Interested in stipend funding to explore new resources for your teaching? Want to reduce costs for your students? The Bell Library invites applications for a competitive stipend program to adopt, adapt, or create free alternatives to expensive textbooks.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible alternatives to traditional textbooks. OERs empower faculty to innovate pedagogically, enhance access for TAMU-CC students to high-quality, tailored educational materials, and reduce the financial burden of expensive textbooks. The Bell Library’s Zero Textbook Cost program wants to fund your ideas for an OER or other textbook alternative in your class. Whether you’re interested in adopting an existing textbook or designing a next-generation package of online resources and videos, the Zero Textbook Cost program can fund your great idea with a stipend between $1,000 and $3,500 (larger stipends may be available for larger-scale and impact projects, which would include group projects). The following criteria will be prioritized: high enrollment classes, if the applying faculty member has not previously participated in this stipend program, and if a faculty member is applying from a department that has previously not engage in OER.
You can read more about the Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) program and review our call for proposals below or you can contact us with questions at: OER@tamucc.edu
We look forward to hearing from you!
|September 1||Call for Proposals Opens|
|September 13||Informational Session: 2nd Floor of Library @ 2:30 PM|
Informational Session: Zoom Recording
|October 13||Call for Proposals Closes|
|November 1||Awardees Announced|
|December 7||Required Orientation for Awardees|
|January and February||Optional cohort meetings|
|March||Awardees meet with OER Working Group|
|May 15||Progress Report Due|
|July 15||Deadline to submit materials|
|2024-2025 Academic Year||ZTC Courses Taught, assessment of OER implemented|
As part of the initiatives designed to help students reduce the expense of textbooks as part of their university education and make it easier for faculty to explore and create new resources for their teaching, the Bell Library is inviting TAMU-CC faculty to apply for stipends to adopt, adapt, or create free open alternatives to today’s expensive textbooks. Ranging between $1,000 and $3,500, the competitive Zero Textbook Cost stipends will be awarded to help faculty pursue innovative uses of technology and information resources that can replace pricey traditional textbooks. Larger stipends may be available for larger-scale or especially high-impact projects. Proposals submitted by faculty with high-enrollment classes, as well as faculty that have not participated in previous stipends or Open Education Resource (OER) Communities of Projects will be prioritized.
From January 2000 to June 2022, college textbook prices increased by 162%. These runaway prices have become a major strain on students, with students spending around $340 annually based on recent Student Watch and Student Monitor surveys and according to 2018 survey, 64.2% of students surveyed did not purchase the required text because of its cost.
Stipends are available to develop textbook alternatives for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 semesters. Possible approaches include:
Creating a new open textbook or collection of materials
Adopting an existing open textbook
Assembling a collection of open resources into new course materials
Using subscribed library resources
As faculty work on their proposals, Bell Librarians and DLAI staff are available to collaborate and to share expertise in copyright, licensing, open access, course management software and tools, electronic reserves, subject-matter content, and multimedia resources.
The Bell Library will hold several informational sessions about the project in September. Faculty can learn more about the project, review the call for proposals, sign up form information sessions, and complete stipend applications at the OER website.
There will be two informational sessions held, one on Wednesday, September 13th at 2:30 pm in Bell Library, and one on Thursday, September 28th at 10 am via Zoom. If you have questions about the Zero Textbook Cost program, or you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact OER@tamucc.edu.
Redesign your course to incorporate an open textbook. The textbook can be adopted as-is or remixed (rearranged, edited, or combined with other materials) to better fit class topics and presentation order. The textbook must be the required textbook -OR- there must be no required textbook. Awardees agree to use free resources during the 2024-2025 academic year and participate in the assessment provided by Bell Library.
TAMU-CC instructors of record (faculty and adjuncts) are eligible for funding at the course and/or section level (i.e., could be all sections of a program of instruction, or just section/s under the applicant’s control).
Funded projects must reduce the learning materials cost of the targeted course to zero. Projects which incorporate a learning platform that costs students money to access, even a low-cost platform based on open educational resources, do not qualify. The syllabus for the course may neither require nor recommend a textbook which must be purchased.
Proposals to purchase commercial electronic versions of textbooks, rentals of textbooks, or adoption proposals for courses that have already adopted open materials do not qualify for a stipend.
Applications can be submitted between September 1 and October 13, 2023. Complete submissions will be evaluated by the Bell Library OER Working Group and awardees will be contacted on or before November, 1 2023. Awardees will be selected based on the narrative responses to the proposal questions, as well as:
Impact: strong consideration will be given to projects that offer the highest potential savings to TAMU-CC students (based on enrollment and current course material costs)
Quality and strength of the application and how well it meets requirements (see rubric below)
Accessibility of resource/s implemented and/or delivered
Sustainability of the resource beyond initial use
Applicant has not previously participated in this stipend program
Applicant from a department that has previously not engaged in OER
Applications will be reviewed based on the rubric (see below)
Awardees are expected to comply with several provisions designed to ensure that faculty undertaking projects are sufficiently familiar with OER and that the materials selected are openly licensed or available via the library. Awardees also are required to provide feedback to inform assessment of the stipend initiative. Specific requirements are addressed in the project MOA. Generally, awardees agree to:
Attend required orientation (December Reading Day)
Complete the Texas OER Learn modules and receive the certificate
Meet with OER working group in March
Submit progress report by May 15, 2024
Apply an OER-compatible Creative Commons license to the final product (if adapting or creating OER)
Provide finalized product/s for deposit into TAMU-CC Repository (if adapting or creating OER).
Ensure that all materials meet WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.
Submit all deliverables by July 15, 2024
Teach with ZTC materials during 2024-2025 academic year and participate in assessment provided by Bell Library
Stipend funding is dispensed as salary (subject to taxation) and is issued directly via payroll upon completion of the project. Upon acceptance, the applicant will be informed via email and provided with a draft Letter of Award and an invitation to schedule a meeting to discuss it with library representatives so that all parties understand expectations and commitments. Projects aren’t formally launched until the Letter of Award is signed by the applicant(s).
Please rank the overall proposal on a scale from 1-5:
1 = poor quality, 2 = low quality, 3 = solid quality, 4 = high quality, 5 = outstanding quality
Pedagogical Innovation: Does the proposal describe materials that do something innovative, that a traditional textbook could not?
Impact: Does the proposal describe materials that will benefit many students at TAMU-CC (based on enrollment and current course material costs) and/or benefit students and instructors across the field at many institutions? Consider the sustainability over multiple courses and multiple semesters.
Don’t know/didn’t answer
Write in option:
Ability to Succeed: Does the proposal describe materials that could reasonably be created or adopted for the 2024-2025 academic year? Does it adequately describe logistics and identify resources within or beyond the Library that can help the instructor meet any challenges posed by the proposal such as technical needs, licensing support, etc.
Don’t know/didn’t answer
Write in option:
Please rank all proposals based on their priority for funding and what level of funding is appropriate:
$1,000 a small pilot project
$2,000 a large, innovative, or high-impact project
$3,500 an outstanding project that will serve many students or significantly advance pedagogy
Group A: These proposals should definitely be funded:
Group B: These proposals should be funded if resources are available, in rank order:
Group C: These proposals need more work before we are comfortable funding them: