Michigan State University

MSU Libraries Award $28,500 To MSU Faculty To Help Instructors Reduce Costs For Students

Cindy Hunter Morgan

MSU Libraries Open Educational Resources (OER) Advisory Committee has awarded a second round of grants totaling $28,500 to ten MSU faculty. The announcement was made by Dean of Libraries Joseph A. Salem, Jr., who said the awards are designed to support the goals of the OER program, which aims to help instructors reduce costs for students, improve access to required texts, and increase student success. 


“These awards have the potential to impact more than 4,300 students and save students $363,590,” Salem said. “That’s significant for our students, and our experience with the pandemic has only emphasized the importance of this program. Open Educational Resources allow students to access information from anywhere in the world, and they allow instructors to share information quickly. We know how important this is, and OER makes all of this easier.”


MSU Open Educational Resources & Student Success Librarian Regina Gong said the awards will help MSU instructors invest in and continue important work to make education affordable, equitable, and accessible for students. “These award recipients are designing new learning experiences to improve student engagement with their courses. We are excited to work with each of them and see their projects come to fruition.”


 The following faculty members (and faculty member teams) will each receive $4,000 to create and develop new Open Educational Resources (OER) for primary course material: 


Jason Almerigi. Course: ISS 210, Individuals and Society

Julian Chambliss and Ellen Moll. Course: IAH 207, Literatures, Cultures, Identities

Jonathan Choti. Course: LL 252, Second Year Least Commonly Taught Languages (Swahili)

Kate Fedewa. Course: WRA 202, Introduction to Professional and Public Writing

Sadam Issa and Ayman Mohamed. Course: ARB 101, Elementary Arabic I



The following faculty members will each receive $3,000 to expand and improve existing OER course material:


Andrea Bierema. Courses: ISB 202 & ISB 204, Applications of Environmental and Organismal Biology; Applications of Biomedical Sciences


Shannon Spasova. Courses: RUS 101, 102, 201, 202, First-Year & Second-Year Elementary Russian I-II



Another instructor, Wenying Zhou, will receive $2,500 to adapt existing OER materials for CHS 101 & 102 (Elementary Chinese I & II).


Some projects will be implemented in the fall of 2021 and others will be implemented in the spring of 2022.


All who teach at MSU were invited to submit an application for one or more of the OER Award categories. To be eligible for an award, projects must replace traditional textbooks with OER to reduce students’ costs. Total course material costs after OER implementation cannot exceed $40.


The MSU Libraries are at the center of academic life at Michigan State University, providing expertise, collections, and infrastructure for discovery and creation. The Libraries facilitate connections that support research, teaching, and learning in local and global communities. Faculty and staff at the Libraries are committed to providing equal access to Library collections, services, and facilities for all library users. To support this commitment, the Libraries hired an Open Educational Resources (OER) and Student Success Librarian; joined the Open Textbook Network, a diverse community of higher education institutions that promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks; and formed a University-wide OER Advisory Committee to advise and support the OER program at MSU Libraries. The Committee includes students, faculty, IT staff, MSU Hub, and several representatives from MSU Libraries. For more information about the program, visit https://lib.msu.edu/oer/.


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