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 third round of grants totaling $28,500 to nine MSU faculty. The announcement was made by Dean of Libraries and Interim Associate Provost for Teaching and Learning Innovation 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. 


“The investment we are making through these awards has the potential to impact more than 2,500 students and save these students $245,760 in one academic year,” Salem said. “That’s significant, and as we see other costs increasing – gas, groceries, housing – we also see the growing 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 faculty invest in and continue important work to make education affordable, equitable, and accessible for students. “MSU instructors continue to design better learning experiences to improve student engagement in coursework, and I’m consistently impressed with the way instructors are working to make sure their projects reflect our values, which are rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.”


 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: 


Jane Rice Courses: ISE 301 & ISB 210L,  Science for Elementary Schools; Science & Society: Impacts of Daily Decisions

Nahid Shiran and Rajiv Ranjan Courses: LL 151 & LL152, Basic Persian I; Basic Persian II

Anne Violin-Wigent and Matthew Kanefsky Course: FRN 202, Intermediate French II


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


Casey Henley Course: NEU 300, Neurobiology


Matthew Kanefsky and Anne-Violin-Wigent Courses: FRN 101, FRN 102, FRN 201. Elem French 1, Elem French II, and Intermediate French I


Wenying Zhou Courses: CHS 101, CHS 102. Elem Chinese I, Elementary Chinese II


Two instructors will receive $2,500 to adapt existing OER materials for their courses:


Valerie Hedges Courses NEU 301 and NEU 302, Intro to Neuroscience I and Intro to Neuroscience II 


Lina Qu Course IAH 204, Asia and the World


Some projects will be implemented in the fall of 2022 and others will be implemented in the spring of 2023.


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 next round of OER Awards will open early in the fall semester of 2022 to accommodate implementation for courses in fall 2023 and spring 2024. 


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. Two important parts of this commitment are the Affordable Textbook Program, which offers students enrolled in certain courses with costly textbooks a way to read those books without buying them; and the Open Educational Resources (OER) program, which gives financial incentives to instructors to create or adapt OER course materials. Along with the Libraries’s newly formed collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation, these programs have positioned the Libraries to take a lead role in teaching and learning initiatives for the University. For more information about the OER Award Program, visit https://lib.msu.edu/oer/.





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