About OER

The University of Manitoba is committed to facilitating student learning and enhancing the student experience. One avenue to achieve this mission is by making education affordable and accessible with OER.

What are open educational resources (OER)?

OER are teaching materials that have an open-copyright license that allow them to be created, adapted, adopted and shared by instructors and students at no cost.

Advantages of OER

While the cost of course materials can be a barrier to accessing courses for some students, OER provide advantages for both students and instructors:

  • Allows educators to create/adapt/adopt teaching materials to match the content of their courses.
  • Lowers the cost of education, making it more accessible and affordable for all.
  • Provides students the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share their learning.

Funding and support

Create, adapt, and/or adopt an open educational resource

Financial assistance and support

Grant value: $10,000 maximum
Applications: Grant proposals are reviewed upon acceptance.

UM OER Grant Application Guideline

UM OER Grant Application Form (Word)

UM OER Grant Budget Template (Excel)

  • Create a set of slide decks, interactive activities, or other supplemental content to be used in teaching with an OER textbook at UM in the instructor’s own courses.
  • Adapt a relevant OER to make it a better fit for teaching in the instructor’s own courses.
  • Create a new module or set of modules (text-based, video, or otherwise) to use in teaching at UM courses.
  • Edit and publish an Open Pedagogy project created with UM students.

To find existing OER in your discipline that you can adapt, and to learn more about the software available through UM to support OER, check the UM Libraries website or contact your subject librarian.

The OER by Discipline Guide provides one-stop access to OER that support the programs at UM.

Who can apply?

  • Full-time tenure track/tenured faculty
  • Continuing/probationary instructors
  • Librarians

Individuals interested in applying for the grant should first discuss their proposal with their dean/director before submission.

Completed applications should be forwarded to their dean/director for approval and prioritization from their faculty.

Application evaluation criteria

Project scope and impact - The application clearly outlines the project's scope, beneficiaries, and potential impact. It aligns with the UM OER Grant purpose and objectives.

Feasibility (organization and timeline) - The application provides timelines and milestones appropriate to the project and makes allowances for unforeseen challenges.

Budget and resources - The application presents a budget and identifies needed resources appropriately. It also demonstrates a cost-effective use of grant funding.

Inclusivity and accessibility - The application outlines plans for creating OER that are inclusive and accessible to a diverse range of learners.

Acceptable fund expenses

The grant may be used to cover expenditures such as:

  • UM student research/teaching assistants to help create, adapt, and/or adopt OER in a course.
  • Honoraria for external consultants, such as artists, editors, proofreaders, inclusivity and accessibility reviewers, and peer reviewers not covered by the OER Lab.
  • Equipment, such as computers, for student research/teaching assistants may be considered. (Computers will remain the property of the UM Libraries and will be returned to the Libraries after completion of the project.)

The grant may not be used for:

  • Material costs (e.g., books, etc.)
  • Infrastructure upgrades
  • Travel
  • Memberships to organizations
  • Stipends for salaried UM employees


Successful applicants will be expected to:

  • Submit a final report of no more than 250 words explaining how project goals were accomplished and funds were expended by March 31, 2025.
  • Share information about the project with the university community in at least one venue of your preference (e.g., by being interviewed for an article in UM Today or by participating in a panel discussion).
  • Share any applicable resulting OER adaptations or new creations with a Creative Commons or equivalent license (CC BY or CC BY-NC preferred) on a relevant website or repository of your choosing. For text-based content, Pressbooks or MSpace are preferred but not required.
    Note: Criteria relating to Creative Commons or equivalent licensing may not be applicable to OER or portions of OER containing Indigenous Knowledge.

Get help from the OER Lab

To help cover some of the cost of creating, adapting, and/or adopting an OER outside of the awarded grant, successful grant receipts will have access to the OER Lab.

The OER Lab has the following supports available to grant recipients:

  • OER coordinator
  • Project management consultation
  • Editing and production support
  • Support and training for Pressbooks
  • Copyright specialist

Principles of universal design, equity, diversity, and inclusion will be encouraged and supported. Other assistance will be provided as necessary depending on the individual projects.

Learning opportunities

Upcoming events

Open Educational Resources, Part 2

Date and time: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 9:30 - 11:00 AM
Format: Online (Zoom)
Facilitators: Janice Winkler and Iwona Gniadek

Register for this workshop

In this workshop, participants will learn about the benefits of teaching with OER, and qualities that make OER valuable pedagogically. Considerations for adopting, adapting, and creating OER, such as copyright and selecting publishing tools, will be discussed. The workshop builds on content presented in The Centre workshop “Open Educational Resources, Part 1”, though no prior experience with these topics is required.

Past events

  • Open Educational Resources, Part 2

    This session was held Wednesday, March 20, 2024 by facilitators Janice Winkler and Iwona Gniadek.

    In this workshop, participants learned about the benefits of teaching with OER, and qualities that make OER valuable pedagogically. Considerations for adopting, adapting, and creating OER, such as copyright and selecting publishing tools, will be discussed. The workshop buildt on content presented in The Centre workshop “Open Educational Resources, Part 1.

  • Invitation to hear Kayla Lar-Son present Reflections of amiskwaciy: Indigenous protocols in open education, 2024-03-06.

    OER Speaker Series

    Reflections of amiskwaciy: Indigenous protocols in open education presented by Kayla Lar-Son, Acting Head of the Xwi7xwa, University of British Columbia, March 6, 2024.
    Recording to come.

  • Open Educational Resources, Part 1

    Originally held Wednesday, February 14, 2024 by facilitators Janice Winkler and Iwona Gniadek

    The term open educational resources (OER) describes a wide range of materials in teaching and learning that are available for public use with an open license or in the public domain. Examples of OER include full courses, course modules, syllabi, textbooks, lectures, assessments, and datasets. In this workshop, participants will learn why OER are valuable, how to locate them, how to evaluate them using a rubric, and how to adapt and create them. The workshop does not assume prior experience with these topic.

Project Board

The OER Project Board comprises:

Lisa O’Hara, University Librarian & Vice-Provost, Libraries
Christine Shaw, Associate University Librarian
Glenn Bergen, OER Coordinator
Kyle Feenstra, Assistant Librarian
Janice Winkler, Assistant Librarian
Horace Luong, Associate Dean, Faculty of Science
Althea Wheeler, Copyright Strategy Manager
Iwona Gniadek, Educational Developer, Centre for Advancement T&L
Liam Pittman, UMSU Vice President External


Contact Glenn Bergen, OER Coordinator if you have any questions.
Ph: 204-474-7338