Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program

Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program Accepting Applications


The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for accessible, digital course materials more important than ever. The IU Libraries helps instructors find and acquire digital course materials in a variety of ways. Still, we recognize the need for a more systematic approach where instructors are compensated and sustainably supported in their endeavor to find, adopt, and customize course materials.

IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries, with generous support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), have created a Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course materials. Modeled after the successful Mosaic Faculty Fellowship Program, the Course Material Fellowship Program will provide instructors with a $2,000 stipend, the expertise of librarians and instructional technologists, and the opportunity to learn alongside their peers. Course material fellows will be encouraged to utilize a variety of solutions and strategies to transition their course to a zero textbook cost course. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials. The stipend will compensate instructors for the time and labor inherent in attending workshops and customizing content so that it is aligned with their learning objectives.

Applications are being accepted until December 1 through Qualtrics


Any instructor of record for Fall 2021 at  IUPUI, IU Bloomington, or IUPUC is eligible to apply.


  • Attend three professional development workshops in Spring 2021
  • Participate in at least one consultation about selecting and customizing new course materials
  • Replace a traditional textbook with zero cost materials. Use these new materials in the Fall 2021 semester.
  • Complete two assessments in Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 in order to gauge learning and the effectiveness of new materials
  • Agree to share the results of your project with other faculty in your department and the campus via meetings, workshops, or promotional materials
  • Provide a copy of the revised syllabus or course outline used for the class
  • Materials developed for a course will be licensed with an appropriate Creative Commons license of the grantee's choice
  • Deposit material created into an appropriate open repository (e.g. IUPUIScholarWorks, Open Textbook Library, Merlot, etc.) so that other instructors can use and adapt it
  • Participate in long range assessments of course material initiatives as applicable, which may entail sharing anonymized data on your project e.g. bibliographic and pricing information for previously used traditional textbooks, enrollment and previous enrollment numbers, pass rates and previous pass rates, and qualitative student feedback.


  • December 1, 2020: Fellowship applications due
  • December 18, 2020: Fellows announced
  • Spring 2021
    • Fellows must attend at least three hour-long workshops based on their interests. Workshops will cover a variety of topics, which may include finding multi-user eBooks, finding and evaluating OER, customizing materials using IU Pressbooks, and ensuring accessibility of content.
    • Fellows begin finding and customizing new course materials
    • Fellows participate in at least one consultation to discuss their progress and troubleshoot issues
    • Fellows complete preliminary assessment about their learning and progress
    • Fellows are paid $1,000
  • Summer 2021
  • Fellows ensure ADA-compliance and share any new resources created
  • Fall 2021
    • Fellows implement their new course materials
    • Fellows complete a final assessment and provide feedback on the effectiveness of new course materials
    • Fellows share their experience in their department meeting or at an event
    • Fellows are paid the remaining $1,000 of their stipend

Sample Fellowship Activities

Fellows have a variety of options for transitioning to a zero textbook cost course. Some possibilities include:

  • Adopting an existing open textbook and writing a complementary question bank for student quizzes/ homework
  • Customizing an existing open textbook
  • Replacing a traditional textbook with an eBook purchased by the library
  • Reorganizing existing course content in order to create a hybrid textbook/workbook
  • Combining multiple public domain texts to create an anthology, adding preface information as needed

See examples of instructor projects within similar programs at UMass Amherst and Ohio State University


Fellows will receive the support of IUB Libraries/ IUPUI Libraries, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), and the UITS Digital Education Programs and Initiatives Team. These staff will help with technical, logistical, copyright/ licensing, or pedagogical issues that arise as fellows are finding and creating course materials. As subject experts, fellows are responsible for developing and organizing any course material content used or developed. The Libraries and UITS support the creation of open textbooks using the Pressbooks publishing platform, which is free to use for all IU affiliates.

Application and Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Completeness of the application
  • Potential student savings, including consideration of the class enrollment and cost of existing materials
  • Availability of suitable OER and/or affordable or free course material in major repositories
  • Likelihood that the applicant can and will complete the work involved in the timeframe
  • Sustainability of the resource(s) beyond the initial use and wider community interest in the resource(s)
  • An emphasis on increasing access and opportunities for diverse and underserved student populations 
  • Accessibility and usability of the resource(s) for all students

Applications with the following characteristics will receive priority. Note that the below categories only indicate priority, not which applications qualify for a grant.

  • The instructor's long-term ability and agency to influence and implement affordable course material adoption at IU
  • High-enrollment courses or courses with multiple sections: transitioning to zero cost textbooks in these courses will serve the greatest number of students
  • An interest in advanced assessment: instructors interested in assessing the efficacy of OER/ affordable course materials, either as their own pedagogical assessment or as a published paper, will help all educators understand how affordable course materials impact learning

Fellowship Program Goals and Implementation Group

The Fellowship Program aims to:

  • Lower the cost of college for students in order to contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course materials solutions available and aggregate instructor supports across campus into one space

Fellowship Program Implementation Group

  • Sarah Hare, Scholarly Communication Librarian, IU Bloomington
  • Willa Tavernier, Open Scholarship Resident, IU Bloomington
  • Justin Kani, Business/ SPEA Librarian, IUPUI
  • Emily Oakes, Principal Unizin IT Consultant, UITS
  • Madeleine Gonin, Principal Instructional Technology Consultant, CITL
  • Amy Minix, Visiting Sciences Librarian, IU Bloomington
  • Gary Arave, Research and Instruction Librarian, IU Bloomington
  • Alexus Hunt, Project Coordinator and Graduate Assistant


Please apply using the Qualtrics form

Questions about the Course Material Fellowship Program can be directed to Please use the subject line “Fellowship Program.”

Application details adapted from UMass Library and Miami University Library.


Updated Oct 21, 2020 by Webmaster