UNH is working to cut costs on educational material by introducing the Open Educational Resources (OER) Ambassador Project. This project encourages instructors to use open resources rather than having students pay for material, such as using a free online textbook rather than requiring students to purchase one.
This project just finished its pilot year which began in spring 2015, with the help of the UNH Library, Academic Technology, and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Nine ambassadors were chosen to use OER in their courses and share their experiences. Each ambassador received a grant of $3,000 and a support team to assist with course design, copyright issues, locating OER, and implementing the plan. Students and faculty attitudes about the project have been positive and test scores are comparable to scores from previous years.
The OER Pilot is evaluates its success by making sure this criteria is met:
- Students are saving money.
- Students are learning as much or more than in previous courses.
- Faculty are able to find and incorporate OER materials.
- Faculty are satisfied with support and services.
- Student are satisfied with course materials.
The OER Ambassadors Project is continuing this year. UNH has accepted 15 faculty OER Ambassadors, 11 projects in total, to participate. These Ambassadors will receive $2000 summer grant to support the OER implementation, attend a three day workshop, and will have a support team to help put it all together.