The high cost of textbooks is one of the factors that affects student learning outcomes and student success. Students avoid certain classes, drop a class, or do poorly when they cannot afford the text for a course.
The Open Textbook Faculty Incentive Program supports undergraduate students by creating incentives for teaching faculty to develop alternative lower-cost educational materials rather than high-cost textbooks. Open Educational Resources (OER) are “teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use. Generally, this permission is granted by use of an open license (for example, Creative Commons licenses) which allows anyone to freely use, adapt and share the resource—anytime, anywhere" (SPARC).
Sponsored by the University Library and Office of the Provost, the library is pleased to announce a new round of OER funding for 2023-25. Tenure-line and specialized faculty teaching undergraduates are eligible to submit proposals for the creation of open textbooks for adoption in their courses. (Select academic professionals may also apply with a letter of support from their unit head.) Selected authors will be part of a cohort who will participate in spring workshops targeted towards relevant topics such as copyright and accessibility as they begin their work.
Interested instructors/authors will be required to submit a proposal (see below for additional details).
The deadline for 2023-2024 applications has passed. The next round of applications will be announced later in 2024.
The award will provide up to $6,000 per proposal for a new openly licensed textbook. In unusual cases, if a book serves multiple large-enrollment courses in a sequence and has at least two authors, then the award may be up to $10,000. The exact amount of funding may depend on the nature of the project and the extent of work to be done. The award will be distributed in two payments according to the award timeline below.
The resulting textbook should meet the following criteria:
Additionally, the textbook will generally fall into one of two publication categories:
Selected awardees will sign an MOU outlining these expectations as well as agreement for participation in the activities described in the award timeline.
Throughout the timeline, authors can draw on experts from the University Library and partners at DRES and CITL on issues related to copyright, accessibility, use of Pressbooks, and (if needed) audiovisual production.
OER award funding will be transferred from the Library to a departmental CFOP, and from there they may be used at the recipient’s discretion, including for summer salary to work on the project, student assistants, or other project expenses. In select instances, the second half of the award may be released earlier if the author(s) clearly document its use for hiring a student assistant for the project or other necessary project expense, with timing dependent on the nature of the expense.
The deadline for submission of proposals will be November 15, 2023. Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of faculty, librarians, and administrators. Selected awardees will be notified in January 2025. Email proposals to the Scholarly Communication and Publishing unit of the University Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions and expressions of interest may be sent to the same address.