WMU Libraries awards 12 grants for open textbook adoptions

Posted by Angela Brcka on

Twelve Western Michigan University faculty and instructors have been awarded $1,000 grants from the University Libraries to adopt open textbooks and content for their 2022 courses.

Open textbooks are high-quality educational resources licensed to allow instructors to use and adapt the content, and students to access them for free online. Grant recipients will replace higher-cost traditional textbooks and adopt open textbooks with support from the grant.

Spring 2022 grant recipients

  • Manuel Bautista, Department of Physics
  • Zbigniew Chajecki, Department of Physics
  • Betty D. Dennis, School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs
  • Jeremy Duncan, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Beth Kozbial Ernst, Department of Business Information Systems
  • Christopher A. Hoffmann, Department of Physics
  • Michelle Hrivnyak, Anthropology
  • Chien-Juh Gu, Department of Sociology
  • Gary Marquardt, African American and African Studies
  • John Miller, Department of Chemistry
  • Gail Rouscher, College of Aviation
  • Li Yang, Department of Computer Science

More about open educationAL resources and textbooks

Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license. This permits them to be freely used, changed and shared with others. OER includes everything from images and videos to textbooks and course curriculums.

Faculty at 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 educational resources, including open textbooks, provide an alternative to expensive textbooks.

Instructors interested in using open textbooks or other open educational resources (OER) in their courses are encouraged to contact their subject librarian or the OER Task Force for support. Visit our Open Educational Resources site to learn more.