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Michigan State University

Open Educational Resources (OER) Program: OER Award Program

This guide provides an introduction to open educational resources (OER), where to find them, and how to use materials for teaching and learning.

Overview of the OER Award Program

The MSU Libraries is launching the OER Award Program, an incentive program for instructors that encourages and supports the use of openly-licensed materials as a pathway to increase student success.

The high cost of commercial print textbooks is a major concern for both students and their parents. Data shows that the cost of textbooks affects the academic choices and success of students. If textbooks are prohibitively expensive, students will: find illegal PDFs online, not purchase them, buy an outdated edition, or not acquire textbooks at all. With the increasing use of adaptive learning systems available directly from commercial publishers via access codes, the used, rental, sharing, and library options that have provided alternatives for students, are effectively eliminated.

OER Award Categories

Adoption of Existing OER

  • This category includes the identification of existing OER materials that would be suitable for the course under consideration; reviewing those materials to ensure they are in line with course outcomes and student success, selecting, and adopting the OER material; ensuring that these materials have the quality and rigor to maintain the integrity of the course. The maximum award is $1,000 per successful application.

Adaptation of Multiple OER

  • This category includes revising or remixing multiple OER that results in new openly-licensed material.  Examples of this would include editing existing chapters, adding new materials from other sources, removing sections not appropriate, bringing together several openly licensed sources, etc.  The maximum award is $2,500 per successful application.

Creation and Development of New OER

  • This category includes the creation and development of new OER as the primary course learning material and the work involved in writing, developing, creating open textbooks and, if applicable, accompanying supplemental materials. The maximum award is $4,000 per successful application.

OER Award Application Forms

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Regina Gong, OER & Student Success Librarian at

Michigan State University