Have you adopted Open Educational Resources (OER)* or, in some other way, significantly lowered the cost of course materials or textbooks in this current semester or in a previous one? Or do you know a colleague who has?
If so, consider nominating yourself or colleague(s) for a $1000 Consortium Library Affordable Course Materials Award. We intend to present up to 10 awards in 2021. For collaborative projects, each contributing member is eligible to receive up to $1000. The purpose of the award is two fold. First, we’d like to recognize faculty who have made sustainable cost reductions for students. The second purpose is to encourage faculty to get the cost of materials as close to zero as possible.
In an environment of rapidly-rising costs in higher education, easing the financial burden felt by students is critical to their success. A significant part of that burden is the increasing costs of textbooks and course materials. In addition to the financial benefits for students, affordable content encourages a better educational experience in which all students have access to materials on the first day of class, regardless of their financial circumstances. Some affordable alternatives, namely OER, also increase retention, improve GPA, and ease the pathway to graduation (Colvard, et al.). The use of OER also increases opportunities for creative pedagogical approaches by instructors.
Faculty may directly impact textbook costs for students by forgoing commercial textbooks in favor of OER, Consortium Library resources, freely available web-based materials, instructor-designed course materials, and other low- or no-cost resources. The Library Advisory Committee and the Consortium Library support these efforts.
To nominate yourself or others, complete the nomination survey by March 15, 2021. Preference will be given to applicants who haven’t previously received this award.
The committee will consider the following:
On a related matter, are you interested in transitioning your course(s) to OER or other no-cost materials? Visit UAA Textbook Affordability to apply for the upcoming Textbook Affordability Fellowship program. This program provides faculty with funding and support for these transitions.
Sam Cook, Chair
Library Advisory Committee
* OER refers to “teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use” (SPARC).