The UC Berkeley community creates a vast array of knowledge and educational content, including thousands of journal articles, books, data sets, and other scholarly projects each year. UC Berkeley authors, like those throughout the University of California campuses, take to heart the university’s public research mission, and aim to make these materials broadly available, not just to researchers and students here, but to anyone around the world. The push for improved access to the research record is what led to the adoption of UC’s two open access policies, which help ensure that journal articles authored by UC Berkeley scholars can be made available to the public for free, without any financial, legal, or technical barriers to readership other than gaining access to the Internet, itself.
Headway with open access journal articles
Within the publishing enterprise, the creation of journal articles is a foundational activity for many faculty, as the UC conducts nearly ten percent of the academic research and development activity in the United States. So, it is not surprising that for authors writing journal articles, there are a variety of ways to make their research open access. For instance, UC’s open access policies guarantee that UC authors can deposit their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts into eScholarship, our institutional repository, where the articles may be read by anyone for free.
Another way the UC has been furthering open access is by negotiating transformative agreements with scholarly journal publishers (like the one with Cambridge University Press). These new arrangements repurpose the funds the library typically spends on subscriptions to instead subsidize publication costs—over timing shifting the bulk of payments to cover publishing rather than access to content, as more and more of that content becomes free to read.
Other local programs, such as the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII), provide funding to help UC Berkeley authors pay for article processing charges that are sometimes required to publish in fully open access journals. (These up-front fees serve to replace revenue the publisher would have generated through library subscriptions.) In 2018-2019 the Library was able to defray the article processing charges for more than fifty UC Berkeley authors looking to publish in fully open access journals.
Ensuring books don’t get left behind
But for some disciplines, the scientific journal takes a back seat to other types of outputs such as scholarly monographs (a fancy term for books). In areas such as the arts, humanities, and social sciences, communicating knowledge through book form is just as common, and just as relevant, to scholarship.
Significantly, the audience for monographs is not just other faculty: Monographs form a key component of what gets assigned for student reading in university classrooms. Assigning open textbooks instead of commercial offerings can be a big help to students’ bank accounts. Some college textbooks cost over $200, and prices have risen 88% in the last decade. Rice University’s OpenStax has produced dozens of open textbooks, and recently reported that in 2019 alone, nearly 3 million students will save an estimated $233 million by using its open textbooks. The benefits of open access textbooks extend beyond just cost savings for students, though. When books are made available under open licenses that permit broad reuse, instructors may continually build upon, improve, and re-share these educational materials. And authors can communicate with diverse audiences and begin to address inequities in access to knowledge, as translations or localized and contextualized versions can be developed and used.
There’s no discrepancy in the overall quality or effectiveness of open textbooks versus traditional ones. A recent study confirmed previous research showing that students learn just as well from open textbooks as with commercial texts. Likewise, university presses follow the same peer review and editorial processes for the online versions of monographs as they do for the print versions. The only change, and benefit, is that the final text is available for free to read.
So, it is clear that we have an imperative when it comes to open access books: How can we work to open up long-form scholarship to the world to mirror the strides we are making with journal articles?
Publishing books under open access terms is increasingly common, but still somewhat slow to tip the balance relative to book publishing overall. A recent report on the state of open access monographs found that there are around 19,000 open access books in total, even though approximately 86,000 scholarly monographs are published internationally every year. Part of the impediment for publishers is navigating how to recover their investment for the production of open access books, and the concern for libraries rests in how to sustain the publishers that take on these projects. This is because monographs are typically more complex and costly to produce than a journal article. A journal publisher might ask for an article processing charge of between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to make up for what it would have received in subscription sales. But publishers estimate that producing monographs costs them anywhere between $28,000 and $40,000 in production and marketing costs that they believe they can’t recoup without print sales.
The good news is that some emerging funding models are helping to bridge the cost recovery gap— including work by groups such as the Open Humanities Press, Knowledge Unlatched, and TOME. The University of California Press also supports the creation of open access books, too, through its Luminos initiative. In these and other models, production costs can be outsourced, and there are multiple funding streams (including fairly large subsidies from universities and libraries) that can offset some of the publisher investment. Some university presses are also finding that offering online versions of books actually drive up sales for print-on-demand copies. So, it shows we still have a lot to learn about actual costs and cost recovery with open access books.
