Open Textbook Grants

The open textbook grant initiative provides a financial incentive for Western Michigan University faculty and instructors to switch from traditional expensive textbooks to high-quality, free open textbooks.

Congratulations to the May 2022 grant recipients!

Creation Grant

  • Dr. Leah Omilion-Hodges and Dr. Annette Hamel, COMM 3350 – Leadership Communication
  • Dr. Mercedes Tubino-Blanco, SPAN 2000 – Intermediate Spanish and SPAN 2010 – Intermediate Spanish II

Adoption Grant

  • Dr. Jennifer Bott, MGMT 2500 – Organizational Behavior
  • Kyle Jehnzen, AVS 3220 – Global Navigational and International Flight Planning
  • Kyle Jehnzen and Jessica Birnbaum, AVS 2120 – Aviation Meteorology
  • Dr. Robert Makin, ECE 3800 – Probabilistic Methods of Signal and System Analysis
  • Dr. Tiffany Schriever, BIOS 5515 – Wetland Ecology
  • Dr. Wuwei Shen, CS 4610 – Reusable Software Architectures
  • Dr. Li Yang, GEOG 3100 – Introduction to Tourism
  • Dr. Zee-Sun Yun, FCS 2050 – Topics in Family and Consumer Sciences, Digital Retailing (Spring 2023) and FCS 3290 – Promotion in the Merchandising Environment (Fall 2022) 

Background

Colleges and universities have developed open textbooks and course content in response to concerns about the affordability of traditional textbooks. Textbook prices have risen 1,041% since 1977, higher than medical costs and the Consumer Price Index.

Many students who can’t afford their textbooks have found a simple, but concerning solution—they don’t buy them. According to research sponsored by Florida Virtual Campus in 2018, 64% of students did not purchase a required textbook. In addition, 42% of students took fewer courses and 22% dropped a course due to textbook costs. Open textbooks and course content provide an alternative to expensive textbooks.

Adoption Grant

Watch for another Adoption Grant opportunity coming soon.

The Adoption Grant encourages WMU faculty and instructors to adopt an open textbook or open course content. Adopting an open educational resource not only provides cost savings to students but also allows customization of content to meet your students' learning needs. It can also be specifically tailored to your teaching style and course development needs.

  • Application process

    Submit an application for the adoption grant which demonstrates how a textbook that students were previously required to purchase will be replaced with an openly licensed resource or combination of openly licensed resources and library options, such as course reserves or use of library-provided ebooks.

  • Participation requirements

    If selected, you must commit to the following:

    1. Meet with the Scholarly Communications Librarian
    2. Provide a syllabus for the course(s) for which you are adopting an open educational resource in lieu of a commercial textbook.
    3. Complete a survey on your experience after teaching the class using the open resource.
    4. Ask your students to complete an optional survey about their experience with OER.
  • Eligible expenses and disbursement of funds

    The use of funds is entirely at the discretion of the grant recipient.

    Funds will be disbursed upon completion of the project. Funds can be paid to individuals (taxed) or deposited into research accounts which must be used according to the WMU Research Acceleration Program (WRAP) policy.

  • Criteria for evaluating proposals

    Applications will be evaluated based on cost savings, as well as the number of students potentially impacted.

    Grant applications for undergraduate courses with high enrollment will receive priority consideration.

Creation Grant

Watch for another Creation Grant opportunity coming soon.

The Creation Grant supports WMU faculty and instructors in the creation of an original, openly licensed textbook. Creating an open educational resource not only provides your students with high-quality learning content but it helps students everywhere. Developing resources with this level of reach and impact can be a valuable addition to your professional profile.

  • Application process

    Submit an application for the creation grant which articulates your plan to develop an openly licensed book and any supplemental materials for an existing course at WMU, including the following: 

    1. Describe your experience teaching the course for which you are creating the OER or open text.  
    2. Explain how your OER creation will impact student success, including potential financial savings for students. 
    3. Project description and goals: Provide a detailed description of your project, including information about the course and why OER may be appropriate to use. 
    4. Justification for creating a new OER: Demonstrate that quality OER are not currently available to meet learning objectives. Attach additional documentation as needed. Examples include searches in OER repositories, evidence of review of existing OER materials, etc.  
    5. Provide an accessibility statement: how will the new OER be accessible for students with disabilities.  
    6. Articulate an assessment plan of the impact and effectiveness of the OER on student learning 
    7. Provide a sustainability plan after the end of the project.  
    8. Provide a project timeline. The project should be completed within 18 months of the announcement of the award.  
    9. Inclusion of a statement of support from the department chair is strongly encouraged.  
  • Participation requirements

    If selected, you must commit to the following:

    1. Meet with the Scholarly Communications Librarian to go over project plans.
    2. Plan to implement the resource in class for at least two semesters.
    3. Submit a mid-progress report and final report.
    4. Publish the OER with a Creative Commons license.
    5. House the OER in WMU’s institutional repository, ScholarWorks.
    6. Oversight and submission of a student survey of experience with the resource.
    7. Share experience and outcomes for development for future OER creation.
  • Eligible expenses and disbursement of funds

    The grant program is intended to compensate awardees for the time invested in writing, creating and developing a new open text, as well as supplementary materials (such as test banks, homework assignments and laboratory manuals). Funds may also be used to purchase necessary software for the project or to pay for outside consultation, research assistance, etc.

    Funds will be disbursed upon completion of the project unless applicants make a case for needing funds for expenses to be incurred during the development process. Funds can be paid to individuals (taxed) or deposited into research accounts which must be used according to the WMU Research Acceleration Program (WRAP) policy.

  • Criteria for evaluating proposals

    Proposals will be evaluated using a rubric that balances the following criteria:

    1. Articulates the potential impact on students, including student savings.
    2. Prioritizes subjects where few existing open resources are currently available.
    3. Shows impact for a significant number of students.
    4. Includes a clear project narrative and goals.
    5. Plans for accessibility, universal design and user experience.
    6. Provides a clear timeline for completion of the project.
    7. Addresses cultural relevance/inclusiveness.
    8. Articulates the plans for assessment of the impact and effectiveness of the OER on student learning.
    9. Provides for sustainability after the end of the project.

Questions about the grants?

  • Ask Michele Behr

    Our scholarly communications and open educational resources librarian is here to answer any questions you might have about either open textbook grant.

    Email Michele

Learn more about OER

Check out our site to learn what OER is, where to find it, how to adapt and create it, and more.