Open Educational Resources at BGSU

Commercial textbook costs have increased dramatically in recent decades. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices for college textbooks increased 88% between 2006 and 2016 (The Economics Daily). For the 2019-2020 academic year, BGSU students in the Class of 2023 were advised to budget $728 for textbooks and supplies (Cost of Attendance).

As a university, we've acknowledged the rising cost of higher education for our students and expressed our commitment to supporting their success in Focus on the Future, our strategic plan. Specifically, we say in Objective 5: Aligning for Excellence and Value that we will "Design and implement academic affordability initiatives to address the cost of a BGSU education (e.g., textbook costs, fees).

One way to reach this goal is to support the adoption and creation of open educational resources, or OER. OER are "teaching, learning, and research resources released under an open license that permits their free use and repurposing by others" (SPARC Open Education Fact Sheet). Replacing high-cost commercial textbooks with OER can have a big impact on the success of BGSU's students, especially those for whom cost is a major barrier to degree completion.

OER have unique pedagogical benefits, as well as financial ones. Unlike with most commercial resources, OER's open licenses allow faculty to reuse the portions of the material that work for their course or customize and update the content to better align with their learning outcomes.

With this in mind, Bowling Green State University Libraries offers the following workshop opportunities and incentives for BGSU faculty interested in adopting OER or developing their own open alternatives to high-cost textbooks.

Open Textbook Workshops

If you're new to OER and want to learn more, apply to attend the library's Intro to Open Textbooks workshop. Faculty who attend the workshop are invited to review an open textbook in the Open Textbook Library and are eligible for a $200 stipend. Reviews benefit other faculty considering open textbooks.

Workshop capacity is limited, and open textbooks are not available for all subjects. Preference is based on textbook subject area availability. Faculty who received a stipend for a review in the past and graduate students are welcome to attend if space is available, but they are ineligible for stipends.

Register for the Intro to Open Textbooks Workshop

OER Stipends and Grants

The library offers additional stipends and grants to BGSU faculty to help support OER adoption, adaptation, and creation. Preference will be given to projects for high-enrolled courses.

Adoption

Faculty who'd like to adopt existing OER to replace a high-cost textbook in one of their courses can apply for a $300 adoption stipend.

Faculty requirements

  • Attend the library's Intro to Open Textbooks Workshop.
  • Identify an OER that can replace a required commercial textbook in one of your courses and commit to using it for at least 2 semesters.

Apply for an OER Adoption stipend

Adaptation

OER's open licenses allow users to modify the material to fit their needs. Faculty who've identified OER in their subject area that they'd like to adapt for use in one or more of their courses can apply for a $1,000 adaptation grant. University Libraries will award 2 adaptation grants in 2021.

Faculty Requirements

  • Meet with the Coordinator of Scholarly Publishing to review the memorandum of understanding and establish a project timeline.
  • Adapt an open textbook or other OER during the academic year. Agree to license the adapted work under a Creative Commons license and host a copy on ScholarWorks, BGSU's institutional repository.
  • Commit to using the OER in a course for at least 2 semesters.
  • Complete a brief survey after using the OER in the classroom each semester. Responses will be used to calculate student savings and improve the grant program.

Apply for an OER Adaptation grant

Creation

Occasionally, there are no viable OER available in a given discipline. The library offers $3,000 grants to faculty who'd like to create a new open textbook for use in one or more of their courses. University Libraries will award 2 creation grants in 2021.

Faculty Requirements

  • Meet with the Coordinator of Scholarly Publishing to review the memorandum of understanding and establish a project timeline.
  • Create an open textbook or other OER during the academic year. Agree to license the new work under a Creative Commons license and host a copy on ScholarWorks, BGSU's institutional repository.
  • Commit to using the OER in a course for at least 2 semesters.
  • Complete a brief survey after using the OER in the classroom each semester. Responses will be used to calculate student savings and improve the grant program.

Apply for an OER Creation grant

Application Deadlines

Proposal Deadline: TBA in 2021
Decision Notification: TBA in 2021
Projects Begin: TBA in 2021

OER Contact

If you have questions about the library's OER program, contact Emily Gattozzi, Coordinator of Scholarly Publishing.