UC Berkeley has got your open access book covered
For all of these reasons, the UC Berkeley Library is committed to supporting the creation of open access monographs. In 2017 the Library expanded the BRII program so that Berkeley authors could publish scholarly books open access at zero or substantially reduced costs—making these books free and accessible to readers here at Berkeley, and everywhere.
In just two years, we have now supported more than a dozen authors in the creation of open access books, with everything from copyright guidance to publishing platforms to funding. (You can read more about some of these efforts here.) And through BRII, we have already funded the publication of three UC Berkeley authored or edited open access monographs hitting the digital shelves now (or soon). These books are available for free online under a Creative Commons license (which allows a variety of reuses), and typically offer multiple formats for reading on various mobile devices. Readers that still wish to enjoy the book on paper can do that as usually there’s also a print copy available for purchase, or more affordable print-on-demand options.
We are thrilled to be able to support such cutting-edge and important UC Berkeley scholarship. For instance, #identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation, recently published by the University of Michigan Press, was edited by UC Berkeley’s Abigail De Kosnik (Associate Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance, and Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media) and Keith Feldman (Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies). #identity is made available for free in EPUB and PDF formats under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license, or for purchase on the University of Michigan Press website.
The book contains essays from scholars affiliated with UC Berkeley’s Color of New Media collective, and explores social media through the lens of social justice movement organizing, the adoption of hashtags in online communications, and the “ways in which Twitter has been used by, for, and against women, people of color, LGBTQ, and Global South communities.” Feldman describes the book as attempting to address foundational questions such as: “Is the field of new media studies presumptively white? What do scholars of color and communities of color think about the field, and what kinds of interventions can be made along the way?”
Even though the idea to publish #identity as an open access book came midway through the publication process, all the authors thought that opening the book for free access and download was a positive move. Keith mentioned that as most of the essay contributors were graduate students or postdocs, it gave them an opportunity to share their work quickly and effectively, and start building their scholarly reputation.
What Is a Family? Answers from Early Modern Japan was published just this week on the UC Press’ Luminos platform. It was authored by Mary Elizabeth Berry (Class of 1944 Professor of History Emerita at UC Berkeley) and Marcia Yonemoto (Professor of History at the University of Colorado Boulder). What Is a Family is made available for free in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) license, or for purchase on the Luminos website.
Finally, Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy will be published in 2020 by Ohio State University Press. It was written by Mario Telò, Professor of Classics at UC Berkeley, and will be open access upon publication.
Creating open textbooks with Pressbooks
Another way we’re supporting open access textbooks is through the UC Berkeley Open Book Publishing Platform. The platform runs on PressbooksEDU, an easy-to-use web publishing tool that lets authors design and publish books and open educational resources (OERs) online. Anyone with an active @berkeley.edu email can use this digital publishing software for free. Our office worked with UC Berkeley faculty during the 2017-2018 affordable course content pilot program to explore how instructors could shift from using traditional textbooks to using (or creating) open textbooks. We estimated that switching to open educational resources could save students more than $100 per course.
With grant funding, copyright, and publishing support from our office as part of our OER program, John Wallace, lecturer in the Japanese Department at UC Berkeley, was able to write and recently publish his new book, Interpreting Love Narratives in East Asian Literature and Film. It’s available as a PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) license.
Interpreting Love Narratives was, for John, an exercise in writing a book in a new way. He noted that many small traditional presses in the language fields are quite narrow in the form, length, and substance of monographs they will consider taking on. However, with the PressbooksEDU publishing format, John was able to find the freedom to write and organize a book to meet his own needs. One benefit to digital production and editing is that since contemporary fields like neuroscience are changing so fast, his book can be easily updated. “It’s liberated me to make statements based on scientific developments that at least I could do something about if the ship turned in a different direction,” said Wallace.
Improving affordability to student textbooks is a major reason John took on writing an open access book. In his Japanese grammar class, the books typically assigned to students cost anywhere from $50 to even $100. “I can’t do it. These students don’t have a lot of money,” he said. “So instead, I’m going to put together my own materials.”
Wallace sees a bright future for open access books. He thinks that open and online is going to be the primary format for how people are publishing things. “I can’t imagine given the costs and the process of the traditional system against the alacrity and agility and distribution power of open…I don’t see how it can’t be the winner in the long run.”
If you’re considering publishing an open access book and are seeking funding and guidance, or are an instructor looking to get involved in creating or adopting an open educational resource, please get in touch! Also, if you’re interested in learning how to use Pressbooks, check out the workshop on October 15. We are here to help bring your work to the widest possible audiences.
