June 23, 2024

A New Way to Motivate Faculty Adoption of OER

Author: Ray Schroeder
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By Chuck Staben, Inside Higher Ed
To drive professors’ embrace of open educational resources, college leaders should offer incentives — a share of the financial savings — to academic departments, teaching centers and libraries, Chuck Staben suggests. We propose a different motivation structure for OER adoption. Our plan is to give some of the estimated yearly savings from OER use to the department, our teaching and learning center, and our library (5 percent/2.5 percent/2.5 percent, respectively). As an example, if a biology course enrolls 1,000 students per year, and the typical text savings would be $100 per student, adoption might save students $100,000 per year. Providing even 5 percent of the projected savings from OER adoption directly to the department as flexible money would be highly motivating to many departments; the teaching center and library are incentivized to support adoption and access. Although the savings from such a plan would accrue to the students, the retention of even one or two additional students due to better textbook usage by the students would, from an institutional perspective, pay for such an initiative. And, particularly for public universities, controlling cost, increasing access and enhancing success align with our mission.


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