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Apply for an Open Educational Resources Development Grant

Written by Chris Diaz, Digital Publishing Librarian

The Affordable Instructional Resources (AIR) initiative invites you to apply for a $5,000 grant to work on finding, adapting, and creating open educational resources (OER) for an upcoming undergraduate course. Funded by the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Libraries, these grants are intended to support faculty use and creation of free and open alternatives to traditional textbooks in order to strengthen the quality of available OER and lower costs for students.

According to the Northwestern Student Finance Office, students are likely to spend overĀ  $1,600 per year on books and supplies. The costs of textbooks in particular can be very stressful for students living on tight budgets. OER can be any educational resource that is made available for free under an open copyright license, like Creative Commons. The Open Textbook Library is a great starting point for finding OER for your subject area.

Last year, AIR awarded eight grants to faculty who replaced their traditional textbook assignments by finding and modifying existing OER, or creating new OER from scratch. Here are a few examples from last year’s program:

  • Jean Clipperton (Weinberg) developed a new textbook on research methods in political science, featuring contributions from graduate student authors.
  • Jonathan Emery & Kenneth Shull (McCormick) are writing and publishing modules for the materials science and engineering core curriculum, including both instructor and student editions.
  • Shelby Hatch (Weinberg) found three chemistry textbooks in the Open Textbook Library and created a mashup for her course in Northwestern’s Prison Education Program.

You are welcome to email us ahead of time if you’d like to discuss an project idea before submitting an application. Applications are due March 9, 2020, and recipients will be notified no later than April 1, 2020.

Visit the AIR website to apply or email air@northwestern.edu for more information.