Spring 2021 Mini OER Awards

Applications for the Spring 2021 awards program are no longer being accepted. Please visit the Affordable Course Materials Awards page for information about the current call for proposals, or browse funded projects from this round of awards.

The Tisch Library OER Awards program program provides financial support for faculty & instructors in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering who are interested in adopting or creating OER for their spring courses. It is meant to help address some of the challenges of accessing textbooks and other course materials during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the lack of physical course reserves and the need for online learning objects. It also encourages cost savings for students and aims to contribute reusable learning objects created at Tufts to the larger scholarly community.

Awards are $700, with up to $5600 in total funds available for the program.


The awards are open to all Tufts faculty & instructors who are the instructor of record in a Spring 2021 course in the Schools of Arts, Sciences & Engineering. If desired, awarded funds may be allocated toward hiring Tufts-affiliated individuals, including graduate students, as assistants on the project.

Funding is available for:

  1. The creation of original learning objects that can be offered freely online under a Creative Commons license. These may include, but are not limited to: adoptable courses, lecture video collections, online lab activities, problem sets, and contributions to open textbooks. Other educational materials may also be eligible.
  2. Adopting or adapting already-existing OER into a course to demonstratively reduce costs for students, and/or revising syllabi, assignments, and other course-related resources necessary for the transition to open textbooks.

Please see the Examples section at the end of this page for examples of various types of learning objects listed here.

Please note that learning objects (#1 above) submitted for this award should be of potential value to instructors, students, or others beyond the course they are created for.

It is anticipated that the workload required for the creation or adoption process will be at most 15-20 working hours.

If you’re not sure if your project is eligible for the award, reach out to Andrea Schuler, chair of the Tisch Library OER Steering Committee and we'll provide feedback.

Details of the award

Applicants for awards to create new OER agree:

Applicants for awards to adopt existing OER agree:

  • To submit to Tisch Library a statement identifying how they adopted/adapted OER content in the context of their syllabus, with examples from the syllabus. You may optionally also share your full, revised, syllabus.
  • The statement will be deposited in the open access Tufts Digital Library. Material is deposited in the Tufts Digital Library under the terms of a non-exclusive deposit license. The full syllabus will only be deposited with your permission.
  • Material may also be shared elsewhere on Tufts websites, such as the Tisch Library website.

Application process

Applications are now closed. Please check back soon for another round of awards.

Materials created from the award will be submitted to Tisch as they are available, no later than May 28, 2021

In evaluating the applications, we will consider:

  • If applicants have clear objectives for incorporating OER into their course
  • If the proposed scope of work involved in creating or adopting OER aligns with the general suggested time commitment for the award
  • The number of students impacted
  • If applicants are creating new OER, that the material is of potential value to instructors, students, or others beyond the course they are created for
  • If applicants are adopting existing OER, that the adoption reduces overall costs for students

Funds will be disbursed on acceptance.


If you have any questions about the awards or application process, get in touch with Andrea Schuler, chair of the Tisch Library OER Steering Committee.


If you are applying for an award to adopt existing OER, some sources are listed on our Textbook Affordability & Open Educational Resources (OER) guide.

If you are applying for an award to create new OER, see the University System of Georgia’s Ancillary Materials section of their Open Learning Materials portal for a variety of examples of different types of open materias.

Resources listed below are included as specific examples of various types of open materials that may be created for this award. They are not meant to be prescriptive, and your materials may look quite different.

Thank you to Maricopa Community Colleges & Saginaw Valley State University Zahnow Library, whose programs served as models for ours.