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. 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.
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.
Additional details about grant eligibility and the application process can be found online. It is estimated that funding could support at least 20 grants, which translates to an estimated overall savings for students of about $250,000 in textbook fees every year. Applications are due by April 12, 2023.