Frequently Asked Questions
Any instructor who is teaching a course at UND may apply for an OER grant.
Yes. You need a letter from your Department Chair, or alternatively, your Dean if your Chair is unavailable. We want to ensure that your Chair is aware of and supportive of this project.
Yes. If you are the sole applicant, you must attend the OER Workshop Series, during which the OER Working Group and others provide training on Course Redesign, Finding OERs, Instructional Technology, Creative Commons Licensing, Copyright, and many other aspects of locating and adapting and implementing OERs for your courses. If more than one person is applying for the grant, at least one person from the group must attend on behalf of the group. If the dates of the OER Workshop Series are problematic, you may contact the OER Working Group to arrange for individual training sessions on a mutually convenient date, though we strongly suggest attending the OER Workshop Series. To discuss training dates, please contact either Stephanie Walker, Dean of Libraries & Information Resources and Chair of the OER Working Group, or Lori Swinney (Director, Instructional Design & Digital Learning, TTaDA).
No. The purpose of the OER Grant is not solely to reduce costs for a current group of students, admirable as that goal is. The purpose of the OER Grant is to reduce costs on an ongoing basis, and to make the OER used in a course available to others as well, via the UND Scholarly Commons. We want OERs that will be used year after year, and will save not only this year’s students money, but future students for the foreseeable future.
It depends. We strongly support using OERs to reduce costs for students.But some faculty also have shown interest in "hybrid" materials, whereby a course pack may include many Open Educational Resources, such as articles in Open/Free journals, OERs from MERLOT, etc., but may also include resources that are not open. "Non-open" resources may include some materials that students still have to purchase, such as a particularly useful article that could not be obtained for free, or they may include resources that are not technically free, but that are still "free to end users" (students at the same university with access to the same resources). The latter are usually links to articles in licensed library databases. These would require a log-in from off-campus to verify the student's affiliate status, but there is no additional charge to the students at the same institution. That being said, these resources are not truly open, in that anyone not affiliated with UND would not be able to obtain these free of charge, and any such resources used elsewhere would result in users not affiliated with UND being asked to purchase the material if their own campus does not subscribe to the database. Also, if we ever lose our own subscription to a particular journal or database, the resource would no longer be "free" for UND students either.
The OER Working Group strongly prefers truly open materials, so that we can place them in the UND Scholarly Commons and share them with NDUS and the world, through Merlot and the Digital Commons Network. However, under some circumstances, if the resulting product still saves UND students substantial funds, and has the potential for good long-term savings for the students, the OER Working Group reserves the right to consider such proposals.
The OER Working Group has no particular preferences for subject matter, courses, format, etc. We do have a strong preference for materials that are high impact (i.e. save students considerable funds), whether that is achieved through replacement of particularly costly textbooks or through large enrollment classes or both. We also strongly support OERs that provide assistance with "barrier courses" (courses with high DFW rates); there is ample evidence that some students withdraw from or drop courses with high textbook costs. Alternatively, we also support OERs that fill a niche or cover areas for which UND is particularly well known. For example, even though Petroleum Engineering is not an especially large enrollment program, it is one for which UND is very well known, and thus, the OER Working Group voted to support creation/usage of some materials in Petroleum Engineering. This allows us to "give back" in areas we cover particularly well.
We encourage anyone interested in using OERs in their courses to apply for an OER Grant, or to contact us if you have any questions. Also, if you need technological assistance with multimedia, video, captioning, etc., please contact Lori Swinney (Director, Instructional Design & Digital Learning, TTaDA).
Thus far, we have focused largely on supporting adaptations (adopting & implementing), though in some cases, faculty have banded together to write entirely new material (creating & implementing). It should be noted that the normal maximum support we are able to offer is $3000 per project, though we have made exceptions in especially high impact courses where, for example, 3 faculty participated and each was responsible for a distinct segment of work. It is undeniably more work to write an OER from scratch, so we encourage discussion with both your department chair and the OER Working Group in such cases. We also encourage seeking additional potential support for major projects.
Use the resources listed on the OER Research Guide to find OERs to adopt or adapt for your courses.
Yes. It's your grant fund to use as you need in order to create OERs or adapt OERs for your course.
As well, we expect to briefly assess completed OERs. We will contact you at the end of the term in which you teach with your OER, with a brief Qualtrics survey.
If you have created a brand-new OER, we suggest licensing it upon submission to the UND Scholarly Commons, using a Creative Commons license. There are many licenses from which to choose, and there is a License Chooser that helps you to pick the one right for you.
If you have simply adapted an OER for your course, you may wish to consider licensing the resulting OER, depending on whether you have made substantial alterations or not. We suggest consulting UND’s Special Affiliate in the Office of General Counsel, Jason Jenkins regarding such licensing.