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Open Educational Resources (OER)

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The McMaster Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant Program provides funding and staff support to McMaster instructors interested in adopting, adapting or creating OER for their courses. 

The Program also offers an honorarium for the peer review of an existing open textbook.

The OER Grant Program is generously funded through the MacPherson Institute, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the University Libraries. An amount of $16,000 has been allocated for each of 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 to support the use of OER to benefit teaching and learning through increasing access to and discoverability of learning resources and contributing to student cost savings.

The McMaster OER Grant Program aims to:

  • Increase access to, and maximize use of, open textbooks and other open educational resources for students, instructors, and the community 

  • Reduce the cost of textbooks and other course materials for students

  • Encourage the exploration of new teaching approaches using OER and development of course materials that are customizable and support course learning outcomes

For information about the different grants offered as part of the McMaster OER Grant Program, see the Grant Types document.

See other pages of the OER LibGuide for more information about OER.

For further reading on the use of OER by instructors and students, see the following articles:

DeRosa R. & Robison S. 2017. From OER to Open Pedagogy: Harnessing the Power of Open. In: Jhangiani R. & Biswas-Diener R, Open. London: Ubiquity Press. https://doi.org/10.5334/bbc.i 

Jhangiani, R. S., Dastur, F. N., Le Grand, R., & Penner, K. (2018). As Good or Better than Commercial Textbooks: Students’ Perceptions and Outcomes from Using Open Digital and Open Print Textbooks. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9 (1). https://doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2018.1.5

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@mcmaster.ca

Documents

GRANT TYPES

Annual funding for the OER grant program is $16,000 per year, for the next three years, beginning June 30, 2020 through to June 30, 2023. The call for applications will be announced in the spring term and, if necessary, the fall term, or until available funding has been allocated. Applicants may receive only one award in any given year. Individual grants are for one year only. The funding program will be administered by the University Library. 

The Call for Proposals for 2020/21 offers three levels of OER Grants and an Honorarium, as follows:

  • Adoption Grant (up to $1,000 each) - Identify and adopt an existing open textbook or other open educational resource. This would involve aligning your course learning outcomes, content, teaching methodologies, etc., to the new resource. Adoptions may require small changes to the textbook such as modifications due to accessibility requirements, minor text changes, or appending content.
  • Adaptation Grant* (up to $2,500 each) - Identify and adapt or customize an existing open textbook or other open educational resource. This may include, but is not limited to, creating a Canadian or localized edition of an existing open textbook, adding content and/or creating ancillary materials e.g. test banks, slide decks, videos, interactive media, etc. for an existing resource.
  • Creation Grant (up to $7,500 each) - Create or develop a new open textbook or other open educational resource, that is currently not covered by an existing open textbook or other open educational resource.
  • Peer Review Honorarium ($250) - Complete a formal or verified peer-review of an existing, unreviewed open textbook.

*For more information about why you would adapt an existing open textbook, see Reasons to Adapt an Open Textbook by Lauri M. Aesoph.

Expectations of grant recipients are described in the Application Process document.

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@mcmaster.ca

APPLICATION FORM

Please read all of the information about the Grant Program in the OER Grant (McMaster) LibGuide before starting your application.

OER Grant Application form

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@m__cmaster.ca

APPLICATION PROCESS

Important Dates for 2020/21

  • Applications open: May 7, 2020

  • Deadline for applications: June 1, 2020 by 11:59 pm

  • Notification date of applicant status: June 15, 2020

  • Grant recipients announced: June, 19, 2020

  • Deadline for completion of grant projects and peer reviews: June 30, 2021

Important Documents

REQUIREMENTS

Eligibility

Any instructor of a McMaster credit course is eligible to apply, including instructional teams, instructional assistants, and staff in educational roles. Sessional instructors, teaching assistants, and students are eligible as co-applicants if at least one member of the team is employed by the university for the duration of the grant.

Eligible grant projects must: 

  • Apply to upcoming courses or programs taught at McMaster University

  • Use existing open educational resources or create new open educational resources

  • Incorporate a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the resource in the classroom

Applications are particularly encouraged for large undergraduate courses, courses with high-cost traditional textbooks, and new or emerging disciplines or subjects.

Applications will be reviewed by members of the McMaster OER Committee, including members from the MacPherson Institute, the University Libraries, the Centre for Continuing Education, and faculty and student representatives.

Applicants may receive only one award in any given year. 

Individual grants are for one year only.

