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UNF Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative

OER savings graphicGoal

To support and incentivize faculty adoption of high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER) in place of traditional and expensive textbooks.


  • Lower student costs by eliminating expensive instructional materials when possible.
  • Support faculty experimentation with OERs.
  • Assist faculty in finding and using academically equivalent OER content.

Project Overview

UNF’s OER Initiative is a joint project by the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) and the Thomas G. Carpenter Library that seeks to lower college costs for UNF students by encouraging UNF faculty to adopt quality open resources in their courses. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition defines OER as “teaching, learning, and research resources that either reside in the public domain or carry a license that permits their free use, sharing and adaptation by all users. From textbooks to course materials, videos to software, journals to digital collections, the creation and sharing of open materials can reduce the cost of textbooks, expand access to knowledge, and support student success.” [1]


For additional information about OER please visit the Carpenter Library Guide.

Since 2006, the cost of college textbooks has increased 88 percent, compared with an increase of 21 percent for all items, according to the Consumer Price Index. [2] The cost of textbooks also puts college students at risk of falling behind. A 2016 survey of more than 20,000 Florida college students found that textbook prices caused 67 percent of them to not purchase a required textbook, 26 percent to drop a class and 20 percent to fail a course. [3]

           "The academic culture and tradition is what drives the notion that a textbook is necessity. When we free ourselves from that linear thinking--that course instruction must look a certain way--it is surprising how little the textbook is missed and other forms of pedagogy can better promote student engagement, learning, and success."    

- Amanda Pascale, OER Initiative Participant


  • Open to professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, and lecturers.
  • Special consideration given to faculty proposals with the potential for broad impact, including large enrollment and Gen Ed courses.
  • Proposals must include a letter of support from department chair.
  • Proposals must include a description of the impact of financial savings for students.
  • Courses already using open access materials exclusively or courses where the instructional materials are already under $25 are not eligible.

Support for Selected Proposals

Before starting the process of transforming their courses to use OER, awardees will complete the following training workshops:

  • Kick-off Meeting/Introduction to Open Educational Resources (Face-to-face)
  • Copyright Overview (online)
  • Introduction to Instructional Design (online)

Awardees will also have access to instructional design and curriculum alignment services from CIRT and library faculty for assistance in identifying resources.

Faculty can expect to meet with an instructional designer and online learning librarian to

  • Discuss the needs of their content and explore open access repositories
  • Review library search strategies and available databases
  • Access course templates to structure OER content in Canvas
  • Review accessibility best practices


Awardees will be required to:

  • Attend a kickoff meeting to meet project staff, discuss open licensing, and outline technological, pedagogical, and research support.
  • Redesign the selected course, so that all required textbooks are available at no cost to students and the cost of any other supplementary instructional materials does not exceed $25.
  • Submit a final project report that includes a narrative summarizing the challenges and accomplishments of the experience of finding/using OER materials, impact on teaching, impact on students, and lessons learned.
  • Provide a copy of the revised syllabus or course outline used for the class and make available to other department faculty teaching the same course.

Stipend Distribution

A $1000 stipend will be awarded for the successful completion of the OER Initiative.


Funds will be distributed in 2 payments; 50% upon completion of training sessions, and 50% upon project completion and reporting. Reports will be published on the OER Faculty Recognition webpage.

To Apply

A maximum of 15 participants will be selected for each cohort. Please review the important dates posted below and choose a cohort for which you can attend the required face-to-face kick-off meeting. The content development term is the term that you will work to identify and select OER content, while the course delivery term refers to when the course will be taught using the selected OER content.

Content Development Course Delivery Applications Due Kick-Off Meeting
Summer 2019 Fall 2019 April 22, 2019
Friday, May 3, 2019
Fall 2019 Spring 2020 August 16, 2019
Friday, August 30, 2019
Spring 2020 Summer 2020 January 13, 2020
Friday, January 24, 2020


To submit a proposal:

If your proposal is approved for funding, you will receive an email with further instructions for getting started on the project. For questions, please email


Note: One proposal/one course per faculty member.







Additional Resources