Open Policies

New UBC OER Fund Launched

I’m very excited to see the launch of UBC’s new OER Fund. The Office of the Provost has committed $250,000 in annual funding for the next four years to support:

  • The adoption, adaptation or creation of open educational resources which address affordability and access to learning resources within UBCV credit-based courses.
  • Course enhancements using open educational resources, including assessment materials.
  • Activities and events that seek to engage the UBCV community in increasing awareness and capacity for supporting open educational resources.

The UBC Vancouver OER Fund was established through the UBC Academic Excellence Fund to support affordable and inclusive access to learning materials through the adaption, adoption, development, and integration of open educational resources in UBC credit courses.

The OER Fund consists of two grant pathways:

  1. OER Rapid Innovation Grants: Grants of up to $1,000 which are available to the UBC community for innovative activities that increase open educational resources development, awareness and capacity building. The application cycle for this pathway will be available on a rolling basis until the funds allocated each year are exhausted.
  2. OER Implementation Grants: Grants of up to $25,000 for UBCV faculty who wish to incorporate open educational resources as the primary materials into their UBCV credit courses.

The UBC OER Fund is guided by the following principles:

  • Increase the creation, adaptation, adoption and integration of high-quality open educational resources, including assessment materials, in UBC credit courses.
  • Reduce student costs for learning materials and assessments.
  • Enable instructors to modify, edit, or adapt high-quality open educational resources to fit their unique specifications and goals in order to help provide meaningful, contextualized learning materials for UBC students.
  • Engage with the UBC community to increase awareness of open educational resources.
  • Grow capacity at UBC to support and sustain open educational resources activities.

To learn more, application forms, criteria, and support for both grants are available at http://open.ubc.ca/oer-fund.

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Open Policies, Open UBC

Open as a TLEF Priority Focus

UBC-Vancouver’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) was created in 1991 to enrich student learning by supporting innovative and effective educational enhancements.

Starting in the 2017/2018 cycle, a priority focus on the development or integration of open educational resources (OER) was added to the criteria for new proposals. Furthermore, eligibility requirements were also added that specifically stated that funded projects are encouraged to openly license their developed materials under an appropriate Creative Commons license to allow for broad sharing within and beyond UBC.

Open UBC Image

Approximately 25% of the 2017/2018 TLEF funded projects had an explicit open strategy. In the 2018/2019 cycle, more than 39 percent of the TLEF funded projects incorporated strategies around open resources or practices.

The TLEF is Funded By Students

The TLEF is financed through a portion of the student tuition paid to UBC Vancouver. According to the 2016 AMS Student Experience Survey (pdf), nearly 75% of students have not bought a course text due to cost at least once and 37% reported. Access to educational materials is an important topic for students as they often or frequently go without textbooks or resources due to cost. Open educational resources and practices can help close those access barriers.

Examples of Open Education Projects Funded by the TLEF

Please visit the UBC TLEF site for a complete list of TLEF funded projects.

This post was adapted from the TLEF and Open Education Poster presented at the TLEF Showcase. The original poster can be downloaded here.

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Open Policies

Institutional Support for OER

An emerging motivation for uptake of open education resources and practices at UBC is the increased presence of University policies and programs that support OER. The 2016/17 edition of the Guide to Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Procedures at UBC (pdf) includes contributions to open educational resources and repositories as a possible criteria for evidence of educational leadership (p. 16, 19 & 51) for those instructors in the educational leadership stream. I believe that the inclusion of open resources and repositories in a promotion and tenure guideline is pretty unique at this point (although many institutions have open access policies).

Additionally, both the 2018 UBC-V Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund and the 2018/19 Aspire Teaching and Learning Fund at UBC have priority focus areas for the development or integration of open educational resources that are intended to be used in a course, multiple courses within a program, or across several programs. The 2018 TLEF call for Large TLEF proposals is now open and letters of intent are due July 14, 2017.

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