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Open and Affordable Textbook Program: Contact Us, FAQs & Help

1. What is the Open and Affordable Textbooks (OAT) Initiative?


The NJIT Open and Affordable Textbook (OAT) Initiative encourages NJIT faculty to redesign their courses using open textbooks, free or low-cost materials, library resources, or open educational resources (OER) in place of commercial texts to increase course material affordability for NJIT students.


2. How is the OAT Initiative supported?


The OAT Initiative is managed by the University Libraries and the Office of Digital Learning with support from the Institute for Teaching Excellence and the Office of the Provost.


3. Does the OAT Initiative provide any monetary incentives for those interested in adopting OER in the classroom?


Three types of OAT awards are currently offered for instructors: Individual Instructor ($1000), Course Coordinator ($3000), and a Faculty Open Author Textbook (FOAT) award (for eligible full-time faculty interested in creating an open textbook).  


4. What are some important dates to consider when applying for an OAT award?


For the Individual Contributor and Course Coordinator awards


  • May 14, 2021 - Deadline for applicants to submit proposals
  • May 28, 2021 June 11, 2021 - Decisions for awards will be announced
  • September 2021 to June 2022 - Funds will be distributed
  • NOTE: Additional proposals will be accepted on a "rolling basis" with a commitment to implement the redesigned course curriculum at the start of fall 2021, spring 2022, or summer 2022


For the Faculty Authored Open Textbook award:


  • October 1, 2021 - Deadline for applicants to submit proposals (will close at midnight)

Note: the final decision for the award will be made by the University Committee on Sabbaticals and the Provost.


5. Who is eligible to apply for the OAT Initiative awards?


  • Individual Instructor: applicant must be teaching a course with a textbook requirement. One award limit per year for two consecutive years
  • Course Coordinator: applicant must be a coordinator for a course that has a textbook requirement, with at least six sections. Each section will use the redesigned OER course materials.  One award limit every two years
  • Author of Open Textbook: applicant must be a full-time faculty and meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the NJIT sabbatical policy.

6. Can I apply for more than one award per application cycle?

At this time applicants can apply for only one award per application cycle.


7. Is this a cash award?


Funds will be distributed as additional compensation or in the form of budget transfer to the academic department.

8. If I have already won an OAT award in the past, can I apply in another year?


Yes. Please note that Individual Instructor awardees are limited to one award per year for two consecutive years, and that Course Coordinator awardees are limited to one award every two years.


9. I just applied for sabbatical leave but am interested in creating an open textbook. Will I need to submit another application to be eligible for Faculty Open Author Textbook (FOAT) award.


For the AY2021 academic year, eligible faculty can now submit the their proposal for an open textbook as part of the normal sabbatical application process. One faculty authored open textbook application will be selected by the Provost from among the list of approved sabbatical applications. For more information on the FAOT award application process, visit the Faculty Authored Open Textbook Application page.

Note: FOAT applicants must be tenured faculty and meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the NJIT Sabbatical Leave documents. 

10. I am not a full-time NJIT faculty member. Can I still apply?

Yes. Prior to applying for an OAT award, please verify with your course coordinator and/or department chair that the required textbook can be substituted for a high-quality open textbook,  OER, or available library resource(s).


11. What kind of support can I, as an OAT award recipient, receive?


An OAT award recipient is assigned a support team composed of a liaison librarian and an instructional designer. These resources are available to help you as you develop your course using open educational resources.  The team will work with you to find appropriate resources, as well as integrate them into your course to best meet learning objectives. 


12. What can I use the award funds for?


The funding may be utilized as you see fit as long as it is in accordance with NJIT policies and procedures. Some examples past recipients at NJIT have used the awards for include: hiring students to help with course redesign (for example, creating and editing new quizzes, videos), attending outside events on best practices in teaching using open educational resources, and even donating the award funds to purchase new books for the library.


13. What are the main reporting requirements? 


All awardees will need to submit a narrative in the form of a final report detailing challenges and accomplishments using OER, including impact to teaching, student performance and lessons learned.


14. How will students know my course is an OAT course?


We recommend that you update your course syllabus and specify that the required OER/textbook is an open resource. Also, provide URL links to the open resource for accessibility.     



OAT Support / Contacts Us

Ann Hoang
University Librarian

Blake Haggerty
Executive Director, Digital Learning & Technology Support

Nikki Bosca
Assistant Director, Office of Digital Learning

Support will be provided by the NJIT University Library and the Office of Digital Learning. The Subject-Specialist Librarians and Instructional Designers will be available to help identify and vet quality OER materials.

  • View OER ResearchGuides for more information about finding, evaluating, modifying and creating open educational resources.

The NJIT OAT logo is provided for use in documents pertaining to the OAT project. Please do not alter the OAT logo by making any changes to its color, arrangement of texts and graphics or any alteration of the image except for allowable sizing.

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