Open Access Learning Resource Fund
For many of our instructors, the use of external, commercial textbooks and/or homework tools is essential to the structure of their courses and the success of their students. However, these resources and tools are often cost prohibitive for some students. In an effort to help provide solutions to this issue, the Teaching Centre has created a Fund to help assist Faculty in transitioning from these commercial resources and homework tools to either existing open-source/open access solutions or in some cases working with them to develop equivalent tools that will meet their needs (and those of their students).
The Teaching Centre invites all U of L faculty members/departments to apply for financial support of up to $5000 for projects to migrate current commercial homework systems or resources to in-house solutions that are free for the students, i.e. open access. Examples of projects could be:
- Hiring graduate or undergraduate students to migrate questions from a commercial solution into Moodle or other open platform
- Hiring graduate or undergraduate students to help identify existing Open Access resources and re-tool them to replace commercial resources currently being used
- Hiring graduate or undergraduate students to examine potential open-source solutions to replace currently used commercial resources
- Hiring graduate or undergraduate students to help assemble an Open Access resource from existing Open Access materials that are available.
- Hire and train graduate or undergraduate students on how to create new assessment solutions that utilize open-source solutions that are available on campus
Note: The funds cannot be used for teaching/course relief.
The Teaching Centre will use the following criteria for judging the merit of the proposals:
- Impact: does this project impact a large number of students. Preference will be given to projects that involve multiple faculty members/courses and/or large course sections.
- Budget: is the budget clearly defined and does it represent the full scope of the work required.
- Evidence that this is currently a tool that is being utilized and will continue to be utilized going forward.
One of the key criteria of each of the accepted projects will be that the final product is published under an Open Access Creative Commons License (Attribution – NonCommercial – Share A like 4.0 International), which means that the work is attributed to the authors but is shared and others can adapt the work as long as they share their adaptations. This license allows the work to be used and adapted by other Faculty within the institution provided that attribution to the original author is maintained and the result remained free for use (non-commercial).
Applicants who qualify for this award will be tenured, have a tenure-track position, a 3-year term or a continuing appointment.
Application forms for this fund can be found here:
Dr. Ying Zheng was the first recipient (Fall 2017) of the Open Access Learning Resource Fund. Her previous experience in publishing teaching resources as well as funded assistance from her student, Keith Aiken, allowed Dr. Zheng to adapt and publish her first open course pack within only a few months. Soon after that course pack was ready, it was put to a test and is now in regular use in Dr. Zheng's Chemistry for the Life Sciences II course.