Statewide Initiative in Maryland Awards 42 Mini-Grants to Support Adoption of Open Educational Resources at Higher Education Institutions

Maryland Open Source Textbook initiative’s High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program will impact approximately 8,000 students in Fall 2019

Adelphi, Md. (April 16, 2019) -- The Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative announced the award of 42 mini-grants to 17 public higher education institutions across the state through its High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program. The funded projects will support the adoption of open educational resources (OER) in high enrollment courses, the development of OER pathways, and the creation of OER in high-need areas. The awards will impact approximately 8,000 students at 2- and 4-year public colleges and universities throughout Maryland.

“M.O.S.T. is excited to support faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and administrators working to increase access, affordability, and achievement for Maryland higher education students through the High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program,” said Dr. MJ Bishop, Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation at the University System of Maryland (USM). “The grantees that we will be working with over the next year have the potential to truly impact student success through the incorporation of OER into their teaching practice.”

The 42 mini-grants awarded range between $500 and $2,500.

According to the College Board, full-time U.S. undergraduate students spend more than $1,200 per year on average for required course materials and the Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the price of textbooks have continued to rise faster than inflation, increasing 63% between January 2006 to July 2016.  This can mean that some students, especially community college students, are faced with required course materials costs that are higher than the cost of tuition.

Replacing these costly textbooks with open educational resources shows promise to reduce students’ cost of college attendance significantly while maintaining, or perhaps even improving, learning outcomes.   OERs are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

The M.O.S.T. initiative, led by the USM's William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation in partnership with MarylandOnline, the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, and the Maryland Independent College and University Association, supports long-term, statewide scaling and sustainability of fully accessible, openly licensed course materials by providing the infrastructure Maryland’s higher education institutions need to collaborate and co-create OER. Since the High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program launched in 2017, the program has supported 50 projects across 21 Maryland public higher education institutions, with a cumulative savings of $4 million for approximately 24,000 students.

“Education and training following high school is costly and can be unaffordable for many low- and middle-income students,” said Dr. Bernie Sadusky, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges (MACC). “MACC supports the M.O.S.T. initiative because it helps all students access further learning. That’s good for students and good for Maryland.”

In addition to receiving funding to support their OER projects, grantees will receive guidance on implementing high-quality OER into their courses and professional development to ensure that their courses incorporate learning-centered pedagogies and continuous quality improvement.  See the full list of 2019 High-impact OER grantees.

Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719