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Thursday, October 21 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
New Pathways to Open: OER Education, Advocacy, and Partnerships Through Research Grants

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Because most Open Education initiatives emerge from discussions of textbook affordability and student success, these initiatives typically focus outreach, advocacy, and partnerships on the teaching side of higher education institutions. Simultaneously, many higher education institutions increasingly prioritize research, which can bring the institution notoriety and large sums of funding. By broadening Open Education efforts to include the research lifecycle, new opportunities for outreach, advocacy, partnerships, and value to the institution could emerge.

This presentation will review how Open Education initiatives can expand to include education and support for Open Educational Resources (OER)’s potential role in grant proposals, with a focus on the National Science Foundation (NSF). Many researchers focus on the scientific merit of their NSF applications, leaving the second criteria, “Broader Impacts,” which explores how the research can impact society, oftentimes underdeveloped. Since OER are inherently a common good, integrating OER creation and dissemination into applications for cutting-edge research could be a low-effort high-reward way to increase the “Broader Impacts” score in grants while also enabling the creation of new, specialized OER. OER can similarly be worked into applications to other granting agencies when discussing project impact and dissemination.

Focusing on OER’s potential to enhance grant applications allows Open Education initiatives to reach and educate faculty who might otherwise have ignored OER outreach. Further, since OER advocates are often not experts in the research lifecycle, such education and support presents a new opportunity to build partnerships, both within libraries (e.g. with research-focused librarians) and across the institution (e.g. with research offices). A relationship with the grant process on campus would help create new advocates and approaches to support open education.

This presentation will provide an overview of the NSF Broader Impacts category and how OER can be integrated into applications in this and other relevant federal grant sections to potentially increase NSF grants’ scores. It will use our experiences as a case study of how new avenues of education, support, and partnerships can emerge around OER’s possible inclusion in grant applications.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Create a plan for expanding OER initiatives to encompass education and partnerships to support OER integration into grant applications
  • Recognize the technical phrase “Broader Impacts” and use it as a conversation-starter with NSF grant applicants and/or the campus grants office
  • Summarize how proposing to create an OER about a professor’s grant-funded research might help improve the “score” from grant peer reviewers

Slides available at https://bit.ly/3F0oW3k

avatar for Nina Exner

Nina Exner

Data librairan, Virginia commonwealth university
avatar for Jessica Kirschner

Jessica Kirschner

Open Educational Resources Librarian, Virginia Commonwealth University

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Thursday October 21, 2021 1:00pm - 1:25pm EDT
Room F