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Create an award program to recognize and express appreciation for individual contributions moving towards broader use of OER.

Note: Asterisk denotes this is a proven, high-impact play.

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Does your institution award “Faculty of Year” recognition? Do you have some other way of recognizing faculty achievement at the end of the school year? If so, what about giving monthly, semi-annual, or annual awards to faculty who are doing exceptional work with OER?

Award programs don’t have to be expensive or complicated. The primary purpose is to recognize great work. As you do that, you’re elevating colleagues, saying thank-you, and generating greater awareness about the impact your institution is making with OER.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Invite a few fellow faculty members and OER advocates to be part of the award committee.
  2. Defining what you want to recognize: Is it the number of students impacted? Teaching and learning innovation? Cost savings? Curating and developing course materials? Collaboration and teamwork?
  3. Identify the criteria you’ll use to select award-winners.
  4. Create a simple award proposal or nomination form to capture the information you’ll evaluate as you’re making the awards.
  5. Design the award itself: Decide what award-winners will receive.

Awards can be simple or involved. Try some combination of these ideas:

  • A simple digital award (similar to a badge) sent via email
  • A certificate of recognition
  • Announcement of the award on a webpage, with a brief profile describing the work you’re recognizing
  • An article or profile on a campus website or included in a newsletter sent to faculty
  • A small monetary stipend or gift card
  • A “swag” bag of campus paraphernalia with a hand-written note of congratulations
  • A video interview featuring the faculty member and some of their students
  • Participation in a panel of fellow-award winners talking about what they’ve done with OER and its impact on teaching, learning, and students
  • A note of recognition to the department head, dean, and provost

When teachers go out of their way to try OER, it’s important to show some love for their commitment and dedication. Awards provide important recognition within the campus community, and they are also an easy way to help faculty substantiate their professional development using OER on their CVs!


Collaborate with a senior administrator to send out a digital award. Deans are a good match for this announcement because they get to report out on something positive in their departments. You write the award announcement, create the digital award, and support the administrator sending out the faculty award.

Helpful Resources

    • Information about Lansing Community College’s OER Award Program, including application categories, requirements, proposal forms, evaluation criteria, and timelines.
      • Nomination form for awards announced monthly by BCcampus to recognize significant accomplishments and impact with OER

Photo by Audrey Fretz on Unsplash