last few decades, and even surpass the increase in tuition and fees. This disproportionately impacts students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses) which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere.” (https://sparcopen.org/open-education)

By giving preference to OER over commercial textbooks, faculty can help create a more equitable learning environment where all students will have equal access to course materials from day one of class and a better chance to succeed. Indeed, the ASOC Diversity and Equity Board Classroom Equity Checklist calls upon faculty to utilize free course materials where possible. OER also give faculty more freedom to reuse, remix, and revise content of the material to suit the needs of their learning objectives.

The CTE and the Library recognize that there are indeed cases where a commercial textbook is still the right choice for a given course. Where there is a financial and pedagogical advantage, however, GOOD helps to make your class better.

Eligibility

To encourage greater faculty integration of OER material in their courses, the GOOD program will award up to 5 grants of $1000 each to work with the Library to transition a course from commercial textbooks or other required course materials that must be purchased to OER for the Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 semester.

Multi-section course teams who adopt an existing open textbook(s) for use in multi-section courses will split the award between each of the instructors responsible for redesigning the course syllabus around OER.

Courses that currently use OER or have little or no material costs to students are not eligible for a grant.

Proposals will be invited from faculty members who attend an OER workshop offered by the Library in Spring 2022 (dates TBD) and write an open review of an OER textbook following their participation in the workshop. Mini-grants of $200 will be awarded on a first come, first-served basis to the first 10 faculty who express interest in participation and subsequently fulfill the requirements of attending a workshop and reviewing an OER textbook. The textbook reviewed does not have to be the same as the textbook eventually adopted for your course, but should be relevant to one of the courses you teach and posted in one of the main OER repositories that invite faculty reviews or comments. (e.g. Open Textbook Library, MERLOT, OER Commons) .

Details regarding the proposal process for the $1000 GOOD grants will be available during the spring workshops. Rubrics to serve as guidelines for reviews will be presented during the workshops. GOOD grantees do not need to have also been one of the mini-grant awardees, but they must participate in one of the workshops and have written an open review of an OER textbook.

To register your interest in reviewing an OER textbook, please fill in this form.