Publish Digital Books and Open Textbooks with Pressbooks
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 1:10 – 2:30 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)
The workshop is open to all students, faculty, and staff. Feel free to come with a project idea in mind, and please bring a laptop if possible.
On February 20, the Office of Scholarly Communication Services is offering a hands-on workshop to introduce students, faculty, and staff to Pressbooks, a free, easy, and elegant self-publishing platform that anyone can use to create a digital book (or any other online resource) in minutes. This workshop is offered as part of the Library’s ongoing efforts to support and promote the creation and use of open and affordable course materials on campus (read more about our course affordability pilot programs, events, and workshops).
Do you have material you’ve been wanting to publish online, but aren’t sure how to get started or what tool to use? Come to our workshop to see Pressbooks in action and start working on your own project. By the end of the workshop, you can have a beautiful book published online! Working on a non-book project? You can also use Pressbooks to publish a chapter, white paper, toolkit, or other online resource.
Pressbooks is simple to use and infinitely flexible for a variety of projects, from creating a course textbook to publishing your own chapter- or module-length work. Quickly becoming the preferred tool for educators and writers publishing open books and other content, Pressbooks offers numerous features to support open access and accessibility.
Here are some highlights of what we like about Pressbooks and why we think the platform will be an exciting tool for students, faculty, and staff working on digital projects:
- Easy to use. No design or developer skills required. If you’ve ever used WordPress, you’ll feel right at home.
- Professional design. Choose from dozens of templates and themes that create professional-looking and customizable digital books.
- Immediate and continuous publishing. Publish in minutes, and make changes or edits easily as you go.
- Flexible licensing. License your work with any number of Creative Commons options. You can use the same license for the whole work or apply different licenses for different chapters or sections.
- Accessibility. Pressbooks features and outputs are designed to support accessibility. Pressbooks is committed to making its code and user interface comply with WCAG 2.0 (level AA) standards within 2018, and it is developing tools to help authors maximize the accessibility of published work.
- Collaboration. Give a co-author access to your project, and use Hypothes.is to add or enable annotations.
- Free! Anyone can create an account at no charge.
Come to the workshop on February 20 to try out this innovative platform and kickstart your digital project. In the meantime, if you’re curious about what Pressbooks publications look like, or what else the platform can do, check out how other institutions are using Pressbooks, browse the book examples created at eCampusOntario, and see an open module recently published at UC Berkeley. The Library will also soon have a campus portal just for UC Berkeley-affiliated books, where you can showcase your work and view others’ projects.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching Free: Instructor Insights on Making Course Content Affordable and Accessible
By, Rachael G. Samberg (Scholarly Communication Officer, Library) & Richard Freishtat (Director, Center for Teaching & Learning)
Note: This commentary is being cross-posted on the Center for Teaching & Learning’s blog.
On October 27, 2017, UC Berkeley faculty and lecturers convened to share how they are making textbooks available for free to students—and how they are designing more accessible and transformative learning materials in the process.
In this post, we pass along key takeaways from the stories they shared, in the hope that you may consider implementing similar cost-saving options for students. We also consider why the UC Berkeley campus has come together at this critical moment to address such issues.
This is the first of a series of posts we’ll be doing this semester to dig into the “how” of improving students’ quality of living through affordable and accessible course content.
Students Can’t Afford Class
Before we dive into the lessons gleaned at the October event, campus context behind faculty members’ efforts might help.
Textbook prices have risen 88 percent in the past decade, as detailed in a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report. With UC Berkeley undergrads expected to pay at least $900 (a low estimate) on books and materials each academic year, students are financially encumbered to obtain required readings. The campus is conducting a survey to understand the true impact of these expenses for students—including how textbook costs affect whether students take, remain in, and succeed in their classes.
One way to alleviate financial burden for students is by offering them free, digital versions of their assigned readings that can be accessed online or downloaded to electronic devices. For course readers, this might mean uploading materials to the class bCourse site under fair use principles, and for textbooks, this might mean switching to “open textbooks.” Open textbooks (also called “open educational resources” or OERs) are entirely free for anyone to access, read, and download, and are typically licensed for reuse by others to encourage further downstream adaptation and development. Many instructors and students prefer hard copies, and so open textbooks can often be ordered as “print on demand” for a nominal printing fee, or students can print them out themselves.
