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UNF Open Educational Resources Initiative | OER

• • •

OE Week | March 6-10, 2023


& Support

& Incentives


How To


Project Overview


The Goal of OER is 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.
  • Support faculty experimentation with OERs.
  • Assist faculty in finding and using academically equivalent OER content.

The Initiative

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.

The Facts

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]

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
  • 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

Guidelines and Support


  • 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)

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

Reporting and Incentives


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.


  • 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.
  • Completed reports will be highlighted on the OER Initiative website and CIRT Facebook page.
  • Course qualifies for the statewide Affordability Counts Initiative. Learn more about how UNF has partnered with Affordability Counts to recognize faculty who adopt low-cost materials.
  • Consider documenting your OER efforts in your promotion and tenure portfolio.

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.

How to Apply

  • Complete all areas of the online application.
  • You will be required to submit a letter of support from your academic chair through the application.

If your proposal is approved, you will receive an email with instructions for beginning the project. Please email with any questions.

Note: One proposal/one course per faculty member.

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.

Cohort Applications Due Kick-Off Meeting
Spring 2022 February 2, 2022
February 11, 2022
Summer 2022 May 31, 2022
June 10, 2022
Fall 2022 September 9, 2022
October 14, 2022