VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Affordable Course Content Awards

Overview of the VCU Affordable Course Content Awards

2017 Award Recipients

Seven faculty projects were selected to receive awards to author open textbooks or other course content that will replace more costly course materials. The faculty recipients will be working on their projects throughout the 2017-18 academic year, with implementation expected by fall 2018.

More about "Current VCU Impact Levels"

Through the VCU Impact Levels, the Affordable Course Content Awards celebrates project achievements with set "milestones" that mark the number of students impacted and cost savings from using free resources.

When a project reaches a new milestone, we will update their "milestone medal" on this guide and share the news with the project's creators to formally support their case for the value and impact of their project. Impact Levels are not meant to be comparable across projects.

For more information and to see the full list of (current) milestones visit: 

Intermediate II Foreign Language Courses

Project: Author Open Learning Modules

Class: Intermediate II Foreign Language courses, including Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish

Project Team: Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Salwa Sheibany, Yan Gao, Lionel Mathieu, