Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ten UNCG Professors Save Students $150,000 in Textbook Costs with $10,000 in Pilot Project Mini Grants from the Office of the Provost and the University Libraries

In the Spring of 2015 the Office of the Provost and the University Libraries announced that they would support a pilot project where faculty interested in providing their students with a less expensive yet educationally rewarding alternative known as OER (Open Educational Resources) to expensive commercial textbooks.  The results yielded quality teaching materials at a savings to students of $150,000.   Ten $1000 stipends were granted to faculty as an incentive to encourage the faculty to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials; these could include open-access scholarly resources, library-licensed and owned resources, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves.

Beth Bernhardt, representing the University Libraries, interviewed each winner before the Fall 2015 semester began and again at the end of the semester.  “Everyone was just as enthusiastic about the project at the end of the semester as they were at the beginning,” she says.  “All of the grant winners plan on continuing to use alternative resources for their classes for Spring 2016.”  Bernhardt continues, "We have wonderful faculty who are eager to find new ways to teach students while keeping their expenses as low as they can.  We were so pleased that our relatively small investment could reap such savings, and we encourage others to consider what using open educational resources can mean for their teaching and for their students."

Many of the professors were glowing in their praise of the idea of open educational resources, and so were their students.  Jennifer Reich  noted that “The resources I found are much better than the textbooks and the students can do more with them.”  Heather Helms said, “My class asked if we were going to have a textbook for the course, when I told them we would use alternative resources the entire class applauded.”  In Elizabeth Perrill’s course Survey of Non-Western Art, the textbook would have cost $171.00 new.  She has approximately 215 students take classes annually.  Total savings for all the students in her classes was thus $36,765.   Similar results with the other classes yielded an estimated $150,000 in aggregate savings to students as compared to buying the textbooks that would otherwise have been used in the classes.

 A survey was given to the students at the end of the semester and they were asked to share their thoughts about not having a textbook for the class, too. Typical comments included “Keep doing this please for I’m a broke college student,” and “I thought that the resources were very organized for the course and easy to access. I felt I studied more effectively with these resources and I greatly appreciate the way they were organized. It was easier to follow than a traditional textbook.”

The University Libraries, in its commitment to promote Open Educational Resources, has joined the Open Textbook Network.  This network promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. The network will provide a workshop for UNCG faculty that are interested in supporting faculty adoption of open textbooks in the coming year.

If you are interested in learning more about Open Educational Resources check out the website http://uncg.libguides.com/oer  or contact Beth Bernhardt at beth_bernhardt@uncg.edu.

The winners of the grants were: 
•    Robert Anemone , Professor and Department Head, Anthropology; 
•    Heather Helms, Associate Professor, HDFS;
•    Channelle D. James, Lecturer, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism - Bryan School;
•    Liz McNamara, Lecturer, Political Science;
•    Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Associate Professor, CED; 
•    Nancy Myers and Brenta Blevins (working together) , College Writing Program Director and Assistant Director, English;
•    Terence A Nile, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry;
•    Elizabeth Perrill, Associate Professor, Art;
•    Jennifer Reich, Associate Director/Lecturer, CASA/Art; and
•    Kelly L Wester, Associate Professor, CED.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Up to $22,500 in Resources Available from Digital Partners Grants



Are you a UNCG faculty member working on a research project for which you would like to create a freely shared, open access digital component? If so, consider applying for a Digital Partners Grant of $22,500 worth of resources from the University Libraries, which will assist you in building an online scholarly product and making it broadly available for the long term

To apply, simply fill out a short one-page online form by January 12.  The Selection Committee will review submissions and announce recipients by the end of February. We are happy to help you with the form! All you need is a good idea and we'll guide you through the application process. The awards' funding period is March 2016 - February 2017.

Applicants must be UNCG faculty members. The digital project must be hosted on the Library's servers, and must be Open Access and freely shared.  The Faculty member must resolve any copyright or intellectual property issues (but we can help with that).
Selection of the funded project will be based on the following criteria:
  1. Projects that build on the strengths of the Libraries' extant digital projects
  2. Projects that develop a library of resources that support a range of scholarly activities in general rather than creating teaching applications or custom-designed web sites for a specific course. 
For more information including examples of previous projects and details, please review the Library/Faculty Digital Initiatives Partnerships websitehttp://library.uncg.edu/research/support/ or contact Assistant Dean of the University Libraries Tim Bucknall (bucknall@uncg.edu) for more information.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What are the Options? What are my Rights? Understanding Copyright and Open Access in Modern Scholarly Publishing




The Faculty Senate Scholarly Communications Forum will be held on October 28th from 3:30 – 5:00pm in the EUC Alexander Room

There are many reasons why faculty and researchers publish their work:
·         - to share their discoveries
·         -to make an impact in their field
·         -to meet institutional and professional expectations
·         -to foster learning and discovery

How these objectives are achieved is affected by where you publish and the agreements you enter into with publishers about the ownership and use of your intellectual output.


