Course Material Fellowship Program Now Accepting Applications through September 12 

IU Libraries’ Course Material Fellowship Program (CMFP) is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort! Now in its third year, the CMFP assists Indiana University faculty with improving the affordability and quality of their course materials. Fellows in the Program will be awarded a stipend between $2,000 and $5,000 and gain the support of IU librarians, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) instructional experts, and UITS technologists. Program Fellows will work with these experts and their cohort to find, adapt, and create low-cost course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER). The ultimate goal for Fellows is to transform their course materials to be as low cost as possible and tailored to their particular course. Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare explains

“While it’s important that OER are free to students, they are also attractive to instructors interested in making course materials more effective for their specific course.”

Low-cost course materials and OER not only enable instructors to expand accessibility by making higher education more affordable for students, but also to enhance student learning by customizing course materials to suit their unique pedagogical goals. 

The CMFP began in fall 2020, supported by the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), with the goal of supporting faculty’s adoption and creation of OER. OER are freely available course materials that also have specific licenses that legally permit others to adopt, revise, or remix these materials for their own teaching. The CMFP has since evolved in response to lessons learned from the first two years’ implementation. The Program thus far has resulted in over a dozen fellows’ successful adoption and creation of OER, which saved money and improved learning for over five thousand students at IU Bloomington and IUPUI. About half of the projects so far have reached students in 100- and 200-level courses and about half have reached advanced undergraduate students.  

However, like any new program (especially one launched in the midst of a global pandemic!), the initial years of the CMFP also involved unexpected complications. In order to best serve faculty and students, the Open Education Librarian and CMFP Implementation Group have continually refined the Program. The CMFP has used feedback from past Fellows, along with careful consideration of the Program’s goals, to modify the Program’s structure for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

The 2022-2023 CMFP focuses on assisting faculty with finding, adopting, and creating affordable course materials, with the overarching goal of making their courses as low-cost as possible. Low-cost or free materials may include OER, but they also encompass materials such as IU Libraries’ resources, works in the public domain, or open access academic articles.  

The Implementation Group has pivoted to this focus on low-cost course materials—beyond, but including, OER—due to the wide variety of possible projects. A project’s scope depends on existing resources, the specificities of a given course, and the instructor’s own objectives and capabilities. To accommodate our goals for low-cost materials and the different forms that Program participation may take, the CMFP will assign each accepted fellow’s project as either Tier 1 or Tier 2: 

  • Tier 1 projects require selecting, curating, and adapting affordable materials to move from a textbook to a low- or zero-cost course for students. The final project can take a variety of formats (Canvas course, book, etc.) and will not have to be shared publicly.  
  • Tier 2 projects require an original creation of at least 75% of the course content. The remainder can be adopted from existing open educational resources. The final product must be created in the book-publishing tool Pressbooks and submitted as a complete textbook that can be used to fully teach a course. The final text will be shared under a Creative Commons license. Participation in this Tier requires a significant time commitment, and fewer stipends will be available for this Tier. 

Accepted Fellows will meet with the Open Education Librarian to discuss their projects and agree upon the appropriate Tier, and associated stipend amount, for their affordable course material goals.  

All instructors of record at IU Bloomington are eligible to apply to the 2022-2023 CMFP; interested instructors should submit the Qualtrics application here (the application is also viewable as a PDF). Applications will be considered on a competitive basis and applicants are encouraged to consult the rubric the Implementation Group will use to evaluate applications. Applications are due September 12, 2022. 

We are excited by the new opportunities for teaching and learning that our focus on affordable course materials will bring. The CMFP will benefit students not only by mitigating the cost of higher education, but also by enhancing their learning through customized course materials. Similarly, participating instructors will both make their courses as affordable and accessible as possible and gain professional development through the CMFP’s library and pedagogical support. 

More information about the CMFP application and program can be found at our call for proposals and FAQ page. Any instructor interested in the CMFP or affordable course materials is welcome to email Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare at scrissin@iu.edu

Announcing the 2021-2022 Course Material Fellowship Program Cohort

The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to announce the Course Material Fellowship Program cohort for the 2021-2022 academic year. Following our successful launch of the program in 2020-2021, we are welcoming a new group of faculty who are passionate about developing open educational resources (OER) that will be used in their classes and shared with the wider scholarly community. 

As fellows in the program, faculty will receive institutional support as they develop OER. OER are no-cost, freely accessible course materials which are licensed for others to reuse and revise. By participating in this program and developing their own materials, the 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will contribute to the mission of removing barriers to higher education. Fellows will transform their course materials over the 2021-2022 academic year and implement them in their courses starting in fall 2022.

The 2021-2022 CMFP cohort consists of eleven instructors from the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses who represent a wide range of academic disciplines. Our fellows teach in the humanities, STEM, business, law and public affairs, and philanthropy fields. The program will impact a broad array of students: by providing no-cost materials, fellows will tangibly mitigate education costs for these students.

We estimate that, altogether, the 2021-2022 cohort’s projects will directly impact over 2,000 students per academic year at the IUB and IUPUI campuses. This amounts to an approximate total cost savings of $233,500 per year.

