UMass Boston

OER Adoption Program

Incentive Program Proposals for AY 24-25 are now open. The UMass Boston OERs Working Group would like to support faculty interest in course affordability and student success by extending the deadline for our Open Educational Resources grant to April 12, 2024.

Adopt, Adapt or Create OER/Low Cost Materials – Incentive Program

As we continue to roll out the OER (Open Educational Resources)/Low-Cost Course Materials program, as a way to reduce the cost of education for our students, we would like to invite faculty to apply for an incentive to either ‘Adopt’, ‘Adapt’ or ‘Create’ OER content for your course.

Key terms:

  • Adopt – select an Open textbook from the Open textbook marketplace. Adopting is the simplest way of including OER in your course, and the least time intensive.
  • Adapt – modify one or more existing Open textbooks to create a new one that is ‘Open’. Or you may build a course pack if you find that is no single resource is broad enough to cover the needs of your course. The course pack would be a selection of various OER, free online materials, and websites that make up the resources for use in a course.
  • Create – author an Open textbook. If there are no high-quality OER available on your topic or if you have course materials which you believe are superior to the OER available to you online, you may want to consider creating or licensing your own course materials. OER creation processes, such as publishing open textbooks, can be more complex.

Please use this form to apply for an incentive to Adopt/Adapt/Create OER content for your course. (Proposals for AY 24-25 are now open.)

Details of the incentive program are available below.

Apply by April 12, 2024

Participants in the incentive program will be selected by May 15th. Applications from TT and NTT faculty for all levels of undergraduate and graduate courses will be considered. If we receive a substantial number of applications, priority will be given to those courses that serve the largest number of students.

50% of the incentive will be paid to participants shortly after being accepted to the program, with the remainder paid upon having taught the course using OER/Low-cost course material and submitting a brief report to the OER team. Please note that the incentive is paid as additional compensation and will count towards your annual limit for additional compensation.

To support you in considering the use of OER/Low-cost course material, please review the list of resources available at Please also reach out to us at for any support regarding your use of such material or to support you in considering what may work best for your course.

Each application will be reviewed by the OER Team (listed below). If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in letting us know.

Apply Now

Open Educational Resources to Reduce the Cost of Course Materials

As we work to enhance and expand educational opportunities, we remain mindful of the financial burdens borne by our students and recognize that we must ensure that the UMass Boston educational experience remains affordable. In keeping with our mission, I am happy to note a renewed focus on lowering the cost of course materials for our students, with plans for a fall 2022 rollout. This collaboration includes staff in the offices of the provost, information technology, Healey library, and the registrar, as well as members of faculty council and undergraduate student government, and MASSPIRG. This team is working to identify current usage of open educational resources (OER) and low-cost course materials at UMass Boston, with a view to incentivizing their adoption, and making it easier for students to identify courses that utilize these materials. The team’s work is also being carried out in concert with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s OER initiative, whose principles and goals are closely aligned with our efforts.

Program Goal

To build a program that promotes textbook affordability for students by supporting and facilitating the adoption of open, low-cost, high-quality materials, called Open Educational Resources, or OER.

Open Education Resources – The Incentive Program

Large Course More than 70 Students $1,500
Multi-Section Two or more courses $1,500
Regular Course   $1,000
Large Course More than 70 Students $3,000
Multi-Section Two or more courses $4,000
Regular Course   $2,000
Large Course More than 70 Students $4,000
Multi-Section Two or more courses $5,000
Regular Course   $3,000

Meet the OER Program Team

Bringing together faculty, students, MASSPIRG, Library & IT with support from the Provost office:

  • Prof. Serra Acar (CEHD)
  • Prof. Steve Ackerman (Honors)
  • Prof. Xiaolu Xu (CM)
  • Michael Dooley (USG)
  • Vansh Khokhani (USG)
  • Lucas Hall (Library)
  • Shanze Madhani (MASSPIRG)
  • Ellen Foust, Sr Learning Designer (IT/EdTech)
  • Kush Patel (Chancellor’s Office)
  • Nitika Ramesh, Graduate Student
  • Rosanna DeMarco, Associate Provost
  • Stephanie Walker, Dean of University Libraries
  • Apurva Mehta, Associate CIO (IT)

Project Plan

  • Develop the Baseline – against which we can evaluate progress (Ongoing)
    • Review course syllabi, library reserves, survey faculty
  • Increase Awareness among faculty on the benefits of adopting OER  (Planning)
    • Host Events - example: March 7 – 11th is OER Week
  • Offer professional development opportunities to our faculty on adopting/using and developing OER content. (March/April)
  • Work with the registrar office to flag courses in WISER that use OER material (Ongoing)
  • Request funding for incentive program (March/April)
  • Build the Incentive program (April)
  • Call for proposals from faculty, reviewing proposals, announcing winners, etc. (April)
  • Librarians and Instructional Designers work with Faculty (May/June)
  • Recognize faculty for adopting OER, document cost savings, update OER Website (December)


Meeting Recordings

  • Topic: OER - Kick Off event
    Date: Mar 8, 2022 10:53 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
    Meeting Recording: OER - Kick Off event
  • Topic: OER Program - UG & MassPirg
    Date: Mar 9, 2022 11:52 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
    Meeting Recording: OER Program - UG & MassPirg


Feel free to contact the team by writing to: or