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Concordia University OER Grants

Overview

Concordia University is pleased to offer a grant aimed at encouraging the adoption, customization, or creation of open textbooks, and open educational resources (OER) more generally. OER include textbooks and other learning materials that are freely available to use, copy, modify and share, and significantly reduce costs of course materials for students (more information about OER).

Part of Concordia’s Digital Strategy and funded by the Library Services Fund, the Concordia University Library, in collaboration with the Centre for Teaching and Learning and eConcordia, invites proposals that will result in the use of open textbooks in Concordia courses. The grants provide funding to faculty members to support the work involved in identifying, customizing or creating open textbooks, and in revising course content as a result of incorporating a new textbook.

Grants Objectives

  • To enhance access to learning materials and reduce textbook costs for students
  • To provide both financial support and accompanying services to faculty members in adopting and customizing open textbooks

Types/Value of Grants

Value of grants will be dependent on the nature of the project. Generally, 3 types of grants are available:

  • Adopt (up to $1,000) - Identify and adopt an existing open textbook with minor changes if needed 
  • Customize (up to $5,000) - Identify and customize an existing open textbook (e.g. add/remove/remix content, provide local examples)
  • Create (up to $10,000) - Produce a new open textbook

Application Process 

To apply, fill out an application form:

  • Adopt grants (up to $1,000) are available on a rolling basis. 
  • Customize grants (up to $5,000) are available on a rolling basis. 
  • Create grants (up to $10,000) are available on a rolling basis (up to 3 grants are awarded per year). 

Proposals will be reviewed by the OER Project Team consisting of members from the Library, Centre for Teaching and Learning, eConcordia, and student and faculty representatives.

Expectations of Grant Recipients

  • Use the open textbook in an existing course
  • Share the open textbook using an open license (e.g. a Creative Commons license) allowing others to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute
  • Work with standards and guidelines related to accessibility, copyright, and intellectual property
  • Plan and implement the project in collaboration with the OER project team:
    • Attend an initial team meeting to set up project timeline and deliverables
    • Use the open textbook publishing platform (i.e. Pressbooks) supported by the library, or on an otherwise agreed upon platform if unique needs require an alternative
    • Provide regular updates throughout the project and complete a final report  
    • Share experience in communication activities arranged by the OER project team (e.g. Concordia news stories, interviews)
    • Participate in assessment activities aimed at evaluating and expanding Concordia’s OER initiatives

Eligibility

Open to all full-time and part-time Concordia University Faculty teaching undergraduate courses, including online courses.

Eligible Expenses

Funding is directed towards hiring Concordia students to assist with adopt/customize processes (e.g. identifying resources, content development support) and/or in providing teaching support in the use of the open textbook. Relevant Concordia University HR policies/protocols will be followed. Grants cannot be used for travel or equipment.  

Library Support

The library provides dedicated support to OER projects awarded the grants, including but are not limited to: 

  • Resources on OER (e.g. repositories, tools, licensing, accessibility, best practices) 
  • A book writing/publishing platform (i.e. Pressbooks)
  • Advice on the publishing workflow 

Evaluation Criteria

  • Cost savings for students
  • Improve teaching and learning
  • Feasible scope and timeline

Assessment

Overall feedback will be collected from faculty and students on the use of open textbooks in order to evaluate and inform Concordia’s OER initiatives.

Contact

For more information, please contact Chloe Lei, Open Educational Resources Librarian (chloe.lei@concordia.ca, 514-848-2424 ext. 7909). You can also email oer@concordia.ca.

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