March 24, 2017

OER Grants are saving students money

The OER Grants program supports faculty members who wish to integrate open educational resources into their courses. OER can offer great flexibility in terms of format and content, and students benefit from reduced textbook costs.

Last year 2,300 students in 11 courses saved $230,000 in textbook costs as a result of projects funded by SFU’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Grants. That estimate is contained in a “First Year Summary” produced by program staff to quantify the impact of the grant program in its first 12 months.

The OER Grants were established in 2016 by the Vice-President, Academic, to encourage the use of OER course materials by SFU faculty members and instructors. They are administered by the SFU Library and the Teaching and Learning Centre. An important goal of the program is to reduce the amount SFU students spend on textbooks by identifying non-commercial alternatives. The program also aims to foster open and innovative pedagogy in the classroom. 

During its first year, the program distributed just under $45,000 to 10 faculty-led initiatives. The savings generated by this investment suggest that OER could contribute significantly to affordability and accessibility of education for SFU students.

For more information about the grant program, contact oer-grants@sfu.ca.

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