About the Grant

MTSU has secured a one-year $100,000 grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to fund its “Embracing Equity through OER” project. The grant supports the adaptation, adoption, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) to increase student success and equity.

OER “are materials for teaching or learning that are either in the public domain or have been released under a license that allows them to be freely used, changed, or shared with others,” according to EdWeek.org. Accessible online, these resources also typically provide downloading options for students who prefer a hard copy of the course materials.

MTSU’s pilot project promotes faculty use of free or low-cost open digital course content, which could result in significant savings for students who sometimes struggle to afford necessary textbooks. By improving access, OER can increase retention and graduation rates, especially for underrepresented students. 

The grant provides a series of workshops through the university’s Learning, Teaching and Innovative Technologies Center to introduce faculty to OER and prepare them to apply for funds to develop OER materials for class use.

The project’s Steering Committee consists of Cheryl Torsney, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Ryan Korstange, Assistant Professor of University Studies; Suzanne Mangrum, Acquisitions Librarian, Walker Library; Kim Godwin, Instructional Designer, MTSU Online; Erica Stone, Assistant Professor of English; and Bud Fischer, Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. A faculty advisory board is also assisting MTSU with meeting the goals of the grant.

Benefits of OER Grant

  • Workshops & Faculty learning communities
  • Supports the development and use of OER across MTSU
  • Create a more equitable educational environment
  • Microgrants to faculty for adoption, adaptation, and creation for OER materials
  • Students spend less on textbooks and course materials
  • First-day access to materials
  • Increased course completion and grades