Stipend program inspires OER experimentation


Covid-19 necessitates instructors expand their digital toolbox. The need for easily accessible course materials are crucial. As remote teaching and hybrid learning expands the educational landscape, IU Libraries department of Scholarly Communication has transformational solutions. 

The IU Libraries Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program, funded with a generous grant from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), provides financial and specialist support for instructors to reimagine their course materials, making them affordable and accessible. The Fellowship Program will offer a $2,000 stipend plus time to work with librarians and instructional technologists. Fellows will also work alongside their peers in workshops. “The stipend will compensate instructors for the time and labor inherent in attending workshops and customizing content so that it is aligned with their learning objectives,” says Sarah Hare, Scholarly Communication Librarian and subject specialist in Open Access.


December 1 Last day to apply

Fall 2021 Must be an instructor of record at IU Bloomington, IUPUI, or IUPUC

Spring 2021 Attend at least 3 hour-long workshops


The Fellowship Program holds that pedagogy should shape learning materials, not the other way around. ~Sarah Hare, Scholarly Communication Librarian


A photo taken from above shows three young adults gathered around a laptop


Some of the instructor expectations for the Fellowship involve replacing a traditional textbook with an alternative that costs nothing, attending three workshops, evaluating new course materials, and placing transformed course materials in an open repository. For a complete timeline, a full list of expectations, and more details see the Course Materials Transformation Fellowship Program Application. Applications are due December 1, 2020. Questions may be directed to Please use the subject line “Fellowship Program.” 

Hare, an expert in Open Education Resources (OER) says that educators often share they must supplement textbooks with their own materials.  Also, because textbooks often updated annually “they have to choose between re-evaluating the new version of the book and re-organizing their syllabus or asking their students to buy an older edition that might be more difficult to find. The Fellowship Program holds that pedagogy should shape learning materials, not the other way around.”

In addition to librarians specializing in an instructor’s content area and Open Access solutions, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), and the UITS Digital Education Programs and Initiatives Team will be available to help instructors craft new materials. Participants will have a variety of new options and approaches to utilize. Modeled after the successful Mosaic Faculty Fellowship Program, the Course Material Fellowship will provide instructors opportunities such as utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER), creating Pressbooks with their own material, and using library eBooks and databases.

The goals of the Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program are to help students afford college, to facilitate and inspire the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks, to have course materials in the hands of all students on day one regardless of their economic status, and to centralize support for instructors working with these solutions.