SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

Portland State University

Portland, OR, United States
Official Website @Portland_State

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 27,696

  SPARC Member  

OER LibGuide


Portland State University (PSU) is a public research university located in downtown Portland, Oregon.

The cost of textbooks and other course materials is a major concern and financial barrier for students attending Portland State University. In 2013, with the support of a Provost-backed initiative focused on innovative ideas to improve student success, PSU Library developed an open textbook publishing grant program. The grant program, PDXOpen, emerged with the goal to save students money, facilitate research, and remove barriers to information by way of open textbook publishing.

In May 2013, the Library released a campus-wide call for proposals (CFP) that sought open textbooks that were geared towards a specific field of study and were original works. Successful authors received a small stipend of $2,500, which could be allocated at the faculty member’s own discretion. Uses of the stipend have included professional travel, research support, and compensation for peer-reviewers, accuracy checkers, designers, and copy editors. The first round of grant funding was awarded in June 2013 to five PSU faculty/instructors. The open textbooks created, during this first round, spanned a variety of academic disciplines including Japanese, Special Education, Graphic Information System (GIS), Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Calculus. These first five open textbooks published in December 2014, 18 months after the grant was awarded, saved PSU Students an estimated total of $23,805 in their first term of being used.

Working closely with the Provost, Alumni Association, and the PSU Foundation, which works with donors to raise money for the University, the Library released a yearly campus-wide CFP. From Fall 2015 - Fall 2018, the Library supported the creation of 16 open textbooks.

In 2019, the Library expanded the PDXOpen grants program to support adoption and adaptation of open educational resources (OER) by PSU faculty/instructors who teach high-enrollment courses. The program was expanded in an effort to encourage instructor experimentation and innovation in finding new, better, and less costly ways to deliver learning materials to their students through OER. Through the expanded grant program, we provided $3,000, $5,000 and $8,000 stipends to faculty to develop OER for courses that they teach. We increased the stipends to enhance the professionalization of newly created resources, to ensure the open textbooks’ high quality (with copyediting, design, peer review, etc.), and to more fully compensate for the significant labor invested in the adoption, adaptation, and creation of open teaching and learning content. The eight faculty projects will be published by summer of 2021 and are projected to save 3,110 PSU students and estimated $777,725 in one academic year.

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 Programs

PDXOpen: Open Access Textbook Publishing

PDXOpen is an open access textbook and adopt/adapt publishing initiative designed to support Portland State University faculty developing open access textbooks. We work with faculty authors to publish high-quality open access textbooks designed specifically for their courses, that are free to students at our university and to anyone throughout the world.

Program Type:

Duration: 10/2014 - Present

Program Webpage:

Scope: OER (open course content)

Primary OER Strategy: OER Publication

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

Unit Housing the Program:

Program Partners:

Source of Program Funding:

Total Program Funding to Date: $ 70,000

Total Student Savings to Date: $ 900,000

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: $ 80,000

Total number of incentive grants awarded to date: 34

Typical amount of each grant: $ 8,000

Point of Contact

Karen Bjork
Head of Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Publishing