Open Educational Resources (OER) Fellows Program

In the Spring of 2018, the Center for Online Learning Research and Service at the University of Illinois Springfield began an Open Educational Resources (OER) Fellows Program for Faculty.  The initiative serves to reduce or eliminate students’ textbook costs by increasing the adoption and use of OERs in classes at the University of Illinois Springfield.  Lower textbook costs have been attributed to increased access and better learning outcomes for students.

Current OER Fellows at UIS

Faculty selected for the 2018-19 OER Fellows Program include:

Faculty Member(s) Courses
Betsy Goulet & Taylor McCarthy PAD 481 & PAD 482
David Holland & Jessica Bonnett BIO 201 & BIO 202
Ahmad Juma’h ACC 433 & ACC 511
William Kline BUS 331 & LIS 211
Kay McChesney SWK 333 & SWK 366
Tiffani Saunders SOA 101 & SOA 411

Benefits of the OER Fellows Program

Faculty accepted into the one-year OER Fellows Program will receive the following to help them adopt OERs in their two designated courses:

  • Support as needed to evaluate OER materials and increase adoption
  • Development training in e-text, iAuthor, and other OER creation tools
  • Mentoring support and assistance for presentation and publication on the topic of OER adoption
  • Up to $250 in travel support for to present on their OER adoption experience at a regional conference
  • A $2,500 stipend to be paid after OER materials have been adopted in their two designated courses

Expectations of OER Fellows

Faculty accepted into the one-year OER Fellows Program commit to move at least two courses from textbooks to fully utilize OER materials by the end of the year.  In addition, they commit to the following:

  • Provide a brief overview of their OER adoption plan for publication on the COLRS OER Fellows website
  • Attend faculty development to learn appropriate OER search tools
  • Provide regular progress reports on their OER adoption at COLRS OER Fellows meetings (one per semester)
  • Present or co-present their OER adoption experience at a COLRS-sponsored UIS event (e.g., faculty development workshop)
  • Present at a regional conference on their adoption of OER materials
  • Provide ongoing evaluation of OER materials and update OERs used in their designated courses at least every three years or more frequently if demanded by the discipline
  • Make any generated materials (e.g., eText, iBooks) available for use within UIS and/or assign a creative commons license for use by others
  • Ensure that any adopted OER or generated materials are meet accessibility requirements

Application Process for OER Fellows Program


Full-time UIS faculty

Term of Appointment

One-year term

Application Materials

Interested applicants will need to answer the following questions via a webform.

  1. Why are you interested in becoming an OER Fellow?
  2. What is the title and number of each course that will be converted to OERs?
  3. How frequently is each course offered?
  4. What is the approximate average enrollment of each section of each course?
  5. What textbook materials are currently used in each course, including their ISBN, title, author, edition, and current bookstore cost?
  6. For each course, do you plan to adopt existing OERs, to create your own materials, or both?

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Selection of OER Fellows

A Call for Applications will occur during the Spring semester with appointments beginning the following fall.  The schedule for 2019 is as follows:

  • Call for Applications Distributed to UIS:  Monday, March 4, 2019
  • Deadline for Application:  Friday, April 5, 2019
  • Announcement of Selected OER Fellows:  Friday, May 3, 2019
  • OER Fellow Term Begins: Monday, August 26, 2019
  • OER Adoption Date to Receive Stipend: Offer two OER courses during the Fall 2020 Semester of before (Monday, August 24, 2020)

Criteria for Selection

COLRS OER Fellows will be recommended for selection by a committee of faculty who are currently utilizing OER materials in their courses based on the potential for significant contribution of OER adoption and its possible benefits to UIS students.  Final selection will be confirmed by the Executive Director of COLRS.

Learn More about OERs & the OER Fellows Program

If you have questions about the OER Fellows Program, contact COLRS at (217) 206-7317.  Visit the COLRS OER webpage to learn more about OERs and to get started with adopting OERs for your courses.