Open Educational Resources Grants

  • An impact on students and learning
    A Year Three Summary Report describes program activity during 2018, including an estimate of the total savings in textbook costs by students as a result of the nine funded projects. Download the summary.

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that have been made freely available and are openly licensed with legal permissions to use, adapt and share their content. Examples include open textbooks, videos, lesson plans, learning modules, full-length courses and more.

OER adoptions are gaining momentum in higher education as a means of making learning more affordable and accessible for students, and creating new opportunities for instructors to adapt and customize flexible learning resources for their courses.

At SFU, Open Educational Resources (OER) Grants provide funding of up to $5,000 along with staff support to help faculty members redesign a course to adopt or adapt open textbooks or other OER as their primary course material. The OER Grants were established with funding from the Office of the Vice-President, Academic, and Provost and are administered by the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD) with support from SFU Library and the Centre for Educational Excellence (CEE).

Staff from the SFU Library and the CEE are available to assist recipients in locating, evaluating and adapting high-quality open resources as alternatives to commercial course materials.

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The extent to which they include curation and customization of open educational resources that will be freely and openly shared throughout and beyond SFU
  • Their potential impact on student experience in the form of high-quality materials, maximum access (e.g., Creative Commons licenses), innovative and open pedagogy, and cost savings to students
  • The inclusion of plans to re-use open educational resources in courses in subsequent semesters

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Open educational resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources that are created with the intention of being freely available to users anywhere. They may include, but are not limited to, textbooks, readings, multi-media files, software, assessment tools, and even entire courses. Most are covered by licenses that allow for using, re-mixing, and sharing.”1

– “Guide Define OER” (

1“Guide Define OER,”, last modified on January 11, 2016.