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Affordable Course Materials Summer Fellows Program

How will the proposals be reviewed in 2024?

The proposals will be reviewed by a panel comprised of faculty volunteers, representatives from the University Libraries, and representatives from the Academy for Teaching & Learning.


Members of the Review Panel:

Member Unit 
Ken Carriveau University Libraries (OER program lead)
Coretta Pittman Department of English
Joseph Meyer University Libraries (Experiential Learning)
Christopher Richmann Academy for Teaching & Learning
Chris Zakrzewski University Libraries (Learning Design)

Rubric Measures

Though each award level will have specific performance expectations, the following measures will serve as the key elements in the rubric used to assess each application proposal.

Discrete Measures


Since the primary purpose of this grant program is to improve affordability for students, the approximate savings per semester resulting from the award funding is used in scoring applications.

For new classes that have not been listed previously in the course catalog, the amount of $100 should be used for the "cost of replaced resource."

 * savings = (cost of replaced resource) × (expected enrollment)


For classes that might be using inexpensive resources but are large in terms of enrollment, enrollment per semester is considered as a stand-alone metric.


How frequently a course is offered over a two-year period excluding summer and interim semesters can significantly influence the enrollment and cost savings estimates.  


Categorical Measures

These elements will be rated on a scale from 0 to 2 where

0 = Does not meet the criteria
1 = Meets the criteria
2 = Exceeds the criteria


Openness [0, 2]

A high priority for this program is to promote and increase the utilization of open educational resources in credit-bearing courses on campus. Proposals that improve student access and affordability through the use of OER will be ranked higher than other cost-saving approaches.

0: Not open at all. Proposed implementation uses only library-sourced materials, i.e., student access made possible through library licenses
1: Proposed implementation consists of a mixture of OER, public domain, and/or library-sourced materials. 
2: Proposed implementation focuses on OER (openly licensed and shared, easy to modify, easy to discover)


Pedagogical Innovation [0, 2]

A priority for this program is to encourage pedagogical experimentation to generate high-quality learning experiences for students. Proposals that entail substantial course redesign to enhance learning outcomes will be ranked higher than simple materials replacement efforts.

0: Proposes using a resource that is a drop-in replacement for previous traditional resource 
1: Proposes using a resource that is a drop-in replacement for previous traditional resource, but causes course to be taught in a new way. Might include updating content or improving its relevance
2: Proposes using a resource that is not a direct replacement for previous traditional resource and significantly changes how the course is taught


Community Benefit [0, 2]

A hallmark of the open education movement is freely sharing instructional resources and methodologies with others to benefit the broader community. Proposals that generate instructional products of demonstrable value to other professionals beyond the applicant will be ranked higher.

0: Proposes delivering a resource that is exceedingly specific to a particular class and instructor.  Likely of no use to anyone but the applicant
1: Proposes delivering an improvement to an existing open resource or the creation of a new resource useful to others
2: Proposes delivering an original, technically usable by others, and serves a subject not already well-represented among current OER offerings


Ability to Succeed [0, 2]

This program operates on an annual basis, so proposals must demonstrate they are feasible to complete within a one-year timeline. Projects must be implemented in a credit-bearing course during the academic year after the funds are awarded.

0: Proposes a project that will be an extraordinary undertaking or does not clearly explain how it will be completed.  May also be completely dependent upon the time, effort, and skill of those other than the applicant or their employees
1: Proposes a project moderate in scope and a plan of execution is loosely defined, possibly incomplete.  May also utilize but not completely depend on the time, effort, and skill of those other than the applicant or their employees
2: Proposes a project moderate or narrow in scope and a plan of execution is clearly articulated.  Also does not heavily depend on the time, effort, and skill of those other than the applicant or their employees


The content of this section is adapted from the Alternative Textbook Grant-Scoring Rubric by the University of Oklahoma Libraries licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Rubric Scoresheets

You are welcome to preview the scoresheet used by the review panel in its assessment of faculty proposals via the link below.

Additional Review Considerations

  • Though each proposal will be judged on its individual merits, preference will be given to those projects who demonstrate the potential for substantial impact on student affordability and access. Proposals that should result in significant cost reductions for the most students will be prioritized over smaller impact projects.
  • Though overall cost savings is the most desired outcome, projects that promote and increase the use of open educational resources on campus will be prioritized over proposals that rely on materials dependent on institutionally sponsored access methods.
  • Though part-time faculty and graduate student teachers of record are eligible to apply, preference will be given to full-time faculty in the review and decision-making process if needed.


University Libraries

One Bear Place #97148
Waco, TX 76798-7148

(254) 710-6702