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Olin Library

Open Educational Resources

The Olin Library offers two Open Educational Resources grants for current Rollins faculty and instructors, which will be reviewed by the Olin Library OER Group. Proposals are accepted throughout the year.

Apply for an OER Grant

This grant aims to significantly lower or eliminate the cost of required materials to enrolled students.

Proposals are accepted throughout the year.

Apply Now
Apply for an OER Review Grant

This grant aims to empower instructors to evaluate Open Educational Resources, along with a traditional textbook or courseware, and review the findings.

Apply Now
OER Grant Rubric

This rubric will be the basis for how the Olin Library OER Group will judge and award OER grants.

Read Rubric

What are Open Educational Resources?


According to the OER Commons, Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching materials that are freely accessible and used without charge, because the creator of the materials chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights. Most OER materials have a Creative Commons or GNU license that stipulates how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared. Educators around the world are tapping into OER as a cost-saving source of curriculum, and because of the opportunity it provides for the support of learning in a flexible and equitable environment.

OER can also provide opportunities of expression for diverse authors from various backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. In addition, diverse authorship in OER can ensure that the content is more inclusive, representative, and relevant to a wider range of learners.

Textbooks are a significant cost for students in all programs. According to the college board, students of private, 4-year institutions spend an average of $1,244 on textbooks per year. Some of the most expensive textbooks at Rollins cost over $350.

At Rollins, open educational resources (OER) are free, openly-licensed materials that permit use, revision, and redistribution. While the benefits of OER are available to all learners and educators, OER draws on the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Allowing an opportunity for more people to enter into open scholarly dialogues, contributing via authorship while protecting ownership of ideas.

The Hewlett Foundation defines open educational resources (OER) as, "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.”

OER offset the cost of traditional course materials while also providing learners with full access to quality learning resources. A growing body of literature on OER is proving what may seem obvious: students succeed when they have guaranteed access to required course materials.

Faculty gain unmatched flexibility with OER, aligning course content around the needs of their students. Activities faculty may adopt range from an open textbook to creating and remixing their own OER with students as co-creators, not just consumers. Rollins College has the resources and know-how to make OER-based activities a reality.

Students as co-creators, not just consumers, report higher course engagement through Renewable assignments which provides opportunities to engage in meaningful work and add value to their community and beyond. All while giving a foundation for future students to learn from and build upon.

Faculty can review several examples of Renewable Assignments from various disciplines at the DOER Fellowship (Design Open Educational Resources). These assignments are created via a partnership between Faculty and Instructional Designers. Openly licensed, the assignments are available now, and created to be used in higher education courses.

Open Educational Resources reduce the cost of college and increase the quality of pedagogy by ensuring that materials, including open textbooks, are freely available for student’s education. OER can be used out of the “box” by discovering applicable open access resources (see Finding OER Materials), customized by adapting resources in the public domain, or composed à la carte by assembling course materials from a variety of open access materials.

With the help of the Archives & Special Collections, Olin Library publishes faculty and student work, making it accessible to scholars and researchers worldwide through Rollins Scholarship Online (RSO). Researchers can access and download books, full-text articles, and even theses from RSO.

RSO also hosts journals, conferences, and numerous other collections.

OER at Rollins

Rollins’ professional and academic community members actively collaborate around open education initiatives, with the Olin Library playing a key role as a member of the Open Education Network (OEN) and Pressbooks. Through initiatives such as the Textbook Affordability Initiative, Rollins strives to diminish financial barriers to education while enriching learning experiences for all students. Visit Rollins OER to learn more.

If you’re interested in getting involved, please email Cassidy Watson,

OER Grant General Information

The OER Grant program aims to significantly lower or eliminate the cost of required materials (e.g. textbooks) to enrolled students. Applications are open to all faculty teaching at Rollins, including: adjuncts, artists-in-residence, lecturers, and visiting assistant professors.

This program aims to:

  • Significantly lower or eliminate the cost of required materials to enrolled students in a specific course.
  • Maintain and improve student learning outcomes and satisfaction with the required materials.
  • Contribute to the growing body of OER available to the global higher education community.

Grants in the form of stipends of between $500-$3500 are available for Rollins faculty members interested in working with a team consisting of a librarian, an instructional technologist, and the Director of the Endeavor Center for Faculty Development to lower or eliminate the required course material costs for students in a specific course using Open Educational Resources (OER.) The grant will be for two years, with, at least, two iterations of a specific course. The committee will fund OER projects based on resource opportunities.

New Courses

In the case of new courses that are planned with OER from their inception, applicants, with the assistance of a librarian, should calculate the cost of equivalent traditional required materials, and estimate the expected enrollment in the course. Applications involving new courses can be submitted at any point in the course approval process.

OER Grant Application Process


Applicants must consult with a librarian and an instructional technologist about suitable existing OER and/or OER that might be created, and with the Director of the Endeavor Center for Faculty Development on possible assessment mechanisms prior to submitting this application. The purpose of these meetings is to assess how much knowledge applicants already have about OER as well as the specific learning needs for their courses.

