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Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources) Guide: Alternative Textbook Grant (2018)

This guide is about UK Libraries' Alternative Textbook Program. It also provides an overview of free online peer-reviewed textbooks and offers assistance with finding and adapting them for courses.

Alternative Textbook Grant Program (Academic Year 2018)

UK Libraries invites faculty to apply for a grant in support of replacing traditional commercial textbooks with affordable learning materials.  Ten grants of up to $1,500 each will be awarded to successful applicants who propose to adopt open access textbooks, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources as alternative textbooks for their courses.  Faculty can find such resources by

  • Using the tools listed on the Find... pages on this guide (shown as tabs above the page title)
  • Consulting your academic liaisons

Ready to apply?  Click here to access the proposal form.  The application deadline is Dec. 22, 2017

Program Objectives:

The goals of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program are:

  1. to reduce students’ financial burden of expensive textbooks;
  2. to provide support for faculty interested in identifying and assigning open access textbooks, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources as alternative textbooks for their courses.  

According to the College Board, the budget for textbooks and supplies is $1,298 for an in-state/on-campus student at a public four-year university in 2015/16.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices of college textbooks soared 88% from January 2006 to July 2016

Studies reveal that the financial burden of expensive textbooks impacts a student’s ability to purchase required textbooks and consequently their overall academic performance.  In the January 2014 survey, Fixing the Broken Textbook Market: How Students Respond to High Textbook Costs and Demand Alternatives, results show that “65% of all respondents said that they had decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive” and that “[n]early half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many/which classes they took each semester.” 

UK Libraries is committed to working with faculty to identify and provide access to affordable replacements for traditional textbooks in order to support student success.  In addition to funding support, UK Libraries’ academic liaisons are available for consultation on identifying open access textbooks, free course content, and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources. 

Eligibility:

All current UK faculty, including adjunct faculty, lecturers, and instructors, who will be teaching a course in the academic year 2018/19 and are currently assigning a commercial textbook. 

Deadline:

  • Proposals are due on Dec. 22, 2017
  • All proposals will be reviewed and grant funding awarded in the spring of 2018. 

Proposal Application Process:

Alternative Textbook Grant Program proposals should be submitted using this online form.  Faculty will be asked to provide:

  • Course information, including title, number, enrollment, and semester(s) offered
  • Information about the current textbook(s), including title, author, publisher, and cost of a new copy
  • Statement of concern in no more than 500 words, stating:
    • their interest in identifying alternatives to traditional textbooks
    • their plan to review and select an open access textbook, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resource as an alternative textbook
  • Ability to use the alternative textbook in academic year 2018/19
  • Reusability beyond the initial semester

Review Procedure and Criteria:

Criteria to be considered include:

  • Strength of the statement of concern
  • Estimated potential savings to students in the course
  • Ability to use the alternative textbook in academic year 2018/19
  • Reusability beyond the initial semester

Post-Award Requirements:

Grant recipients will receive a link to an online form and have to provide the following information on the form:

  • a description of the open access textbook, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resource selected as the alternative textbook
  • the number of students enrolled in the course taught with the alternative textbook
  • estimated student savings
  • an evaluation of their experience of identifying and using the alternative textbook

If a grant recipient has created original learning material for their course, the recipient will agree to make the material freely available online with a Creative Commons license of their choice via UK’s institutional repository (UKnowledge).  UK Libraries will provide assistance with the use of Creative Commons licenses and the deposit of the material in UKnowledge. 

Outcomes of the Program will be shared with the UK community through various media outlets. 

Alternative Textbook Grant Program Contacts:

Adrian Ho
Director of Digital Scholarship
University of Kentucky Libraries

Mary Beth Thomson
Senior Associate Dean
University of Kentucky Libraries