Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.93
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
IN-41: Textbook Affordability

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Nathanael Schildbach
Marketing Manager
University Relations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution host a peer-to-peer textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project?:

A brief description of the textbook exchange program, textbook lending library, or alternate textbook project:

Hard copies of textbooks are available in the university library for faculty and students to use, and an extensive online library of e-books is available, sorted by discipline (https://www.library.umass.edu/oer/open-textbooks/).

The alternative textbook program is part of a larger open educational resources effort that the university has undertaken that includes audiovisual resources, lectures, tutorials and courseware, as well as an initiative to fund UMass Amherst faculty to create and adopt open access materials.

Does the institution provide incentives for academic staff that explicitly encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks?:

A brief description of the incentives to encourage the authorship, peer review, and/or adoption of open access textbooks:

The Open Education Initiative is a faculty incentive (grant) program that encourages the use of existing openly-licensed, low-cost, or free information resources to support our students’ learning.

Grant Categories
Grants are given in one of three categories with priority given to the projects that utilize or create the most openly licensed materials.

Open Educational Resources
Proposals in this category must replace an existing textbook with a no, or low-cost (< $50), alternative. Priority will be given to proposals that utilize existing or create new openly licensed materials (e.g. Creative Commons, GNU General Public License, Public Domain, etc.) and that impact the largest amount of students.

Free or Low Cost Educational Resources
Proposals that replace commercial textbooks or learning materials with free licensed library materials (e.g. articles found in LexisNexis, streaming video from Kanopy, eBooks, etc.) or free web content (e.g. blog posts, news articles, think pieces, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc.) will be considered but given less priority, as the library has an existing infrastructure to support the use of these materials (e.g. reserves, interlibrary loan, subject specialists, etc.).

Proposals in this category use a mixture of the two categories above.
Four levels of funding are available based on the scale of the project proposed:

Adopt - Redesign course to incorporate an existing open textbook or open course content. $500. Examples: adopt an OpenStax textbook with no modifications, find and incorporate Khan Academy or Ted Talk videos, etc.

Adapt - Combine or remix new or existing openly licensed content to bridge gaps in available resources. Range: $1500-$2500. Examples: compile an early American Literature book using public domain works, take several chapters from an OpenStax textbook and re-write them or combine them with lecture notes developed for your class, create/implement interactive course-authoring tools (adaptive learning, quizzes, etc.) or low-cost homework platforms to accompany affordable learning materials, etc.

Create - Create a new open educational resource when there are currently no sufficient OER available to meet your learning objectives. $2500+. Examples: Author a new openly licensed textbook, collaborate with students on the creation of a new textbook.

Other – Propose a project that does not fall within any of these categories.

Website URL where information about the textbook affordability incentives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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