The OER Adoption Grant program provides grants of $500 to individual faculty members (or $1,500 for teams of faculty from a department) who wish to displace the cost of commercial textbooks with the ongoing adoption of OER for a given course.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any format and medium (e.g., textbooks, simulations, videos, etc.) that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open (e.g., Creative Commons) license. OER may be freely reused, revised, remixed, retained, and redistributed. To learn more, visit our OER Guide and and discover relevant OER for your teaching.
A growing body of research demonstrates the positive impact that using OER has on students and faculty. This includes greater persistence, equivalent or better course performance, significant cost savings and more equitable access for students as well as greater pedagogical flexibility for faculty (see: Clinton & Khan, 2019; Colvard, Watson, & Park, 2018; Hilton, 2016; Jhangiani, Dastur, LeGrand, & Penner, 2018). In 2020, a survey of 667 Brock students revealed that cost was the primary reason for not purchasing a textbook in both required and elective courses. Students also reported that the cost of textbooks led to negative outcomes, including dropping a course (10%) or poorer grades (25%).
Brock University’s Academic Plan pledges to support the creation, adaptation, and adoption of OER. As part of this commitment and with the financial support of the Brock University Students’ Union, the Office of the Provost has established an OER Adoption Grant program. This program recognizes the labour involved in making the pedagogical adjustments necessary to replace commercial textbooks with OER. In doing so, the academic freedom of faculty members to determine what are appropriate required course materials is reaffirmed.
Awarded funds may be used towards a variety of eligible expenses such as books, membership dues for professional societies, travel associated with academic conferences, student assistantships, hardware or software procurement, etc. All expenses must comply with relevant university policies, including the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Expense Policy and the Procurement Policy. Funds cannot be transferred to another account.
The OER Adoption Grant program is open to all Brock University faculty (including those with a limited term faculty appointment or instructional limited term faculty appointment) and who intend to adopt OER for one or more of their courses on an ongoing basis.
Both undergraduate and graduate-level courses are eligible.
The OER Adoption Grant will be adjudicated by the members of the Open Education Working Group, a body which makes recommendations to the Provost. Questions about the administration of the grant can be directed to the working group chair, Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani.
The University Library and Centre for Pedagogical Innovation are available to support your application through the selection and adoption process. You may reach out to either area at anytime as you consider your application. If you indicate in your application that you require support with your OER selection or adoption, you may be contacted by an individual from the Library or CPI in advance of the grant adjudication.