Grants awarded to college & university teams to create Open Educational Resources for students

Tennessee Open Education

As part of its continuing strategy to reduce the costs of college attendance and increase equity in access and student success, the Tennessee Board of Regents is awarding grants totaling $477,624.00 to 19 faculty-led teams at 11 colleges and universities to create free Open Educational Resources (OER) for their courses.

The 72 faculty members, librarians, instructional designers and other professional staff who comprise the teams will collaborate and innovate within and across campuses to transform their courses with support from the OER Grant Program. 

Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials that are either in the public domain or licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them, commonly known as “the 5Rs.” These instructional materials can replace costly commercially published textbooks, courseware and other proprietary information sources.

The purpose of the grant program is to improve learning outcomes for all students, with a focus on increasing access and success for traditionally underserved and underrepresented student populations. The learning materials created by the faculty teams will be available for free student use starting in the spring 2022 term.

“Although financial aid programs like Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect pay for tuition and mandatory fees, many students tell us they still can’t attend because they can’t afford textbooks and other course material,” said TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings. “Development of learning materials that are free for students is the critical next step in our efforts to make college affordable for all Tennesseans.”

Dr. Robert M. Denn, TBR associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and OER grant program officer, described the work: “Imagine that professors can adapt, adopt, create and customize quality instructional materials to fit their own teaching style, align perfectly with the expected learning outcomes, as well as optimize student engagement with the text, the teacher and their classmates. Imagine that it’s accessible to all students for free. Forever. That’s OER.”

This is the second round of OER grants awarded by TBR, and recipients include faculty from community colleges and locally governed universities.  In the first round last October, grants totaling $314,536 went to 12 faculty and staff teams to create free or low-cost materials for general education courses, which will be available in the fall 2021 term to thousands of students across dozens of sections.

All of the OER materials developed by the grant teams will be housed in the TN Open Education Hub, a repository being developed in partnership with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) and the other higher ed institutions as part of the Tennessee Open Education enterprise. The repository will leverage the work of faculty and staff across the state and will make available resources to professors and their students around the world.

Tennessee Open Education was launched by the Tennessee Textbook Affordability Task Force for Student Success as a statewide enterprise to support and scale up open educational resources, with a goal of increasing equity of opportunity by decreasing textbook costs for students. Convened by THEC, the  Task Force comprises representatives across the Tennessee higher education community, including the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee systems, the six locally governed universities, and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA).

The new grant recipients – lead college, project or course title, and lead faculty member for each team:

Lead College                               Project or Course Title                       Team Leader

Austin Peay State University

Peay Code: Gaming the Gateway to Enhance Computer Science Programming Skills

Saeid Samadidana 

Chattanooga State Community College

OER for Stars and Galaxies Astronomy ASTR 1020

R. Wesley Foster 

Chattanooga State Community College

OER for History 2010 & History 2020

Christopher Gilliland 

Chattanooga State Community College

OER for Sociology of Aging-SOCI 217 (TNeCampus)

Skylar Davidson 

Chattanooga State Community College

OER for Anthropology 1130, 1230, 1430

Michael McCamish 

Chattanooga State Community College

OER for Latino Cultures in the United States - HUM 1110

Juan Antonio Alonso 

Cleveland State Community College

An OER Initiative in the Honors College

Rebecca Riggs 

Columbia State Community College

English 2320 - Modern World Literature

Colleen McCready 

Columbia State Community College

ENGL 2860 - Introduction to Film

Stuart Lenig 

Nashville State Community College

First Year Experience OER

Jessica Rabb 

Pellissippi State Community College

OER POLS 1030 American Government

Jesse Cragwall 

Roane State Community College

OER for MATH 1410/1420

Ashley Morgan 

Southwest Tennessee Community College

Transitioning BIOL 1010 and 1020, Introduction to Biology and Diversity of Life, to OER Courses

Robert Blaudow 

Southwest Tennessee Community College

HLTH 2210 Health, First Aid And Safety

Shirley K Stewart 

Southwest Tennessee Community College

2021-2022 Open Educational Resources Grant for ESL Curriculum

Jessica Miller 

Southwest Tennessee Community College

PSYC 1030 (Honors) with Undergraduate Research

Sherria N King 

Tennessee State University

OER for General Chemistry Courses

Tasneem Siddiquee 

Tennessee Technological University

Success Through Affordable Textbooks (S.T.A.T.)

Mike Gotcher 

Volunteer State Community College

Developing OER for Learning Support READ 0810

Karen Hutson 

 For more information, including the complete list of team members, visit Tennessee Open Education or contact Dr. Robert M. Denn, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, robert.denn@tbr.edu.

The College System of Tennessee is the state’s largest public higher education system, with 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology and the online TN eCampus serving approximately 140,000 students. The system is governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.