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Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER Grant banner

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. In 2020/21, the amount allocated for the program was $16,000; in 2021/22, an amount of $26,000 is available for the program. The program supports the use of OER to benefit teaching and learning by enhancing equal 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 OER for students, instructors, and the McMaster community 

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

  • Encourage the exploration of new teaching approaches using OER and the development of course materials that are both 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 page in the Documents area below.

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

For readings on the use and perceptions 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: The Policies and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. 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

Martin, M., Belikov, O., Hilton, J., Wiley, D., & Fischer, L. (2017). Analysis of student and faculty perceptions of textbook costs in higher education. Open Praxis, 9(1), 79-91. https://www.learntechlib.org/p/180267/

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

Documents

GRANT TYPES

Funding for the OER grant program in 2021/22 is $26,000.

The Call for Proposals for 2021/22 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. This should cover a topic or subject area that is not currently included in 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 adapting an existing open textbook, see Reasons to Adapt an Open Textbook by Lauri M. Aesoph. See also the eCampusOntario Adapt an OER webpage.

The funding program will be administered by the University Library. 

Expectations of grant recipients are described on the Application Process page.

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 - CLOSED

Applications open: Mon. May 3, 2021

NEW! Deadline for applications: Fri. June 4, 2021 by 5:00 pm

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

APPLICATION PROCESS

Important Dates for 2021/22

  • Applications open: Mon. May 3, 2021

  • NEW! Deadline for applications: Fri. June 4, 2021 by 5:00 pm 

  • Notification date of applicant status: Fri. June 18, 2021

  • Grant recipients announced: Wed. June, 30, 2021

  • Deadline for completion of grant projects and peer reviews: Thurs. June 30, 2022

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, McMaster University Continuing Education, and faculty and student representatives.

Applicants are eligible to apply more than once, to more than one category. However, Applicants may receive only one award from the Creation, Adaptation and Adoption categories 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***

  • Agree to share their project plans with the McMaster community through sessions held during Open Access Week, Open Education Week and at McMaster's 2022 Teaching and Learning Conference.

*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, 2022.

  • 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 pages for more details.


Evaluation Process

See the OER Grant Application form - CLOSED

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, McMaster University Continuing Education, and faculty and student representatives.

All applicants will be notified by Fri. June 18, 2021.

Grant recipients will be announced by Wed. June 30, 2021.

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.

Registration is required for all events.

Grant Information sessions will be offered at the following times:

H5P Workshop

Interested in learning how to use H5P to create an OER for your course? Participate in this hands-on introduction workshop, where you will learn about the H5P Studio and the content types available. Register for an account by going to H5P at eCampusOntario and clicking "Register" in the upper right-hand corner. https://h5pstudio.ecampusontario.ca/

Pressbooks Workshop

Attend this hands-on workshop and learn how to create, adapt, and publish open content using Pressbooks, Ontario’s free open textbook authoring platform.

More Information

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, Lead Educational Developer, Digital Pedagogies 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

  • eCampusOntario Open Library - Search almost 600 open textbooks and other open resources in top subject areas in post-secondary education. Print for low cost; download for free.

  • MERLOT - This collection contains over 91,000 discipline-specific, peer-reviewed free learning materials. Materials are categorized in 22 different types, including assessment tools, quizzes, modules, open textbooks and presentations.

  • OASIS - A search tool for discovery of open content from 97 different sources. Search by content type such as full textbooks, course materials and interactive simulations, or browse by subject using Advanced Search.

  • OER by Discipline Guide: McMaster University - This guide highlights quality open textbooks organized by academic programs at McMaster.

  • Pressbooks Directory - Search this directory of 2,300 open textbooks and other books published across 94 Pressbooks networks.

 

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

OER GRANTEES

Congratulations to the OER Grantees for 2021-22!

Konstantinos Apostolou and Amin Rajabzadeh, assistant professors, W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology
Open Content CREATION: Introduction to Mass Balances 

Mirna Carranza, professor, School of Social Work
Open Content CREATION: The Colonial Mirror: Newcomer Families as Civic Bodies

David Feinberg, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
Open Content CREATION: Python for Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour

Chad Harvey, associate professor, School of Interdisciplinary Science
Open Content ADAPTATION: Adaptation of Biology 2e (OpenStax)

Ali Hashemi, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
Open Content CREATION: Revisiting the History of Psychology

Anne Holbrook, professor, Department of Medicine
Open Content ADAPTATION: Adaptation of the National Prescribing Curriculum (NPC) of Australia

Miroslav Lovric, associate professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Open Content CREATION: 99 Numbers: Mathematics of Everyday Life

Antonio Paez, professor, School of Earth, Environment & Society
Open Content CREATION: Spatial Statistics

 

Congratulations to the OER Grantees for 2020-2021!

Zhen He, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Economics

Open Content ADAPTATION: Microeconomics interactive study guide and question bank as supplementary resources

Alex Peace, Assistant Professor, School of Geography and Earth Sciences

Open Content CREATION: A virtual geology field trip to Whitefish Falls, Ontario: Geoscience fieldwork in the age of Covid-19 and beyond

Felicia Vulcu and Caitlin Mullarkey, Associate Professor and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences

Open Content CREATION: Interactive manual on Biochemistry Basics: Exploring modern biochemical techniques through drug discovery

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