Come join our guest speaker Christine Fruin, J.D., MSLIS from the University of Florida to gain a better understanding of the legal relationships between author, publisher and reader and how to better preserve the rights not only of information producers but also information consumers through licensing and open access. This talk will also explore how quality and impact is measured in the modern scholarly publishing system and the new ways for discovering and distributing scholarship.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Digital Partners Grants Available to Faculty to Create Open Access Components to Research Projects


Are you a UNCG faculty member working on a research project for which you would like to create a freely shared, open access digital component? If so, consider applying for a Digital Partners Grant of $22,500 worth of resources from the University Libraries, which will assist you in building an online scholarly product and making it broadly available for the long term

To apply, simply fill out a short one-page online form by January 12.  The Selection Committee will review submissions and announce recipients by the end of February. We are happy to help you with the form! All you need is a good idea and we'll guide you through the application process. The awards' funding period is March 2016 - February 2017.

Why work with the University Libraries on your digital project?  The University Libraries has considerable expertise in collaborating with faculty on long-term web hosting, web design, user interface development, programming, database design, metadata, usability testing, and digitization.  We’re here on campus, and we’re committed to serving you and the broader scholarly community for the long term.

Here are some examples of our previous projects:

·        English Professor Jennifer Keith worked with the Libraries to create an online, open access critical edition to accompany her book about early English poet Anne Finch. Her work was further supported by an NEH grant.

·        Historian Loren Schweninger and the University Libraries created a searchable database of the materials in his Race and Slavery Petitions Project.  Even with Dr. Schweninger’s retirement, the database remains available and has been expanded into the Digital Library on American Slavery developed and maintained by the University Libraries.

Perhaps you are interested in a scanning project to make materials searchable and available on the web, an online map putting a graphic element on data or research materials, processing of oral histories, or a web-based interface to large research data sets.    The University Libraries are open to creative ideas, and are happy to consult with you about yours.

Examples of other Library collaborative digital projects may be found here.

The recipient(s) will receive up to $22,500 worth of resources (most likely from the Library IT department, but that depends on the needs of the applicant). The Library will provide its appropriate, existing hardware and software at no cost (but will not make expensive new purchases on behalf of the faculty).

Applicants must be UNCG faculty members. The digital project must be hosted on the Library's servers, and must be Open Access and freely shared.  The Faculty member must resolve any copyright or intellectual property issues (but we can help with that).

Selection of the funded project will be based on the following criteria:

    Projects that build on the strengths of the Libraries' extant digital projects

    Projects that develop a library of resources that support a range of scholarly activities in general rather than creating teaching applications or custom-designed web sites for a specific course.

Please review the Library/Faculty Digital Initiatives Partnerships website or contact Assistant Dean of the University Libraries Tim Bucknall (bucknall@uncg.edu) for more information.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Open Educational Resources Grant Winners Start Saving Their Students Money This Fall


Last spring the Office of the Provost and the University Libraries announced that they are joining together to support faculty interested in providing their students with a less expensive yet educationally rewarding alternative to expensive commercial textbooks.  Ten $1000 stipends were granted to faculty as an incentive to encourage the faculty to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials; these can include open-access scholarly resources, library-licensed and owned resources, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves.
                                                                                       OER Logo 2012 J. Mello, used under a Creative Commons license CC-BY

The winners of the grants are: 
  •         Robert Anemone , Professor and Department Head, Anthropology
  •         Heather Helms, Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies 
  •         Channelle D. James, Lecturer, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism
  •         Liz McNamara, Lecturer, Political Science
  •         Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Development 
  •         Nancy Myers and Brenta Blevins, College Writing Program Director and Asst. Director, English
  •         Terence A Nile, Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  •         Elizabeth Perrill, Associate Professor, Art
  •         Jennifer Reich, Associate Director/Lecturer, College of Arts and Sciences Advising/Art 
  •         Kelly L Wester, Associate Professor, Counseling and Educational Development.
The faculty used their time this summer to research and create resources that their students could use in class without having to purchase an expensive textbook. Grant recipient Jennifer Reich says, “The resources I found are much better than the textbooks and the students can do more with them.”  

At the end of the fall semester the University Libraries and the grant winners will assess the effectiveness of this initiative in their classes.