University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Open Educational Resources Grant

We are excited to announce that UNE has been awarded a grant to advance campus-wide open educational resources (OER) initiatives over the next three years. The $80,000 grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elizabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. This grant aims to promote the adoption of OER among faculty, increase accessibility, and reduce student financial burdens while increasing student success! This funding presents exciting opportunities for faculty to engage with OER, contribute to student success, and be part of a larger movement toward open education. 

OER, educational materials with open licenses, have become increasingly vital in higher education. They enhance academic achievement and retention and promote affordability, equity, and inclusion. With OER, every student has access to required materials on the first day of class, and they provide more accessibility options for students with accommodations. 

The UNE community has achieved progress in advancing OER. More and more faculty members are aware of OER, adopting them in their courses. A campus-wide OER steering committee comprising faculty, administrators, professional staff, and students has conducted data-gathering activities, provided OER outreach and education, developed a data dashboard, and established Open Education Network (OEN) membership. These efforts have not only increased awareness and usage of OER across campus but also paved the way for a more inclusive and accessible education system. 

Faculty at UNE are encouraged to get involved with the OER Initiative through various grant opportunities made possible by the Davis Educational Foundation grant. Mini-grants will be available for faculty to review and create OER, with the grant amount scaled based on impact, time, and the number of students affected. Mini-grants will also be available to review open textbooks. Additionally, proposals for research on the impact of OER on student outcomes and other metrics will be accepted, and grants will be provided to support these initiatives. 

Stay tuned for more details!