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PA GOAL Grants for Open Educational Resources (OER)

The second cycle of applications for PA GOAL grants encouraging open and affordable course materials in Pennsylvania opened on June 2.  These grants are funded by the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.  They present a promising opportunity for Villanova faculty and departments to win resources needed to convert high enrollment courses to open educational resources (OER).

Grants will be awarded for designing or redesigning courses using OER, and for authoring OER, or substantially improving OER by creating problem sets, interactive modules, or assessments.

Projects applicable to courses offered in 2021–22 that fill gaps in existing OER or that benefit multiple courses, degrees, or institutions will be prioritized.

Lead eligible applicants must be continuously employed at a nonprofit institution of higher in Pennsylvania. The second cycle of applications will close on July 5, 2021. A total of $400,000 is available to be awarded.  Award amounts will be guided by budgeted costs, but there are caps on team member payments. Project deliverables must be completed by June 2022.  Now’s the time to ramp your project planning into high gear.


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Celebrating Faculty Adopting Open Educational Resources (OER)

The Affordable Materials Project celebrated the work of five faculty members who adopted open educational resources (OER) in the 2020–21 academic year.  OER are free, accessible, and openly licensed textbooks.

Alexander Diaz Lopez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics; Stephanie Katz Linkmeyer, PhD, Assistant Teaching Professor, Chemistry; Sarvesh Kulkarni, PhD, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Sue McFarland Metzger, Professor of the Practice, Information Systems; and Motjaba Vaezi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, were motivated to adopt OER for a variety of reasons not limited to the significant cost savings for students. Faculty noted that the award inspired them to try OER.

Dr. Katz Linkmeyer appreciated the seamless integration of OER with Lab Archives, and Professor McFarland Metzger’s integrated with Blackboard. They liked that digital OER incorporated interactive features, but were also available as PDFs for offline use or in print. Professor McFarland Metzger noticed that by giving students the OER they all were on the same page with course content. One faculty member attributed improved Course and Teacher Surveys scores, in part, to the adoption of OER.

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Several faculty remarked they supplemented OER with extra notes, problems, exercises, and figures to better align with their course objectives and that this was time intensive but worthwhile. Additional support for these projects would be welcome.

Students remarked that they liked having continued access to the book in contrast to e-book rentals. They admitted that the use of OER relieved students from weighing the risks involved in waiting to see if the assigned textbook is really used as a key resource for learning and assessments. They felt that the use of OER relieved financial pressures and hoped to see more widespread adoption of OER across the curriculum.

The 2021–22 OER Faculty Adoption Grant is accepting applications.  Visit this site to apply.

A recording of the full faculty forum, including student’s remarks is available to the Villanova community and a version with only the faculty presentations, is available for open viewing.


Linda Hauck is the Business Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and Affordable Materials Project member.

 

 


 


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Last Modified: June 2, 2021