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Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources: HackYourSyllabus Mini-Grant (CFP Closed)


Hack Your Syllabus

The OSU Libraries Open Textbook Incentive Program encourages OSU faculty and instructors to explore the use of open textbooks and library resources as an alternative to traditional proprietary textbooks and course materials.


The “Hack Your Syllabus” mini-grant provided financial incentive and support for

  • Using existing open textbooks in your classes
  • Creation of teaching materials that are ancillary to existing open textbooks, for example, test banks of questions, presentations, multimedia content, simulations, instructor and student manuals, study aids, or additional learning activities; and
  • Revising syllabi, assignments, and other course-related resources necessary for the transition to open textbooks.

Each of the 20 faculty and instructor participants in the program received $750.  Each received a $250 special payment upon completion of Library-facilitated training in the use, adaptation, and distribution of open textbooks.  Participants then received the remaining $500 special payment upon completion and publication of the course redesign.


Participants commited to using the course redesign or subsequent iterations, which incur no cost to students, for at least two years. They also distributed Library-provided student surveys regarding student perceptions of open textbooks and will provide annual feedback regarding the course experience.



  • Total cost of all required resources in the course may not exceed $0 per student
  • Resources to be adopted must be selected at the time of application submission
  • Applicant pledges to use the resources (or another free equivalent) for a minimum of two years, distribute student surveys each semester, and provide annual feedback on course material use
  • The course redesign is expected to be implemented in Fall 2020


  • OSU Librarians are available to assist applicants in locating OER or library-licensed content to replace current educational resources. Assistance is available on a drop-in basis or by appointment.
  • In situations in which modification of OER is necessary for the resource to meet class needs, the Libraries may provide software and technical support to assist in updating the materials
  • OSU Libraries will provide access to Pressbooks for modification or creation of OER. Training in the use of Pressbooks is available.

Timeline through which the project was accomplished:

  • May 31,  2019: Call for proposals opens, workshops and proposal assistance available from OSU Libraries.
  • September 30, 2019: Call for applications closes.
  • November 1, 2019: Applicants are notified of acceptance or non-acceptance into the program.
  • November 2019 - August 2020: OSU Library workshops and support for course redesign are available.
  • August 2020: Course redesigns implemented.

Application Checklist

A complete application for funding of course redesign included the following:


Who was encouraged to apply?

Proposals were accepted from current OSU faculty, staff, and students with teaching responsibilities or responsibilities related to the selection and coordination of educational resources for OSU courses.


How was funding distributed?

Funding was be distributed to recipients in the form of special pay.


Are there additional expectations?

Recipients completed a memorandum of understanding with the OSU Libraries, which included the following expectations:

  • Completion of the online, asynchronous OER redesign training.
  • Redesign of existing course to use resources offered at no cost to students.
  • Use for at least two years of the course redesign or subsequent iterations which incur no cost to students.
  • Creative Commons licensing of resources completed through the course redesign .
  • Distribution to students of library-provided student surveys regarding student perceptions of open textbooks.
  • Faculty/Instructor provided annual feedback regarding the course experience.
  • Acknowledgement of partial support from the OSU Libraries Open Textbook Incentive Program in presentations or publications about the course redesign.
  • Completion of the OER/No-cost adoption reporting form.

How were award decisions made?

Funding was available to support stipends for twenty course redesign projects. Strong consideration was given to faculty and instructors teaching high-enrollment courses, courses whose proposed redesign incorporates open pedagogy, and projects resulting in the modification/creation of OER in academic subjects for which few open resources are available.


Where can I find OER?

Explore the OSU Library’s introduction to OER and/or contact Kathy Essmiller, OSU OER Librarian, for help getting started and at any point along the way.


CC-BY Licensing "Hack Your Syllabus"

All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Language and design of the Hack Your Syllabus Mini-Grant and associated forms were adapted from work shared by UTA Cares and Open Oregon.

All linked content maintains its respective license. 

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