In the studies to date on open textbook impact, students who have been given access to open textbooks perform at least as well, and often better, than those without open textbooks. This is likely because the playing field is leveled: Everyone in class has access to the readings from day one, and they’re not beyond anyone’s financial reach.
There are several other key advantages to offering parallel access to digital books: Digital native texts are inherently more accessible to students with disabilities. Screen readers and assistive technologies fare much better working with born digital materials rather than print copies that have been scanned in and converted into optical text (not to mention the potential access delay involved in remediating print content). Digital materials are generally also text searchable, so that students can easily find concepts or passages within their readings.
Seeking to address both affordability and accessibility concerns, in 2017, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education (VCUE) charged a campus-wide Course Content Affordability & Accessibility Committee (CCAAC) to identify strategies to educate the campus about the costs of course content, and encourage practices that lower costs for students while also making materials more accessible. CCAAC’s report and recommendations are forthcoming in Spring 2018.
An analogous campus partnership has also been very busy: The University Library, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and Educational Technology Services (ETS) teamed up and obtained a VCUE and Library-endorsed charter to test services aimed at students course content burdens. Through our Affordable Course Content Pilot program, we have incentivized both adoption and creation of open textbooks. Our idea was simple: What if we offered $2000-$5000 grants for faculty and lecturers to switch to an open textbook, or create their own? We would provide the needed digital publishing and programmatic support to facilitate the transition, and the instructors would use or create something new that was open—and free—to all.
We did not expect to get many takers for the pilot, since designing and writing a textbook requires an incredible amount of work. Yet, we underestimated the earnest commitment on this campus for truly making a difference in students’ lives and academic success. In Fall 2017, five faculty members committed to creating their own open textbooks, and two more are on board for Spring 2018. Fall participants included:
- Brad DeLong and Martha Olney, for Economic Theory – Macroeconomics (ECON 101B)
- Evan Variano, for Elementary Fluid Mechanics (CE100)
- John Wallace, for Dynamics of Romantic Core Values in East Asian Premodern Literature and Contemporary Film (EA LANG 105)
- Jonathan Zwicker, for Seminar in Classical Japanese Texts (JAPAN 240)
Most of their books will be unveiled and implemented in their classrooms beginning this semester. In a future blog post, we will explore their creation of these open books, touching on everything from mechanical issues related to the digital platforms and tools being used, publishing mechanics, and how students have received them. (Sneak preview: You do not need to be a technological wizard to create a digital textbook! And, we can help.)
Now, however, we’d like to consider the salient lessons discerned from these faculty members’ experiences in creating open textbooks for the pilot.
Lessons from the Trenches
On October 27, 2017 pilot program participants Brad DeLong and John Wallace were joined by Ani Adhikari (whose Data 8 open textbook has already been in use for several years) in speaking to a rapt crowd about why they chose to create open textbooks, and what they have learned in the process. We have taken the liberty of distilling their guidance.
1. If you create an open textbook, you have tremendous flexibility and complete control over what your students see, and when they see it.
Wallace observed that, although his book on East Asian literature and film will be deployed in Spring 2018, it will remain a work in progress. The beauty of writing and managing one’s own digital material is that changes (and typo fixes!) can be made in real time, without having to wait until your publisher decides to release a new edition. Wallace is utilizing Pressbooks.com to administer his material, and he can log in and change whatever he wants, whenever he wants—sharing his creative product in stages or in full, at his election.
This level of control also offers topical benefits. DeLong and Olney are converting their Macroeconomics print textbook into an open textbook, with interactive data for students to play with as they experiment with formulae and economic theories. To provide meaningful, real world information, DeLong and Olney need to be able to update and adjust content regularly. Because they are in complete command over the Jupyter Notebook which they use to manage their content, they can incorporate current economic events and statistics in real time, or keep it current on a semester-by-semester basis.
2. Creating your own open book allows you to choose your voice and write to connect with your students—and in so doing, capitalize on intellectual freedom as you forge and sculpt your discipline. As you branch off into new knowledge areas, disciplines can be redeveloped into what you make them.
Writing your own open textbook is a tremendous amount of work, but it can also offer tremendous intellectual freedom. Wallace, DeLong, and Adhikari each exclaimed the benefits of being able to write in a tone and on issues directed to their students—using language and content that may not have survived traditional textbook editing processes. The value is that the written material has the potential for resonating more meaningfully with students.
