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Alternative Textbook Grants

The cost of college textbooks has risen at 300% the rate of inflation since 1978, with a 90% cost increase over the last decade alone. Students increasingly report not purchasing textbooks due to high costs, a trend which is widely recognized to negatively impact student learning outcomes. To address these concerns, FSU Libraries are offering Alternative Textbook grants to support faculty and instructors in their efforts to replace commercial textbooks with open alternatives that are available at no cost to students. For information on the winners of the first round of grants in March 2017, see this press release.  
Starting in September 2017, ten grants of $1000 each are available for FSU faculty or instructors who are interested in adopting or remixing open textbooks and educational resources to replace commercial course materials. Proposals to replace commercial materials with Library-licensed electronic books or journal articles will also be considered. Proposals for adoptions in high-enrollment courses (defined as the top 10% of FSU courses by headcount enrollment) will be eligible to receive up to $3,000. Applicants should review the information below before completing the online application form. 
Additionally, FSU Libraries is partnering with International Programs to offer five grants of $1000 for faculty who have been selected to teach on an FSU International Program during Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Spring 2019. Please see the International Programs OER Grants page and application for information specific to applicants teaching on International Programs. 
Completed application forms are due Friday, February 16, 2018. The Alt-Textbook team will notify successful applicants by Friday, March 2, 2018. Project timelines may vary but must be completed by end of May 2019.

Alternative Textbook Grants

Requirements for applicants:

  1. Identify the open textbook or educational resources that you will use to replace your current textbook or course materials. Good places to search for OER include OpenStax College, the Open Textbook Library, BCcampusOER Commons, and MERLOT. You can also search across these and other sources using the GMU OER Metafinder. (Contact your subject librarian for search help.)
  2. Obtain a letter of support from your department chair or school/college dean, to confirm that replacing your current textbook will not contravene any applicable policies.
  3. Complete the online application form by the deadline.

Requirements for grant recipients:

Successful grant recipients will:

  1. View two workshops (one hour each) by the end of the Spring 2018 semester:
    1. Getting Started with Open Educational Resources (OER)
    2. From OER to Open Pedagogy
  2. Meet with the Alt-Textbook team by the end of the Spring 2018 semester to develop a timeline of deliverables, implementation plan, and assessment tools
  3. Promote your work by providing the Alt-Textbook team with press-worthy updates and giving a presentation to colleagues in your department or school/college
  4. Provide feedback about the grant program and suggestions for how it could be improved for future applicants

Application Evaluation Rubric

Alt-Textbook grant applications will be evaluated using a rubric that balances the following criteria to prioritize impact and collaboration:

  1. Estimated savings to FSU students
  2. Openness of proposed content, with openly licensed content given preference over library-licensed materials
  3. Inclusion of a clear plan to assess student learning outcomes
  4. Potential for proposed content to be adopted by other courses or sections 
  5. Departmental commitment (i.e., letter of support from department chair or dean)
  6. Feasibility of project being implemented by end of the 2018-19 academic year

Distribution of Grant Funds

Funds will be distributed for professional travel expenses, technology, or software following procedures outlined in a memorandum of understanding between FSU Libraries and the successful applicants. 


Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian

Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian

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