Instructional Design & Technology
Schedule a Consultation

Nancy Chick
Director of the Endeavor Center for Faculty Development
(407) 646-2704

I. Review of Grant Proposals

Grant proposals will be reviewed by the Olin Library OER Group. Your application must be well conceived, clearly stated, and written in a language that can be understood by a review group that is not discipline-specific.

II. Deadlines

Proposals are accepted throughout the year.

III. Final Report, Presentation, and Disposition of OER

The Olin Library OER Group will work with faculty members to present the results of the grant to an on-campus audience. They will also work with faculty members to upload any OER created or modified in the course of the grant to the Open Textbook Library, Florida repository of OER, the Digital Orange Grove, or a comparable open repository.

Your application and any related documentation are part of the OER grant archives that will be accessible by other interested faculty members at Rollins.

OER Grant Application Guidelines

I. Submissions

Grant applications should be submitted via the OER Grant Application form.

II. Eligibility

A.  Rollins faculty members, including adjuncts, lecturers, and artists-in-residence are eligible for OER Grants.

B. Awards will be allocated based on:

  1. The completeness of the application.
  2. The total cost to each student of traditional required materials the last time the course was taught (if applicable).
  3. The average enrollment in the course and the frequency with which it is scheduled. (if applicable)
  4. The availability of suitable OER in major repositories [MERLOT, Florida’s Digital Orange Grove, OER Commons, etc. (if applicable)]

C. Proposals meeting the following criteria will be given priority:

  1. Proposals that have the potential to lower the costs of required course materials for a large number of students because the course has high enrollment, is taught frequently, or in multiple sections.
  2. Proposals that make effective use of Library personnel, instructional technologists, and the Director of the Endeavor Center for Faculty Development.

III. The Stipend

The successful applicant will receive between $500-$3500 in stipends, delivered twice, once upon successful implementation of OER in the course, and once upon successful completion of one year of the course. See the section on new courses for details of the stipend in such cases.

A. In the first year/iteration the faculty member will:

  1. Teach the course using OER materials.
  2. With the assistance of the team, assess the impact of the OER on the course outcomes and student learning, and on student and faculty satisfaction.
  3. With the assistance of the team, upload any OER created or modified in the course of the grant to the Open Textbook Network, Digital Orange Grove or a comparable open repository.

B. In the second year/iteration the faculty member will:

  1. Make any revisions based on A (2) and continue to teach the course using OER materials.
  2. With the assistance of the team, assess the impact of the OER on the course outcomes and student learning, and on student and faculty satisfaction.
  3. With the assistance of the team, publicize the results of the grant at a suitable on-campus event and be encouraged to communicate the work to a wider audience.

OER Review Grants

The OER Review Grant is dedicated to supporting the evaluation and enhancement of Open Educational Resources. This grant provides instructors with the opportunity to assess the quality, usability, and relevance of OER materials and contribute to the ongoing improvement of educational resources available to our academic community.

I. Grant Overview

  • Grant Purpose: To empower instructors to evaluate Open Educational Resources, along with a traditional textbook or courseware, and review the findings
  • Grant Duration: Three months.
  • Evaluation: Group of Instructors: 1-3 (3 preferred).
  • Compensation: $300 per instructor.

II. Application & Evaluation Process

The OER Review Grant involves a team of 1-3 instructors who will each evaluate and compare at least two Open Educational Resources to a traditional textbook or courseware packet over the course of three months. Each instructor will receive a grant of $300 to compensate for their time and expertise.

The evaluation process will include the following steps:

  1. Selection of OER Resources: The instructor, or team of instructors, may collaborate with Olin Library to select at least two OER materials in their discipline to evaluate based on their relevance to the course in question. The OER materials will be compared to the current textbook or courseware used.
  2. Evaluation Criteria: The team may evaluate the OER materials with the Open Textbook Review Criteria to consider factors such as content quality, usability, accessibility, and alignment with teaching objectives.
  3. Evaluation Process: Each instructor will spend one month evaluating one OER material, traditional textbook or courseware using the established criteria to assess its strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Review Deliverables: At the end of the 3-month evaluation period, the team will compile a detailed review of each material evaluated. The reviews will be submitted to Olin Library for institutional use and for public posting in the Open Textbook Library or other suitable open repositories.

III. Eligibility

All instructors at Rollins College are eligible to apply for the OER Review Grant.

Instructors may work independently or collaborate in groups of up to 3 to review materials. Groups of 3 are preferred.

IV. Submission

Applications should be submitted via the OER Review Grant Application form. This grant operates on a rolling basis, allowing applicants to apply at any time.

V. Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Olin Library. Selection criteria will include statement of interest, suitable OER selection, and availability to commit to the project timeline.

VI. Grant Award

Selected applicants will be notified of their acceptance and will receive further instructions regarding the evaluation process.

If you’re interested in getting involved with OER, please email Cassidy Watson,