Western Michigan University Libraries offers $1,000 grants for adopting open textbooks for courses.
The University Libraries will award up to 10 grants to faculty and instructors who adopt an open textbook or open course content for their course. The grant initiative provides a financial incentive for faculty and instructors to switch from traditional expensive textbooks to high-quality, free open textbooks.
Colleges and universities have developed open textbooks and course content in response to concerns about the affordability of traditional textbooks. Textbook prices have risen 1041% 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 University 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.
Open textbooks have a Creative Commons license, which allows other instructors to use and adapt for their course and students to access them for free online.
- Call for proposals: Oct. 26, 2020
- Proposals due: Dec. 4, 2020
- Awardees notified: Dec. 21, 2020
Applicants must be teaching a summer or fall 2021, or spring 2022 course to be eligible. Grant applications for undergraduate courses with high enrollment will receive priority consideration.
Grant awardees can work with librarians to identify the best open textbook options for their course. They may also work with instructional designers from WMUx for support in altering their course.
Faculty interested in learning more about textbook alternatives are encouraged to attend workshops hosted by the University Libraries. Workshops will be offered in November 2020.
Funds can be paid to individuals (taxed) or into individual or departmental research funds.
For more information, please contact librarians:
January 2020 grant recipients
In January 2020, twenty-one faculty and instructors were awarded nineteen $1,000 grants from the Western Michigan University Libraries to adopt open textbooks and content for their courses. Based on the textbooks that will be replaced and course enrollment, adopting open textbooks for these courses has the potential total savings of over $800,000 for 4,400 WMU students in 2020.
- Jon D. Davis, Mathematics, College of Arts and Sciences
- Anthony DeFulio, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
- Michael Famiano, Physics, College of Arts and Sciences
- David Flanagan, Management, Haworth College of Business
- Guanyue Hong, Computer Science, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- Jennifer Klauth, Mandy Cox, and Marian Tripplett, Social Work, College of Health and Human Services
- Megan Kowalske, Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences
- Anita Li, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
- Colin MacCreery, Computer Science, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- Adam Matthews, Geography, College of Arts and Sciences
- Leah Omilion-Hodges, Communication, College of Arts and Sciences
- Nicholas Padilla, Geography, College of Arts and Sciences
- Anna Popkova, Communication, College of Arts and Sciences
- Doris Ravotas, Interdisciplinary Health Programs, College of Health and Human Services
- John Saillant, History, College of Arts and Sciences
- Wuwei Shen, Computer Science, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- Mercedes Tubino-Blanco, Spanish, College of Arts and Sciences
- Inna Voytsekhivska, Accountancy, Haworth College of Business
- Michelle Weemhoff, Social Work, College of Health and Human Service