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Funding available to develop and adopt open educational resources

The Office of Open Learning has released its latest call for proposals for funding to support faculty interested in incorporating open educational resources (OERs) into their teaching.

Open Educational Resources include open textbooks, videos, images and music, simulations, modules, lesson plans, and even entire courses, all openly licenced to allow them to be legally used and adapted freely to fit your context.

The OER ACE grants aim to support open pedagogies through the adoption, creation, and extension of OERs in credit courses, non-credit courses, and other projects that help to share UWindsor knowledge and expertise with the community.

Projects that support indigenization of the curriculum, address issues of reconciliation, diversity, equity, internationalization, or which are targeted to support and improve outcomes for underserved or diverse groups are particularly encouraged to apply, as are interdisciplinary or collaborative proposals.

Proposals that are not associated with a for-credit course, but which will impact students through enhancing the three R’s of reputation, recruitment, and retention are also encouraged.

“Open Educational Resources are becoming more widely recognized in Canada and elsewhere as viable alternatives to traditional publisher materials as the costs of those materials rapidly increase,” said Nick Baker, director of the Office of Open Learning. “With uncertainty about the future of OSAP and other government assistance for students in Ontario, it is more important than ever to consider ways that we can help reduce costs for students, and the most direct way that faculty can do that is through their choice of assigned learning materials).

“For example, there are now 270 openly licenced textbooks available through the Ontario Open Textbook Library, most of which have gone through a traditional publishing pathway, including peer review. Most people just don’t know that those resources exist yet, and the OER ACE grants are helping to address this by supporting instructors to explore the resources that are available to them, and hopefully adopt or even create some of their own.”

There are two categories for proposals in the current call, which has a total of up to $50,000 to support projects in 2018-19:

Open Learning strongly encourages anyone thinking of applying to contact the office to discuss ideas before submitting a proposal. Proposals are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and can be emailed to higgison@uwindsor.ca with the subject line “OER ACE proposal.”

For more information about the Office of Open Learning’s support for creating, adopting or adapting, OERs, or questions about the grants, contact Baker at 519-253-3000, ext. 4925, by email at nbaker@uwindsor.ca, or drop in to room G102, Lambton Tower basement.