Eight Western instructors awarded grants to adopt Open Educational Resources

Contact: Sara Volmering

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The University Libraries at Western Michigan University awarded eight Open Educational Resources (OER) Adoption Grants to instructors in April. The grants are anticipated to save over 1,240 students in 11 courses an estimated $100,000 in textbook costs based on projected summer and fall 2024 and spring 2025 course enrollment.

The OER Adoption Grants support WMU instructors in switching from a commercial textbook to free, high-quality online resources. Open Educational Resources are openly licensed teaching and learning resources that are free to access, use, adapt and redistribute.

Western students in courses funded by the OER grants have saved an estimated $1.3 million in textbook costs since the grants launched in 2019. The Libraries expanded the grant program in 2022 to help faculty create open textbooks for Western students and learners worldwide. The Libraries published the first grant-funded open textbooks earlier in April.

Western students taking a course with a grant-funded OER textbook say they appreciate the ease of access and financial relief.

"I remember feeling so relieved at the beginning of the semester when I found out that I did not have to buy a textbook,” shared one student in a post-course OER survey.

“It makes me feel like the professor truly cares about their students and wants everyone to succeed, not just the students who can afford the textbook. I know that there are cheap options out there, such as renting, but sometimes finding and buying the right textbooks can be a huge stressor."

SPRING 2024 OER ADOPTION GRANT RECIPIENTS

  • Lori Brown, AVS 3080
  • Dr. David Code, MUS 1620 and MUS 1630
  • Mandy Cox, SWRK 3510
  • Dr. Gary Marquardt, AAAS 2000
  • Dr. Shannon McMorrow, MPH 6050 and PH 2320
  • Dr. John Saillant, HIST 4245 and HIST 6200
  • Dr. Zoann Synder, SOC 3140
  • Anthony Wilburn, MATH 1160

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