Memorandum of Understanding - Affordable Learning Initiative Cohort 2

The University of Akron’s Affordable Learning Initiative, led by the University Libraries, is supporting a second cohort of course development for open textbook adoption.

Studies have shown that students who choose not to purchase the required textbook solely due to cost are at a significant academic disadvantage. Given that the average cost of textbooks has increased over 1000% in the last 30 years, the State of Ohio has identified the cost of materials as a major issue that must be addressed by higher education institutions.

The Affordable Learning Initiative provides support to faculty members at two levels. Each level and the associated project requirements are indicated below:

  1. Full Course Overhaul for Open
    1. This requires a faculty member or faculty team to review an open textbook, adopt the textbook for their course, adapt any additional open content to fill objective gaps, and author/create any ancillary materials. Adaptation of an existing open textbook with additional content may be required. Note: If the faculty member is working on a team, only one of the team members must provide a review of the open textbook.
    2. All ancillary materials created to go along with the open textbook must adhere to a Creative Commons CC-BY license unless otherwise indicated by an existing CC license. Examples of ancillary materials include, but are not limited to: test banks, lecture slides, lecture videos, assignments, discussion prompts, etc.
      1. Note: Faculty members are permitted to add a share-alike and/or non-commercial license to authored/adapted content unless the original license prevents this.
    3. Special consideration for this grant will be given to courses that are high-enrollment and high-impact (substantial course material cost to the student).
    4. This project level is ideal for team-based projects.

  2. Course Adaptation
    1. This requires a faculty member or faculty team to review an open textbook, adopt the textbook for their course, and adapt any additional open content to fill objective gaps. Adaptation of an existing open textbook with additional content may be required.
      1. Note: If the faculty member is working on a team, only one of the team members must provide a review of the open textbook.
    2. All ancillary materials / additional content created to go along with the open textbook must adhere to a Creative Commons CC-BY license unless otherwise indicated by an existing CC license.
      1. Note: Faculty members are permitted to add a share-alike and/or non-commercial license to authored/adapted content unless the original license prevents this.
    3. Faculty at this project level are not expected to author ancillary materials above and beyond what already exists with the open textbook, however, there may be a necessity to supplement content from the faculty member’s existing materials (e.g., class activities or final projects).

Each project must adhere to a timeline which will facilitate the completion of work by the start of Spring Semester 2021. The work is divided into four stages:


Stage 1 - Planning Phase

  1. Attend Training on Open Textbooks (OTN training) provided by ALI.
  2. Provide a review of an Open Textbook through the Open Textbook Library. Reviews will be published with the faculty member’s name, institution, and title.
    1. Reviews will appear on the Open Textbook Library website: open.umn.edu
  3. Meet with Design and Development Services/University Libraries to complete an alignment document which will map out the open textbook in relation to assignments, assessments, and learning objectives.

Stage 2 - Production Phase

  1. This phase includes adaptations of the book, authorship of ancillary materials, assessment questions, presentations, lectures, etc.
  2. University Libraries will work to acquire any additional resources needed to facilitate the conversion of the course to open resources.

Stage 3 - Quality Assurance Phase

  1. Creation of Creative Commons licensing of content, with attribution being listed for all content created by the faculty member, accessibility check to ensure content meets universal design for learning principles, captioning of any and all video content, etc.

Stage 4. Reporting and Follow-Up Phase

  1. After the course has been taught with the open textbook and resources, the Affordable Learning Initiative will work with the faculty member(s) to survey the students regarding their thoughts on the use and efficacy of the open textbook. We ask that the faculty member(s) provide data in the form of anonymous final grades so we can determine if the adoption of the textbook had any impact on student success. Specifically, we are interested in semester to semester grade comparison pre/post adoption, and Drop, Fail, Withdraw rates.
  2. Faculty members who wish to present their findings and suggestions/best practices regarding their open textbook adoption are encouraged to do so at the NEXT Conference or OpenCon Cleveland.

Timeline:

  • Initial Open Textbook Network (OTN) training is scheduled for May 28th, 2020
  • Applications for Cohort 2 are due no later than June 11th, 2020
  • Consultations with grant applicants will be held during May-June 2020
  • Projects chosen to work with ALI will be notified shortly after the consultation about their application status.
  • Additional OTN Training will be available during Summer 2020.
  • Production and Quality Assurance Phases will take place during Summer and Fall 2020.
  • Rollout of the open textbook based course will occur no later than Spring 2021 with the Reporting Phase occurring at the end of any semester in which the open textbook is implemented.



Contacts:
Steve Kaufman
Senior Instructional Designer
skaufman@uakron.edu
330-972-6874


Sean Kennedy
Collections and Content Strategies Librarian
skennedy@uakron.edu
330-972-8581