OER Alternative Textbook Mini Grant

OER: Open Educational Resources

Have you adopted or created any Open Educational Resources (OER) for your online course as an alternative to a textbook? Or are you seeking to replace your course textbook with OER material?

If so, the UA Little Rock OER Task Force wants to hear about it. This group is a collaboration between eLearning, Scholarly Technology & Resources (STaR), and Collections & Archives (C&A) in an effort to reduce costs to students and improve student retention.

OER Mini Grant

The UA Little Rock OER Task Force is delighted to present the Open Educational Resources Mini Grant. The grant is open to departments with faculty who teach in the online course environment. We are looking for innovative faculty who wish to expand their existing online course content to open educational resources format, assist in incentivizing collaboration among their colleagues to create new course development, and promote student retention through the use of open source content at UA Little Rock.

Faculty may submit course content for either a full or partial amount of online course content for OER development in their area of expertise. This grant is designed to encourage collaborative discussion about resources and development within academic departments to foster OER content. The grant may be used at the department’s discretion to support online programming efforts.

Contingent upon your application, departments may be eligible for the following grants:

  • 16-week course (16-weeks of OER material) = $1,500.00
  • 16-week course (4 weeks of OER material) = $750.00
  • 8-week course (2 weeks of OER material) = $750.00
  • 5-week course (1 week of OER material) = $750.00

Up to $15,000 of funds will be granted toward the adoption and creation of Open Educational Resources and the development of online learning. To be effective, funds must be spent in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

What are OER?

According to UNESCO (2017), Open Educational Resources (OER) are “any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation.”

For more information about OER, please see Ottenheimer Library’s research guide Discovering Open Educational Resources (OER).

Selection Criteria Rubric

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please see the selection criteria rubric.

Application Instructions

Faculty members who teach current fully online courses within Blackboard may submit an application for an opportunity to earn grant funds for their department. Faculty may work together on developing content for a course and may submit an application explaining how they select and incorporate OER materials into online courses.

Applying for grant funds is a multiple-step process. Applicants will initially fill out a Google Form. If funded, applicants will then be given access to a sandbox within Blackboard to develop course content and submit these materials for review.

Departments may submit only one application form per course. Please do not submit an application per section of the course. Departments may submit additional applications for different courses. All applications will be reviewed by members of the UA Little Rock OER Task Force.

To submit your application, please fill out the OER Alternative Textbook Mini Grant Google Form.

If you need help identifying sources to incorporate into your courses, please contact Carol Macheak, Research and Scholarly Communications Coordinator, at 501-569-8809 or cimacheak@ualr.edu.


All Google Form applications are due on Friday, May 26, 2017.

Grants will be distributed on Thursday, June 1, 2017.

All additional materials must be completed and available in Blackboard on Monday, July 31, 2017.


Department faculty will present their OER content in an Open Educational Resources Workshop in the Fall 2017 and participate in Open Education Week in Spring 2018.


If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Cori Schmidtbauer, eLearning Librarian, at 501.569.8811 or cmschmidtbau@ualr.edu.

This mini grant is inspired by the UA OER Incentive Program conducted by the University of Arkansas Libraries at Fayetteville.