Expectations of Grant Recipients

For Adoption, Adaptation or Creation:

  • Meet with the OER Committee co-chairs to complete a project plan with agreed-upon timelines and deliverables*

  • Commit to use the resource in a McMaster credit course specified in the application form

  • Ensure the resource meets with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) standards**

  • Submit a final report, including a final budget, after completion of the project***

*See the Planning document to help create your project plan.

**See information on Accessible Publishing for instructors. Contact Library Accessibility Services for assistance.

***See the Final Report document.

For Adaptation or Creation:

In addition to the expectations listed above,

For Peer Review Honorarium:

  • Submit and permit the open publication of the review for a textbook, in the corresponding collection, prior to June 30, 2021.

  • If suitable, add the reviewed textbook to the OER by Discipline Guide: McMaster University

  • Consider adopting the reviewed textbook as a course resource.

  • Note: A submission of a final report is not required.

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@mcmaster.ca

EVALUATION CRITERIA AND PROCESS

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be considered during the evaluation process:

  • Number of learners served (as measured by class size and/or number of sections)

  • Potential impact on cost savings to students 

  • Potential for the reuse of the OER in subsequent terms or other credit courses to be offered at McMaster and at other institutions

  • Evidence of need for OER on this topic (for Adaptation or Creation)

  • Feasible goals and timelines

  • Feasible budget

  • Plan for measuring learners’ experience with the OER*

  • Plan for measuring project success* 

  • Plan for regular review (and revision, if Adapting or Creating)*

  • Inclusion of content map/plan (for Creation)

  • Outline of proposed plan (for Adoption)

  • Outline of proposed plan/changes or additions (for Adaptation)

  • Evidence of teaching experience or courses taught in the subject of the textbook the applicant has applied to review (for Peer Review Honorarium)

*Draft plans may be submitted upon application with the understanding that successful applicants will meet with the OER Committee co-chairs to complete agreed-upon timelines and deliverables. See the Application Process and Support and FAQ documents for more details.


Evaluation Process

See the OER Grant Application form to apply. Deadline for applications is June 1, 2020 by 11:59 pm.

Please read all of the information about the Grant Program included in the OER Grant (McMaster) LibGuide before starting your application.

Applications will be evaluated by members of the McMaster OER Committee, which includes members from the University Libraries, the MacPherson Institute, the Centre for Continuing Education, and faculty and student representatives.

All applicants will be notified by June 15, 2020.

Successful applicants will be announced by June 19, 2020.

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@mcmaster.ca

SUPPORT AND FAQ

Support

The MacPherson Institute and the University Libraries are building a service to assist instructors to adopt, adapt or create open textbooks or other open educational resources for use in their courses. The grant will give instructors support through collaboration and/or consultation with staff in the MacPherson Institute and the University Libraries.

Grant Information virtual drop-in sessions will be offered at the following times:

Pressbooks Workshop

Learn about Pressbooks, Ontario’s free open textbook authoring platform in this hands-on session.

NEW! H5P Workshop 

Learn about H5P, an open source tool available in Pressbooks that allows authors to create interactive content for their projects.

For additional questions about the McMaster OER Grant program or to request a consultation regarding your application, project or peer review, please contact Joanne Kehoe, Associate Director, Educational Technologies and Olga Perkovic, Research and Advanced Studies Librarian at oer@mcmaster.ca

See the Planning document to help create your project plan.

See the Final Report document.

Please read all of the information about the Grant Program included in the OER Grant (McMaster) LibGuide before starting your application.

FAQ

Where can I find open textbooks to adopt, adapt or review?

There are many OER collections or repositories available to find open textbooks and other open educational resources for coursework. These collections or repositories normally contain a combination of peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed titles. If an open textbook has already been reviewed, the review(s) will appear with the record for the textbook.

OER collections or repositories, including those listed below, may be found in the McMaster OER LibGuide: Collections

 

Where can I find information about adopting, adapting, or creating open textbooks?

Several OER Faculty toolkits are available to get you started on your open textbook project. These resources, including those listed below, may be found in the McMaster OER LibGuide: OER & Faculty.

 

Where can I find calls for the peer review of open textbooks?

In addition to searching for open textbooks in collections or repositories such as those listed in the McMaster OER LibGuide: Collections, some organizations release a call for reviews. The Collections page of the OER LibGuide will be updated as calls for the peer review of open textbooks are announced.

The Rebus Community maintains a Contributor Marketplace forum where you can post or reply to calls for contributors, peer reviewers, editors, etc. for open textbook projects.

 

Please send questions about the OER Grant Program to oer@mcmaster.ca