The Affordable Materials Project (AMP) is offering 5 grants in the amount of $500 to tenure track or continuing faculty to encourage the adoption of an open educational resource (OER) as the primary course material for a class offered in the 2021-22 academic year. OER are free for students, accessible and digital (but may be printed as well). OER are not simply free, but carry Creative Commons licenses that allow for copying, revising, and remixing. Many OER incorporate interactive features and multimedia, integrate with Blackboard and come with test banks and solutions.
This grant recognizes the time and effort that faculty invest in revising syllabi, lesson plans, learning activities and assessments. One of last year’s recipients remarked,“One of the nice things is that [the OER I used] comes in many different formats and you can download and use it without an internet connection. I had to supplement with my own notes, slides and figures. The grant comes in handy to hire students to help”
Students benefit financially, educationally, socially and emotionally from the use of OER. One faculty member observed, “By controlling the environment and giving [the students] the free materials, they knew where to go and we had this baseline and that helped tremendously.” And a Villanova student said, “One of the most consistent stressors I have had in my college experience so far is financing the cost of books…Having online access without any worry of cost or rental due dates impacted my great class experience and achievement.” While another shared, “Freshman year it took me almost to the midterm to be able to buy a certain textbook. I still use that textbook now. Some textbooks are crucial to your major. Without that textbook I had a D on my midterm. After buying it I was just glued to it. It has so many markings on it.”
The OER Adoption grant contributes to Villanova’s goals for academic excellence, and to meet 100% of financial need by lowering the overall cost of enrollment. OER supports equity, leveling the playing field across economically disadvantaged and financially privileged students by giving all students free access to the required course materials.
Additional information about eligibility, grant requirements and the review process are posted on the application page, open until June 6, 2021.
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