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Apply by Feb. 25 for 2024 Instructor Awards for Using Open Educational Resources

2023 AggieOpen Fellow shares impact of OER materials for her students

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Launched in 2023, the AggieOpen Fellows program offers awards of $2,000 – $7,500 to faculty and instructors to adopt or adapt openly licensed, freely accessible materials for their undergraduate courses. Open educational resources (OER) offer a number of benefits: an affordable alternative to commercially licensed textbooks, the opportunity to make course materials more culturally relevant, or to customize materials to your course’s learning objectives.

Grace Hayes, an instructor in the Department of English who teaches UWP 1: Introduction to Academic Literacies, applied for an AggieOpen Fellows award in 2023 because she had identified a significant equity gap: the UWP 1 curriculum did not cater to non-native English learners, even though at least 25 percent of students enrolled in the course are non-native English speakers.

With support from the AggieOpen program, Hayes adapted freely available OER materials on college-level writing for English language learners as a supplement to her UWP 1 curriculum. This approach enabled her English-learners to have additional support — without added financial strain — while maintaining the core curriculum and instructional pace for the rest of the class.

Grace Hayes

“It is these two qualities of OER, the no-cost and accessibility, that…empower my students to learn writing concepts I explain in class on their own terms and timeline,” said Hayes. Her students have responded positively to the free, convenient OER materials she has shared, as well.

“There are so many free and convenient resources for students online, but not all are reliable. Being an AggieOpen Fellow provided me with the time and resources to curate and integrate free and reliable open-source resources for University Writing Program students,” said Hayes.

If you have questions about how OER may be appropriate for an undergraduate course you teach, or if you are interested in applying for the 2024 AggieOpen Fellows program, please contact us at


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