What was the Campus Alberta OER Initiative?
The Campus Alberta Open Educational Resources (OER) Initiative was a 3-year government funded initiative designed to:
assist with reducing the costs of a post-secondary education for students; and,
provide students and faculty members with the flexibility they need, offering updated, relevant content for learning.
In March 2013 the Alberta Ministry of Innovation and Advanced Education entered a Memorandum of Understanding with British Columbia and Saskatchewan to collaborate on the development of common Open Education Resources within their respective advanced education sectors recognizing the benefits of sharing existing Open Educational Resources with a focus on mutual areas of interest. This MOU was foundational to the establishment of the Alberta OER Initiative.
Below is a list of projects funded by the ABOER Initiative from 2014-2017.
Campus Alberta OER Initiative Steering Committee
This initiative is guided by a committee of experts including faculty, students, senior academic officers and other experts who champion open educational resources.
Why Campus Alberta OER?
The purpose is to provide publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta the opportunity to apply for funding to support the assembly, use, development, implementation and evaluation of Open Education Resources (OERs) to support teaching, learning and research. There will be an expectation that projects be available or deposited into a provincial repository and available for broad viewing and use.
Initiative Guiding Principles:
Quality and opportunity for expansion of resources, effective practice and build a culture of awareness.
Sustainable approach for OER to be deposited into a provincial or other repository and available for broad viewing, downloading and use.
Broad engagement from across Alberta is desired.
Initiative Key Objectives:
The Campus Alberta OER Grant Initiative is in response to the need to support affordability strategies for students that would decrease their costs of post-secondary education
Provide publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta the opportunity to apply for funding to support the assembly, use, development, implementation and evaluation of open education resources in support of teaching learning and research. This includes lesson plan, assessment packs and other forms of OER including textbooks.
The Campus Alberta OER Initiative's grant selection process is aligned to the following intended Outcomes:
Learner Impact - Projects will enhance learning experiences for Alberta post-secondary students by enabling them to access high quality open educational resources.
Cost-Savings - Projects will enhance students directly by offering them reduced-cost or free materials in lieu of for-profit commercial textbooks and other paid resources.
Collaboration - Projects will support and facilitate collaboration between multiple publicly funded institutions in Alberta to foster strategic partnerships within Alberta and with other jurisdictions for the assembly, use, development, and assessment of OER.
Enhance Awareness and Support for OER - Projects will help build a culture of support for OER through research, application and sharing of effective practices.
Sustainability of OER in Alberta - Support capacity development and ensure that a sustainable foundation to support OER initiatives is established.
Campus ABOER Adoption Pilot grants were awarded in May 2016. Grant Guidelines are available here.
Phase 2 Expressions of Interest
Campus ABOER Initiative Phase 2 grants were awarded in May 2016. Grant Guidelines are available here.
The Campus Alberta Open Educational Resources Initiative facilitated an Open Call for expressions of interest April and May 2016. The deadline to submit was May 4th.
Phase 1 Expressions of Interest
Campus ABOER Initiative Phase 1 grants were awarded in May 2015.
Phase 1 Grant Categories
The projects supported through Phase 1 of Campus Alberta OER Initiative focused on the following three categories:
The “Awareness” grant category intends to support the cultural change needed throughout institutions of Alberta to utilize and support OER provincially.
Content Development / OER Application
The “Content” grant category intends to support the use of existing OER materials by supplementing current material with complimentary content. This includes test items and course wraps, lesson plans, presentations, etc.
The “Sustainability” grant category intends to support capacity development and ensure that a sustainable foundation to support OER initiatives is established. This includes technical infrastructure, institutional needs, etc.
Grant Success Criteria for Phase 1 projects included:
- Must not duplicate the purpose of Open Educational Resources available.
- Must be Creative Commons Attribution licensed (CC-BY SA).
- Must explicitly demonstrate the value and cost-savings to the student and the educational system.
- Must demonstrate inter-departmental and/or inter-institutional collaboration.
- Must meet one or more of the defined grant categories.
Grant Selection Limitations:
It is not expected that any one grant proposal will exceed $200,000.
Any steering committee member who is a grant proposal applicant or a member of an applicant team must recuse themselves from decision on their own proposal.
We encouraged applications from throughout the province of Alberta. Applicants were required to represent one of the 26 Campus Alberta institutions. Institutions partnering on a collaborative project increased chances of success.
Step 1: Attend an Info Session. In December 2014, we facilitated live online info sessions. Recordings and other resources are available HERE.
Step 2: Expression of Interest. The Expressions of Interest for Phase 1 deadline was January 16, 2015, 11:59pm.
As of February 27, 2015, successful Expression of Interest submissions were chosen to provide an in depth proposal to the committee for consideration of grant funding awards. All applicants received response from the committee and a subset were requested to submit a formal proposal.
Step 3: Proposals. The Steering Committee reconvened at the end of January 2015 to review the submissions and establish the next stage of the process.
The deadline for Proposal Submissions was March 31, 2015, 11:59pm. Grant projects were awarded in April 2015.
The Initiative would also like to recognize BC Campus as key collaborator in the development of Alberta OER sustainability and grant processes.