In Spring 2017, the University System of Maryland's William E. Kirwan Center launched the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative High-impact OER Mini-Grant program to target high-enrollment general education courses with existing high-quality OER. Two types of mini-grants were offered: an Adopt/Adapt mini-grant to support an OER pilot and a Scaling OER mini-grant to support scaling of OER to at least four sections. A call for proposals was sent out to Maryland public two- and four-year institutions, resulting in 66 applications and 21 awarded mini-grants for Fall 2017 project implementation. By targeting high-impact, high-enrollment projects, the Mini-Grant program has the potential to impact over 8,000 students with over $1.3 million in textbook savings in Fall 2017.
The High-impact OER Mini-Grant program was created to build upon the previous success of the MOST initiative. Since Spring 2014, the Kirwan Center has supported the exploration and adoption of open educational resources (OER) across Maryland public two- and four-year higher education institutions, recruiting volunteer faculty interested in adopting and piloting OER courses, and through a partnership with Lumen Learning, providing an OER curation, training, technical support, and an OER customization platform. Prior to the launch of the High-impact OER Mini-Grant program, 66 courses at 14 institutions across Maryland have switched to OER, impacting over 3,800 students and saving them $141 per course on average, or $550,000 cumulatively. Assuming those courses have continued to be offered once per year with level enrollments, the M.O.S.T. initiative estimates a cumulative cost savings to students of approximately $1,600,000 in 3 short years.
To support the creation of institutional or systemwide OER mini-grant programs, the Kirwan Center has created a guide documenting the development of the M.O.S.T. High-impact OER Mini-Grant program. This guide includes an overview of the process taken by the Kirwan Center in building a mini-grant program as well as examples of the information, documents and rubrics created.
If you are interested in learning more about the M.O.S.T. High-impact OER Mini-Grant program, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.