UTSA Awarded Grant to Self-Assess OER Program and Faculty/Student Engagement

(March 02, 2023)

UTSA has received a $10,000 grant from Driving Open Educational Resources Sustainability for Student Success (DOERS3) to implement the “DOERSS Equity Through OER Rubric” on campus throughout 2023, expanding access and enhancing the university’s efforts to provide wider access to textbooks and learning resources.

UTSA graduates at commencement“UTSA has been a leader in implementing Open Educational Resources (OER), saving our students more than $10 million through our Adopt-a-Free Textbook program,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, UTSA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Applying the DOERS3 Rubric is an important next step in advancing OER to accelerate the success of our students to the next level.”

OER are learning, teaching and research materials under an open license and can be used at no cost, reused, adapted, or distributed even by those without copyright. At UTSA, OER helps students save money and expand the resources they can easily access. The DOERS3 rubric is a self-assessment tool that guides students, faculty, administrators, and other academic practitioners to understand better and act on OER's equity dimensions.

Much of UTSA’s work around OER has centered on immediate textbook access and student cost savings. Since 2016, UTSA Libraries has awarded 138 faculty OER grants, investing $182,000 total and resulting in $10 million in student savings. UTSA Libraries and the Academic Affairs Division of Academic Innovation support OER advancement with OER authoring webinars and OER Certificate courses, among other support services.

“Textbooks can be cost prohibitive and have a big influence on whether a student drops, fails, or withdraws from a course,” said DeeAnn Ivie, UTSA OER coordinator. “This grant will help us expand efforts to inform students about the availability of free textbooks as well as raise faculty awareness about the ability of OER to boost completion rates and make graduation more attainable.”

By applying the rubric, UTSA will be able to more easily identify gaps within existing programs and develop an action plan to increase student awareness of and engagement with OER, advance faculty awareness and adoption of OER, and identify course design and best practices that can be scaled across the university.

A collaborative team of leaders and staff from Libraries, Student Success and Academic Innovation will work with faculty, staff and students to apply the DOERS3 Rubric across five core curriculum, large-enrollment courses in Mathematics, History, and Writing.

Academic Innovation and the UTSA Libraries will also hold a special panel discussion with faculty, staff and students on March 7 at 12 p.m. Members of the UTSA Student Government, academic department chairs, and faculty will share how OER can be adopted and the financial and engagement benefits of adopting OER in the curriculum. Register for the Zoom discussion on the Faculty Center website.

Explore Further

Learn more about Open Educational Resources.

Check out these OER testimonials.  

Learn more about DOERS3.