Adhikari discussed some foundational examples in the Data Science 8 textbook, in which she writes vibrantly about a water pump in Victorian London. The lesson frames for students one of the first ways that data was used to establish causality (in this case, mapping cholera outbreaks to a water pump). Here is a brief excerpt:
One of the earliest examples of astute observation eventually leading to the establishment of causality dates back more than 150 years. To get your mind into the right timeframe, try to imagine London in the 1850’s. It was the world’s wealthiest city but many of its people were desperately poor. Charles Dickens, then at the height of his fame, was writing about their plight. Disease was rife in the poorer parts of the city, and cholera was among the most feared. It was not yet known that germs cause disease; the leading theory was that “miasmas” were the main culprit. Miasmas manifested themselves as bad smells, and were thought to be invisible poisonous particles arising out of decaying matter. Parts of London did smell very bad, especially in hot weather. To protect themselves against infection, those who could afford to held sweet-smelling things to their noses.
From reading even just this brief excerpt, it is hard to imagine traditional textbooks so compellingly establishing an argument, or traditional textbook authors maintaining enough editorial control over their work to ensure that these points are included exactly as intended.
3. Digital editions provide valuable portability for students, while preserving print on demand options.
Adhikari and DeLong also addressed portability benefits of open textbooks. UC Berkeley students are incredibly engaged academically, and as a result, under considerable competing demands on their time. It is not uncommon to see students working on portable devices on public transportation or at the gym, just to make the most of any spare moments they have.
In survey responses by students whose classes participated in our pilot program, students near universally described how having online access to, or being able to digitally download, their reading materials improved their learning experience. Not only could they take their readings everywhere (and we mean everywhere!), but also they did not have to lug around numerous heavy books. Many also remarked that they valued not having to “waste paper” and harm the environment. Students knew that printing out the materials was an option, though few reported having chosen to do so—actually preferring the electronic format.
4. You can create an open module or two to fill in the gaps, rather than requiring students to purchase an entire textbook just for a few sections.
Let’s say you have found the perfect textbook for about 80% of your course, but it lacks two or three topics that you cover in class, and for which you assign a separate book entirely. There may be no need to reinvent the wheel in designing an entire textbook from scratch, but perhaps you could create just what you need to fill in the gaps rather than recommending a second book for purchase.
This is precisely what Horst Rademacher of the Berkeley Seismology Lab, did for EPS20 (Earthquakes in Your Backyard). As part of the pilot program, Rademacher created on open module through Pressbooks.com to address one topic: The Hayward Fault at the UC Berkeley campus. Doing so was not only a more reasonable time investment, but also a very efficient way of making sure students had tailor-made access to the specific content they would need for class.
5. If you collocate all digital readings and assignment submissions, it can be easier for graduate student instructors to complete grading, and focus more on pedagogy.
Generating efficiencies in one area necessarily creates opportunities in another. In this case, GSI’s, and instructors alike, can more easily move between and through grading of student work (particularly if coupled with other campus-licensed tools like GradeScope). The ability to centrally locate, quickly navigate, and reliably assess student work can considerably reduce time spent on the logistical aspects of grading. The extra time that was once necessary for grading logistics, can now be better utilized in service of pedagogy and student learning. Faculty discussed greater time available to improve their course materials, implement new pedagogies, or even supplement learning through more formative approaches that were very challenging previously due to time constraints.
6. Open textbooks have the potential to save UC Berkeley students hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, while making access to higher education learning materials more equitable in your class and beyond.
In DeLong’s own words, his forthcoming Macroeconomics textbook can “go big or go home,” and he’s banking on “big.” There are four sections of macroeconomics are taught each year on our campus, with approximately 1000 students. If each of the class sections adopted the DeLong-Olney open textbook rather than the $200 print equivalent, UC Berkeley macroeconomics students could save up to $200,000 each year. Of course, macroeconomics is a staple at institutions across the nation and world. DeLong and Olney are enabling thousands upon thousands of students globally to have access to extremely high quality instructional materials—potentially saving students millions every year. The financial impact that open textbooks can have is quantifiable, and it’s huge.
Financial impact is but one piece of the equitability puzzle. Both DeLong and Adhikari discussed open textbooks’ ability to promote social justice in the classroom, and the sense of obligation they feel as faculty members in doing as much as they can to ensure that all of their students have equal opportunities to succeed.
If you would like to explore the possibility of adopting or creating an open textbook for your class, we would love to meet with you! Limited numbers of $2000-$5000 grants remain available. Please contact email@example.com, or visit the Scholarly Communication Website (lib.berkeley.edu/scholcomm) to learn more.
