SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR, United States
Official Website @UArkansas

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 26,237

  SPARC Member  

OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


The University of Arkansas Libraries began our active campaign towards supporting Open Education Resources by sending student and library faculty representatives to the 2015 SECU Collaboration workshop to engage librarians, students and faculty in OA and OER initiatives. Following the workshop, the university formed an Open Education Resource Team to develop means for informing the campus community about the availability of Open Education Resources and to assist in the use and creation of Open Education materials. The committee includes librarians, staff of the campus bookstore, campus administrators, instructional designers, student government leaders and faculty champions. The first act of the group was to work with the bookstore in obtaining updated software for selecting textbooks, software which includes search mechanisms for open materials and provides textbook affordability information. The libraries worked with the bookstore to provide textbook selection training to campus faculty and departmental staff.

In the Summer 2016, members of the library joined student government officers in attending an SEC student government workshop, the results of which led to stronger communication with our student government and led to a joint resolution by the undergraduate and graduate student bodies calling for the use of open education resources.

Spring 2017, the libraries began editing a faculty champion’s textbook that will be offered as an OER. This provided a learning experience in formatting mathematical equations, charts and pictures. Also in early spring, the University Libraries and Global Campus with the support of the Open Education Resource Team sponsored an OER program offering faculty incentives for adopting, adapting or creating OER resources. Librarians and instructional designers met with individual faculty to begin their OER processes. Four grants for textbooks were distributed and one for adoption of materials. When completed, the grants for this first round of grants will have totaled over $33,000.

We are continuing to learn from our experiences and will be tweaking the application process as we continue into the next phase.

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Mechanisms to Support OER Included in the Following:

OER Staff Location:

OER Programs

University of Arkansas OER Course Materials Conversion Program

In 2015, the libraries’ established a campus-wide committee to promote the use of OER materials on the campus. Committee members include librarians, members of the campus bookstore, campus administrators, instructional designers, student government representatives, and interested faculty.
In order to encourage faculty to move from high-cost textbooks to open educational resources (OER), the University Libraries and the Global Campus (E-Learning, Distance Education) determined to offer participating faculty $3000 to adopt OER course materials or $7500 to create OER. In the Fall of 2017, an adaptation category ($4500) was added. Members of the campus OER committee act as reviewers of incentive applications. Compensation is dispersed incrementally as project goals are attained. In addition to cash incentives, faculty are provided assistance in planning, research and organization of their materials by librarians and instructional designers.

The program has been continuously funded since Spring 2017.

Program Type:

Duration: 02/2017 - Present

Program Webpage:

Scope: Cost-free course content, including OER

Primary OER Strategy: OER Adoption

Secondary OER Strategies: OER Review/Assessment, OER Research, OER Awareness, OER Curation, OER Adaptation, OER Publication, OER Pedagogy

Unit Housing the Program:

Program Partners:

Source of Program Funding:

Total Program Funding to Date: $ 55,584

Incentives Offered by the Program:

Conditions: Recipients are required to openly license and freely share resources created or adapted

Total amount of incentive grants awarded to date: $ 25,500

Total number of incentive grants awarded to date: 13

Typical amount of each grant: $ 7,500

OER Policies

ASG Joint Resolution No. 3- Open educational Resource Legislation

This is a resolution passed by the student government to support the adoption, creation, and implementation of Open Educational Resources by the faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and teaching assistants of the University of Arkansas. It was adapted from the SECU Joint Resolution penned at the SEC Academic Collaboration Workshop of 2015.

Duration: 12/2016 - Present

Policy Type: Resolution/Declaration

Policy Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Governance Level: Student Government

Policy Text

ASG Senate Resolution No. 17- OER Award

This policy represents a resolution passed by the student government to recognize the faculty OER Award recipients with a certificate from the student body commending their commitment to furthering academic opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Arkansas.

Duration: 04/2017 - Present

Policy Type: Resolution/Declaration

Policy Scope: Cost-free course content, including OER

Governance Level: Student Government

Policy Text

OER Events

Open Access Week 2015

Open Access Week 2015 included webinars, hands-on activities and talks on a variety of topics. The two presentations related specifically to Open Education were : "Exploring the Creative Commons" which offered an introduction to Creative Commons licensing as well as tips on how to find materials with CC licenses. In addition attendees learned how to apply the licenses to newly created materials. "Open Education Resources" which presented the basics of open education resources- the benefits of using these materials, what they could do for our campus, and tips on identifying quality materials.

Date: Oct. 20, 2015 - Oct. 23, 2015

Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Approximate Attendees: 65

Event Summary
News Coverage

Open Education Week, Mar 27-31, 2017

The purpose of the Open Education Week activities at the University of Arkansas was to raise awareness about free and open educational opportunities and their role in attaining educational goals.
Prior to Open Education Week, University Libraries conducted a poll of how much U of A students were spending on textbooks using interactive posters were hung in library buildings. Out of 734 total participants, 53 reported paying $100 or less for textbooks each semester, 91 reported paying $100-$200, 130 reported paying $200-$300, 155 reported paying $300-$400, and 305 – the highest number – reported paying $400 or more.
Several activities were feature for the week:
An Open Education Twitter Chat Wednesday, March 29 held at the @UARKLibraries .
Following the chat, Stephanie Pierce presented on “Electronic Notebooks: What’s the Deal?” in which participants were introduced to free electronic notebook software that can be used in a classroom setting, including the pros and cons of each.
On Friday, March 31, instructional designer Scott Wright presented an “Introduction to Open Educational Resources.” Participants learned what open educational resources are and a brief history of the movement. Additionally, they discovered where to search for open educational resources. The Creative Common License was introduced and reviewed.

Date: March 27, 2017 - March 31, 2017

Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Approximate Attendees: 80

Event Hashtag: #OpenEdUARK

Promotional Material

OER Resources

Open Education Research Guide

This guide provides information on a number of open education topics including: overviews of OER, locating and using OER textbooks, local, state and national textbook legislation, open access to media and ancillary materials, copyright, and open education advocacy.

Resource Permissions:

Resource Citation:
Open Education at the University of Arkansas. Retrieved from http://

Point of Contact

Elaine Thornton
Open Education & Distance Learning Librarian