The University of Akron’s Affordable Learning Initiative, which is being led by the University Libraries, in collaboration with the Institute for Teaching and Learning and the University Council Subcommittee on Textbooks, is sponsoring a grant (funded by the Office of Academic Affairs) for open textbook adoption.
It has been identified that students who choose not to purchase a required textbook solely due to cost are at a significant academic disadvantage. Given that the average cost of textbooks has increased over 1,000% in the last 30 years, the State of Ohio has identified the cost of materials as a major issue that must be addressed by higher education institutions.
The Affordable Learning Initiative Grant provides funding to faculty members at two levels:
- $2500 Grant (two available)
- This requires a faculty member or faculty team to review an open textbook, adopt the textbook for their course, adapt any additional open content to fill objective gaps, and author/create any ancillary materials. Adaptation of an existing open textbook with additional content may be required.
- All ancillary materials created to go along with the open textbook must adhere to a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Examples of ancillary materials include, but are not limited to: test banks, lecture slides, lecture videos, assignments, discussion prompts, etc.
- Special consideration for this grant will be given to courses that are high-enrollment, high-impact (substantial course material cost to the student body).
- $1000 Grant (up to five available)
- This requires a faculty member or faculty team to review an open textbook, adopt the textbook for their course, and adapt any additional open content to fill objective gaps. Adaptation of an existing open textbook with additional content may be required.
- Recipients at this grant level are not expected to author ancillary materials above and beyond what already exists with the open textbook, however, there may be a necessity to supplement content from the faculty member’s existing materials. All ancillary materials created to go along with the open textbook must adhere to a Creative Commons CC-BY license.
All grant recipients, or those seeking to apply for this grant are required to attend an information session and Open Textbook Network training provided by the University Libraries / OhioLINK. The next available date for this training is scheduled for February 8, 2019 and will take place in Bierce Library Room 154 from 10am-noon. Additional training opportunities will be made available. Each grant recipient must adhere to a timeline which will facilitate the completion of work for implementation no later than the spring 2020 semester. The project work is divided into three stages:
Stage 1 - Planning Phase
- Attend Training on Open Textbooks
- Meet with Design and Development Services / University Libraries to complete an alignment document which will map out the open textbook in relation to assignments, assessments, and learning objectives.
Stage 2 - Production Phase
- This phase includes adaptations of the book, authorship of ancillary materials, assessment questions, presentations, lectures, etc.
- Meet with an Instructional Designer, Subject Matter Librarian, and Multimedia Producer to assist with content creation / adaptation.
Stage 3 - Quality Assurance Phase
- Creation of Creative Commons licensing of content, with attribution being listed for all content created by the faculty member, accessibility check to ensure content meets universal design for learning principles, captioning of any and all video content, etc.
Applications may be submitted through the Affordable Learning Initiative website and are due by February 22, 2019. Consultation with grant applicants will occur between February 22, 2019 and March 8, 2019. Recipients will be notified shortly after consultations take place.
Payment to faculty will occur after all work has been completed.
Senior Instructional Designer
Collections and Content Strategies Librarian
Dean, University Libraries