Jul 07, 2021 | Advancement , Featured , Foundation , Grants

Columbia State Receives $60,000 in OER Grant Funding

Columbia State was awarded $60,000 in funding for two Tennessee Board of Regents Open Educational Resources grants.

Open educational resources are teaching, learning and research materials that permit no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution. The public domain status of these materials have been linked with an increase in success rates and improved educational outcomes for traditionally underserved students.

“The opportunity to develop OER materials for literature studies not only provide the students with a cost-effective solution to textbooks that some just cannot afford, but also provide instructors the opportunity to introduce a further reach of materials to students beyond a traditional textbook,” said Coleen McCready, Columbia State instructor of English.

Studies show that textbook costs negatively impact student access, success and completion. This grant program provides faculty opportunities to transform courses currently using commercially published textbooks to courses using open educational resources and other more affordable materials.

Columbia State has received funding for Introduction to Film and Modern World Literature grant projects. The college previously received OER funding to redesign English Composition I and English Composition II with pilot courses beginning this fall.

“The grant will allow us to create a text for the Introduction to Film class that studies the origins, history, business, technology, trends, genres, and ideologies that have guided the growth and interest in film studies during the past 140 years of the pre-modern, modern and postmodern era,” said Dr. Stuart Lenig, Columbia State professor of communications and drama. “Combined with resources that offer students a way to actually study physical films, online resources that allow students to make small laboratory films, and OER sources that enable students to learn about the various forms of film from global cultures, the team of professors will craft a low-cost textbook alternative that will reduce costs for students, increase accessibility to all students seeking such a class and provide resources that leverage the technologies of internet resources.” 

The grant teams will participate in a TBR-sponsored webinar series on OER development. Members will then begin redesigning courses that are currently using commercially published textbooks to be OER supported. Pilot courses will be offered beginning in the spring 2022 semester.

Once the materials are redesigned, they will be submitted to TBR's digital repository. This will allow instructors at other institutions to have access to them. 

For additional information on the DEI/OER initiative, including a listing of all grants awarded, please visit https://www.tbr.edu/academics/digital-engagement-initiative.