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Alternative Textbook Grants

Alternative Textbook Grants
FSU Libraries' Alternative Textbook Grants support FSU instructors in replacing commercial textbooks with open alternatives or library licensed ebooks that are available to students at no cost. Open textbooks are written by experts, peer-reviewed and published under flexible copyright licenses so that they can be downloaded, distributed, and adapted for free.
Successful applicants will receive training and consultations to assist them in implementing their alternative textbook. The Alt-Textbook team will notify successful applicants within two weeks of each application deadline. Project timelines may vary but must be completed within 18 months of the date that each grant is awarded.
Upcoming deadlines: October 1st, 2019 (for spring and summer on-campus courses) and February 1st, 2020 (for summer and fall courses).
NOTE: Interested instructors are encouraged to review the grant requirements and submit an online application form.
International Programs Grants
FSU Libraries partners with International Programs and our international study centers to offer ten grants of $1000 for main campus instructors that are teaching at our international study centers (five grants per application period) and six grants of $1000 for instructors based at each of our European study center locations (three grants per application period). Additionally, the Republic of Panama will offer two grants of $1000 for instructors based at FSU Panama. Please see the International Programs OER Grants page and application for information specific to applicants teaching on International Programs. 
The deadline for courses taught at our international study centers is November 15th, 2019. 

The 35 instructors who participated in previous rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grants program are expected to save FSU students up to $437,000 by Spring 2020. Studies show students have similar or increased success and engagement in courses with open materials. Openly licenses materials support academic freedom and learning outcomes, allowing instructors and students to contribute to knowledge exchange in new, meaningful ways.

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 semester in which they submitted their application (i.e., Fall 2018 or Spring 2019):
    1. Getting Started with Open Educational Resources (OER)
    2. From OER to Open Pedagogy
  2. Meet with the Alt-Textbook team 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. 


Camille Thomas, Scholarly Communication Librarian

Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian

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