Announcing Faculty Learning Community Theme for 2019: Open Educational Resources

In early December, dozens of faculty and staff members submitted statements of interest for Faculty Learning Communities in the next round of Teaching Innovation Grants. After assessing the level and substance of interest in potential themes, the Educational Development Council (EDC) and representatives of the Academic Technology Center (ATC) are delighted to announce that we will now solicit formal applications for a FLC on Open Educational Resources (OER). Use of OER is an important tool for diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education-- reducing financial barriers and giving traditionally underserved students equal access to high quality learning materials. OER also benefit authors and their institutions by increasing visibility and impact of their educational expertise. While numerous instructors are using OER at WPI, we are hopeful that this FLC will launch a larger movement and seed knowledgeable advocates and converts in multiple departments.

In a FLC, each member pursues their own project, while meeting monthly with the multidisciplinary community for peer feedback and support. Anyone who wishes to join the OER FLC, or serve as a facilitator for this FLC, should submit an application by February 1. Having submitted a statement of interest earlier in December is neither necessary nor sufficient to apply to the OER FLC. If you submitted a statement of interest for a theme that is not being supported, or if you would rather work independently on an OER project, we encourage you to submit an “independent project” proposal instead. Independent project (IP) proposals are also welcome in any area related to innovation in undergraduate and graduate education. Proposals, whether for a FLC or IP grant, will merit funding only if they go beyond normal expectations for renewal and improvement of curricula and pedagogical strategies.

Details about expectations and funding, along with application procedures and criteria for selection for both types of grants and for FLC facilitators, can be found in the Call for Proposals and Program Guidelines. Application forms are found on the same webpage.