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Open Textbooks Grant Program

Forsyth Library and the Open Education Resources (OER) Council are pleased to announce the second round of funding for a new initiative to help faculty implement open textbooks in FHSU classrooms. With funding provided by the University Foundation through a donation from Robert and Delores Fischli, grants of $500 - $3,000 are available for faculty who want to write an open textbook or who have identified an open textbook they wish to revise for course implementation. Faculty can apply for funding to write an open textbook, revise an existing open textbook, or create original supplementary materials to accompany a textbook that needs little or no revision. If you would like to apply, please email Claire Nickerson at cenickerson@fhsu.edu with a brief (no more than a paragraph) description of your proposed project by midnight on Friday, February 17th. Claire will help you schedule a time to present your proposal to the OER Council in person. The OER Council will review the proposals and notify applicants of funding awards by April 28th, 2017.

Textbook costs are a critical issue for students. Between 1977 and 2015, Textbook costs rose by 1,041% in comparison to 308% for inflation.1 In a recent study, 65% of students reported that they cope with rising costs by opting not to purchase a textbook even as they recognize that this may affect their success.2 A separate major study recently determined that students whose faculty choose open educational resources perform as well or better than students whose faculty assign commercial textbooks. These students also enroll in a significantly higher number of credits in the next semester.3

For more details on the grant application process and funding, please download the application instructions.

The OER Council will offer four information sessions to answer questions about the proposal and open textbook adaptation process:

Monday, January 23rd at 11:00 AM in Forsyth Library 133;

Wednesday, January 25th at 9:00 AM in Forsyth Library 133;

Thursday, February 2nd at 1:00 PM in Forsyth Library 133; and

Friday, February 3rd at 3:30 PM in Forsyth Library 133.

If you are unable to attend an information session or you have additional questions, please contact Claire at x4543 or at cenickerson@fhsu.edu. Claire can help you locate potential open textbooks and answer questions about copyright, licensing, and making OERs visible and accessible.

References:

Popken, Ben. “College textbook prices have risen 1,041 percent since 1977.” NBC News, 6 Aug. 2015. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.

Senak, Ethan. “Fixing the broken textbook market: How students respond to high textbook costs and demand alternatives.” The Student PIRGs, Jan. 2014. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.

Fischer, Lane et al. “A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of post-secondary students.” Journal of Computing in Higher Education 27.3 (2015): 159–172. SpringerLink. Web. 9 Apr. 2016.

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Ways to Get Involved

Request a Consultation

Claire Nickerson (cenickerson@fhsu.edu; 785.628.4543), the Learning Initiatives and OER Librarian, takes search requests for OERs to save faculty time. If you would like her to search for OERs for your course, please email her a description of what types of materials you are looking for along with a recent syllabus, course topics list, or table of contents from your textbook. Claire will be happy to meet with you or simply send you back an annotated list of OERs in your subject area (please allow 1-2 weeks).  

Claire can also answer questions about Creative Commons licensing, copyright, free-to-use media, and OER creation.

Get Your Feet Wet

You may not be comfortable replacing all of your course materials with OERs. Or there may not be comprehensive OERs, such as open textbooks, available for your subject area yet. That's okay! Consider getting your feet wet by supplementing your existing curriculum with OERs or replacing just a little bit of commercially published material. You might be surprised at what's available. There are openly licensed videos, open podcasts, open lesson plans, games, interactive modules, and more. Simply replacing a commercially published textbook with an open textbook isn't your only option.

Join an OER Organization

If you are interested in learning more about or promoting OERs, there are a number of organizations you can get involved with:

 

 

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