And if you are interested in CCAAC and the pilot team’s report and findings about course content affordability at the UC Berkeley campus, please stay tuned to posts distributed through the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library’s Scholarly Communication program’s Twitter account, @UCB_scholcomm.
Friday, Oct. 27
Making Textbooks and Course Readers Affordable
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Wurster Hall, Environmental Design Library
Do you wonder how to make your assigned readings more affordable, and how much time and effort you’d need to invest? The University Library and Center for Teaching and Learning have partnered in an innovative pilot program to reduce course content expenses and incentivize the creation of high quality, free, and open course materials. In this panel event, you’ll hear from participating faculty and lecturers who will discuss their experiences and provide practical tips from the leading edge of course content affordability. Refreshments will be provided.
Friday, Dec. 8
Open Textbook Workshop – Faculty & Lecturers
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, 127 Dwinelle Hall
Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students? Do you want to adopt or create innovative pedagogical materials? Explore possible open textbook solutions by attending a two hour workshop and writing a short textbook review. The Library will provide you with a $200 stipend for your efforts! Space is limited, so please submit a very brief application form: http://bit.ly/facultyOpenTextwkshp
Friday, Dec. 8
Open Textbook Workshop – Staff & Campus Partners
12:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, 127 Dwinelle Hall
Are you a UC Berkeley staff or affiliate who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on students, or you are working with a faculty member who is? Do you want to support the adoption or creation of innovative pedagogical materials? Learn the landscape, opportunities, and challenges for adopting and creating open textbooks, and how to discuss whether open textbooks are a good fit.
Tuesday, Feb. 20
Publish Digital Books and Open Textbooks with Pressbooks
1:10-2:30 p.m. | Academic Innovation Studio, Dwinelle Hall 117 (Level D)
If you’re looking to self-publish work of any length and want an easy-to-use tool that offers a high degree of customization, allows flexibility with publishing formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF), and provides web-hosting options, Pressbooks may be great for you. Pressbooks is often the tool of choice for academics creating digital books, open textbooks, and open educational resources, since you can license your materials for reuse however you desire. Learn why and how to use Pressbooks for publishing your original books or course materials. You’ll leave the workshop with a project already under way!
Dear UC Berkeley faculty and lecturers,
We can help you make your assigned readings and textbooks more affordable to students. The Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning have launched two pilot programs for Fall 2017, for which your participation can save students potentially hundreds of dollars each.
The first pilot service aims to reduce the cost of your print course packs through Library-assisted syllabus processing. We will locate copies of open, free, or Library-licensed versions of your assigned readings so the overall price of the print course pack or course reader is reduced.
The second service provides you with grants to either use, adapt, or develop open or library-licensed electronic textbooks and course materials. This can help save students the cost of purchasing expensive textbooks.
Please fill out this brief form if you are interested in participating in one or both pilots (described more fully below), and we will contact you soon with details.
Pilot 1 (Course Packs): Do you assign your students a print course pack for purchase? We can help reduce the cost of that print course pack.
With the first piloted service, the Library will process your syllabus for you and search for your required readings to locate copies of open, free, or Library-licensed versions of assigned readings.
If open, free, or Library-licensed versions are available, we will give you links or PDFs to post to bCourses at no cost to your students, reducing any remaining readings that a student would have purchased as part of a print course pack.
We will also provide guidance to you for making fair use decisions–further reducing the cost of course packs, because we can help you limit instances in which a third party copy center would need to secure copyright clearance for assigned readings.
Pilot 2 (Grants): If you assign textbooks or other books, will you let us pay you from $500 up to $5,000 to switch to an electronic version of that book or to an equivalent eBook or combination of books? Or will you let us help you in adopting, adapting, or designing your own open and electronic course materials?
The Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning are offering grants and programmatic support to instructors to enable you to link to open or Library-licensed electronic textbooks or other eBooks–or even to design your own.
The grants range in value from $500 (e.g. for switching one required print book to a Library-licensed electronic book that can be linked to in bCourses) all the way up to $5,000 to receive programmatic support to design your own open & electronic course materials for students so they don’t have to purchase expensive textbooks.
The Center for Teaching & Learning and the Library can also help you find campus support to update any other attendant PowerPoints, assignments, or materials that need alteration following a change in assigned books or textbooks.
If you have any questions, please contact the Library’s Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more about affordable course content in our Guide to Open, Free, & Affordable Course Materials.