Thanks to a spring 2015 collaboration between the University Libraries and the Office of the Provost, $1,000 stipends to incentivize faculty to develop open educational resources were awarded to promote the use of low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials for the fall 2015 semester.
The winners of the grants for the Fall 2015 semester were:
- Robert Anemone, Professor and Department Head, Anthropology;
- Heather Helms, Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies;
- Channelle D. James, Lecturer, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism;
- Liz McNamara, Lecturer, Political Science;
- Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Development;
- Nancy Myers and Brenta Blevins (working together), College Writing Program Director and Assistant Director, English;
- Terence A. Nile, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry;
- Elizabeth Perrill, Associate Professor, Art;
- Jennifer Reich, Associate Director/Lecturer, CASA/Art;
- Kelly L. Wester, Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Development.
A wide variety of subject areas and course levels were represented, with a total student enrollment of 1,918. For the fall 2015 semester, there was an aggregate savings of $150,000. For a Survey of Non-Western Art course of 215 students, the textbook cost was $171.00 new. Using open educational resources saved students $36,765 for that one course. When a three-year project in English 101 is implemented, there will be a total savings of $214,470 and an ROI of $204,470.
Faculty comments included, “The resources I found are much better than the textbooks, and the students can do more with them,” and, “My class asked if we were going to have a textbook for the course, and when I told them we would use alternative resources, the entire class applauded.” Students responded with comments such as, “Keep doing this please, for I’m a broke college student,” and “I thought that the resources were very organized for the course and easy to access. I felt I studied more effectively with these resources, and I greatly appreciate the way they were organized. It was easier to follow than a traditional textbook.”
To learn more about this pilot project and its outcomes, please visit the UNCG University Libraries’ Scholarly Communications and Data Services blog article, “Ten UNCG Professors Save Students $150,000 in Textbook Costs with $10,000 in Pilot Project Mini Grants” (January 27, 2016).
In June 2016, the UNCG University Libraries and East Carolina University’s Joyner Library were awarded a joint grant that will continue to award stipends to help faculty use alternative resources in their courses. Librarians at both institutions will work with departmental faculty to reduce students’ textbook costs and increase academic engagement. In addition, they will identify required texts that either the library already owns or can purchase as e-books that students may use in addition to or instead of a printed copy that they purchase.
The grant is part of the Library Services and Technology Act and is made possible through funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, a Federal grant-making agency. It is administered through State Library of North Carolina, a Division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Including matching funds from both universities, the total cost of the two-year project is $184,332.
Please visit the July 11, 2016 press release from the UNCG University Libraries to learn more about the grant.
The University Libraries also joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN), which promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. OTN will be on campus in fall 2016 to provide training for librarians and faculty.
If you are interested in learning more about Open Educational Resources, please visit UNCG University Libraries’ OER LibGuide or contact Beth Bernhardt, Assistant Dean for Collection Management and Scholarly Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.