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Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources): Alternative Textbook Grant 2019

This guide provides an overview of alternative textbooks (open educational resources) and offers assistance with finding, adopting, and creating them. © 2019 University of Kentucky Libraries. Licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0.

Alternative Textbook Grant Program 2019

Over two dozen proposals were submitted to the Alternative Textbook Grant Program 2019 and the University Senate Library Committee has concluded the evaluation of them.  The University of Kentucky Libraries is pleased to announce that the following applicants will be awarded grants for the adoption or creation of alternative textbooks for their courses.  

Grant Recipients (Sorted by Last Name) Department and College
Whitney Blackburn-Lynch Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering
Andrew Byrd and Brenna Byrd Departments of Linguistics and Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures & Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences
Arthur Cammers, Susan Odom, and Ashley Steelman Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
RayeCarol Cavender Department of Retailing and Tourism Management, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Pam Henderson Department of Communication, College of Communication and Information
Hyun Ju Jeong

Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, College of Communication and Information

Kevin B. McGowan Department of Linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences
Sara Police Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, College of Medicine
Erin Richard Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences
Leslie K. Scott College of Nursing

 

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The University of Kentucky Libraries invites faculty to apply for a grant in support of replacing traditional commercial textbooks with affordable learning materials.  A total of 10 grants will be awarded to successful applicants who propose to use open 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 (see the tabs above the page title)
  • Consulting your academic liaisons

Ready to apply?  Click here to access the proposal form.  Applications are accepted from March 4, 2019 through April 1, 2019

Program Objectives:

The goals of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program are:

  • Ensure students’ timely access to required learning materials for academic success;
  • Reduce students’ financial burdens caused by traditional textbooks;
  • Provide support for faculty interested in adopting open textbooks, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources as alternative textbooks for their courses; OR
  • Provide support for faculty interested in creating new open course content as alternative textbooks for their courses (with at least 50% of the content being newly created by the grant recipient)

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that prices of college textbooks soared 88% from January 2006 to July 2016. According to the Student PIRGs, “sixty-five percent of students have skipped buying a textbook at some point because of cost, and each year, $3 billion of federal student aid goes to pay for textbooks.”

As a result, federal and state governments as well as higher education institutions across the nation have promoted the use of open educational resources (OER) to enhance students’ access to required learning materials and make higher education more affordable.  The North Dakota Office of the State Auditor has reported that the use of OER in the state university system has “saved students an estimated $1.1 million to $2.4 million” between Fall 2014 and Fall 2017.  In addition, according to a research study, “a strong majority of students and teachers believe that OER are as good or better than traditional textbooks.” 

To support student success, UK Libraries is committed to working with faculty to identify and provide access to affordable replacements for traditional textbooks.  In addition to financial support, UK Libraries’ academic liaisons will be available for consultation on identifying open textbooks, free course content, and UK Libraries’ licensed information resources.  Assistance with the selection of a suitable platform for content delivery will be available to grant recipients who aim to create new open course content. 

Eligibility:

  • UK instructors, including faculty, adjunct faculty, and lecturers
  • UK instructors who will be teaching a course in the academic year 2019/20 and are currently assigning a traditional textbook for the course 

Grant Categories:

  1. Adoption of existing open textbooks, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources: Each successful applicant will receive a grant of $1,500.  
  2. Creation of new open course content (with at least 50% of the content being newly created) in a format (PDF file, Web site, multimedia material, etc.) deemed most appropriate for pedagogical purposes: Each successful applicant will receive a grant of $2,500. 

Please note that no more than 10 grants in total will be awarded regardless of the fund amount allocated to each grant. 

Deadline:

  • Proposals are due on April 1, 2019
  • All proposals will be reviewed by the University Senate Library Committee and grant funding awarded in early summer of 2019. 

Proposal Application Process:

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

  • Course information, including title, number, enrollment, and semester(s) in which the course will be offered in academic year 2019/20
  • Information about the currently assigned traditional textbook(s), including title, author, publisher, and cost of a new copy
  • Specification of the grant category being applied for
  • Statement of concern in no more than 500 words, addressing:
    • Interest in using an alternative to a traditional textbook(s)
    • For Grant Category 1 applicants only: A plan to identify, review, and select an open textbook, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resource as an alternative textbook
    • For Grant Category 2 applicants only: A plan to develop and create new open course content (with at least 50% of the content being newly created), and specification of the content format (PDF file, Web site, multimedia material, etc.)
  • Readiness of the alternative textbook for use in academic year 2019/20
  • Reusability beyond the initial semester (by the applicant themselves and/or by other instructors)

Review Procedure and Criteria:

The University Senate Library Committee will review all proposals based on these criteria:

  • Strength of the statement of concern
  • Estimated potential savings to students enrolled in the course taught with the proposed alternative textbook
  • Readiness of the alternative textbook for use in academic year 2019/20
  • Reusability beyond the initial semester (by the applicant themselves and/or by other instructors)

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

Post-Award Requirements:

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

  • For Grant Category 1 recipients only: A description of the open textbook, free course content, and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resource selected as the alternative textbook
  • For Grant Category 2 recipients only: A description of the newly created open course content **  
  • The number of students enrolled in the course taught with the grant-funded alternative textbook
  • Estimated student savings
  • An evaluation of the experience of identifying (or creating) and using the alternative textbook

To assist UK Libraries in better understanding students’ perceptions of alternative textbooks, grant recipients will agree to forward a UK Libraries online evaluation form of alternative textbooks to the students enrolled in the courses taught with the grant-funded alternative textbooks in the academic year 2019/20.

** For Grant Category 2 recipients, they will agree to make their new open course content 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 open course content in UKnowledge. 

 

Questions about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program should be directed to:

Adrian Ho
Director of Digital Scholarship
University of Kentucky Libraries

Mary Beth Thomson
Senior Associate Dean
University of Kentucky Libraries