OER Fund, Open UBC

Looking at the OER Fund

The UBCV OER Fund, which I help to coordinate, aims to support affordable and inclusive access to learning materials through the adoption, adaptation, development, and integration of open educational resources in UBCV credit courses. Between Fall 2019 and Spring 2022, the Fund provided $650,076 in OER grant funding for 61 projects across 11 different faculties. Earlier this fall, my colleague Trish Varao-Sousa and I published an evaluation snapshot of this grant program.

One of my favourite parts of the snapshot looked at what finished projects reported as being the most valuable part of being an OER Fund recipient. Some of the reported themes included:

  • The collaboration with students – e.g.:
    • “Reflecting on the course and resources with students as part of the team in developing resources.”
    • “Creating knowledge with a student partner and seeing the possibility of doing this in the future.”
    • “Many of our doctoral students were introduced to OER concepts and examples, which expands their imagination about the future of higher education research and teaching and how they might participate in it.”
  • The funding to support specific collaborations (e.g., course buyouts; hiring students/GTAs) – e.g.:
    • “Creating OER resources that were informed by multiple experts and allowed for a variety of voices and experiences to be presented. The resources that were created included perspectives, voices and experiences of equity deserving groups, which are often left out of traditional textbook resources.” 
  • Skill development – e.g.:
    • “I learned about what OER sources were! And I realized I could design a course without a textbook (something that was daunting to me in the past).”

You can read the entire report here: https://oerfund.open.ubc.ca/2022-oer-fund-snapshot/