The CMFP fellows’ OER projects will contribute to teaching and learning in their respective fields through the creative development of unique resources which:

  • Target distinctive student audiences
  • Incorporate values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Attend to currently relevant topics

For example, Gregory Carter of IUB’s School of Nursing is responding to the problem of astronomical medical/health textbook costs by developing an OER unique to their course. As Carter describes their project:

“What makes this course unique is the focus on community health as well as perinatal concepts. This forces us to use two different (expensive) textbooks in order to present the required materials. What we envision is to develop a resource that combines both areas and allows for a deeper dive into the barriers and facilitators of rural health. Because the Bloomington campus is more focused on rural nursing issues, the proposed resource would not only be unique, it would provide the information in a way that is more accessible to our students.

Meanwhile, L. Anne Delgado, an IUB English instructor, plans to address the current issue of Internet/media misinformation by including relevant readings in their OER text. Additionally, the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are an important cornerstone of the program’s OER development. While all fellows are promoting these values in their work, some are making it a centerpiece of their OER development. For example, Lasana D. Kazembe of IUPUI’s School of Education will develop an OER focused on teaching for social and racial justice. 

Our CMFP fellows are enthusiastic about the promise of OER development to increase the accessibility of higher education and to strengthen teaching and learning materials. Adam Maltese’s project for their STEM for Educators course highlights the value of developing OER materials. Not only will OER allow Maltese to directly impact IUB students by cutting costs, but Maltese will also use OER to challenge common narratives of scientific endeavors as primarily white and male, which is important for their students, who are mostly women. OER development enables instructors to make decisions about the content of their textbooks; in this way, instructors can fully integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and appeal to students’ particular needs and interests. In eventually sharing their OER online, faculty fellows will also make their valuable resources widely accessible for the use of others.

We are excited about the Open Educational Resources our 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will develop and look forward to seeing the impact of these OER materials on the IUB campus, IUPUI campus, and beyond. 


The Scholarly Communication department also offers support to faculty outside of the program who wish to implement Open Educational Resources into their teaching. Please contact us at iusw@iu.edu for more information.

Course Material Fellowship Program Accepting Applications through September 15

The IU Libraries’ Course Material Fellowship Program is now accepting applications from faculty at the IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IUPUC, and IUFW campuses for the 2021-2022 academic year. These applications are due September 15. The CMFP successfully launched in 2020 with the goal of promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) as a means of mitigating the high costs of a college education. The CMFP provides instructors with the support of librarians, OER experts, and instructional technologists as they implement OER. Starting in October 2021, new fellows will learn about OER through a workshop series and individual consultations. They will then develop and implement OER for use in courses in the 2022-2023 academic year. Faculty can find more information about the CMFP at our FAQ page.

Our 2020 pilot group of CMFP fellows have developed OER and other affordable course materials, which will enrich the IU campuses’ teaching and learning. We have learned from the pilot group how to strengthen our support for faculty. As a result of the feedback gained and lessons learned from our pilot group of CMFP fellows, the CMFP is implementing several important changes, detailed below, for the 2021-2022 year.

OER are transformational because they can dramatically cut students’ costs and ensure that all students have access to course texts from the first day of class. Moreover, OER are shared under intellectual licenses which allow others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. This means that faculty can, in many cases, find existing OER, adapt and modify them to the specific goals and needs of their course, and then share this work with others. OER creators and scholars aim to make educational materials accessible and collaborative and to advance the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

The CMFP application asks applicants to review currently available OER to identify if they will adopt, adapt, or create an OER during their time in the program. In order to assess the impact of each fellow’s participation, the CMFP application asks about the number of students in their course’s section(s) and the cost of currently required textbook(s). This information allows the CMFP Implementation Group to select fellows based on the biggest impact on students. 

The CMFP application includes questions which align with these goals of increasing cost savings, enabling adaptability, and advancing diversity and equity. Based on whether or not OER relevant to their course goals currently exist, faculty will do one of the following three tiers of implementation:

  • Adopt an existing OER for use in their class.
  • Adapt OER, or in other words, modify and/or customize an existing OER to fit their instructional goals.
  • Create an OER if no relevant OER textbook currently exists. 

 As a result of the feedback gained and lessons learned from our pilot group of CMFP fellows, the CMFP is implementing several important changes for the 2021-2022 year. These changes are as follows:

  • Timeline: We have pushed up the deadline for accepting applications, notifying fellows of their acceptance, and beginning workshops. This means that fellows will gain 2-3 extra months for developing and implementing materials for fall 2022. 
  • Stipends and Tiers: Each stipend will be awarded based on the tier of OER implementation and the associated work involved. Adopt fellows will gain a maximum $1,000 stipend; adapt fellows a maximum $3,000 stipend; and create fellows a maximum $5,000 stipend.
  • Emphasis: Although we welcome faculty from all teaching areas to apply, we are especially interested in fellows teaching general education courses. Many OER already exist for general education courses, so instructors of these courses would be ideal fellows for adoption or adaptation.

CMFP participation is valuable for faculty not only because it encourages the use of OER and their associated benefits, but also because it enhances this use through support. Faculty gain support and guidance from the CMFP Implementation Group in the form of consultations, technological support, workshops, and Canvas materials. The feedback from our pilot faculty fellows has been overwhelmingly positive. As one fellow put it:

“I think this has been great and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!”

CMFP fellow finalists will be notified in mid-October and workshops will begin in late October 2021. Fellows will begin to develop and implement their OER materials in January 2022. 

Faculty can find more information about the Course Materials Fellowship Program, including a link to the Qualtrics application, here. You can also preview this application as a PDF. Please feel free to email Sarah Hare (scrissin@iu.edu) if you have any questions!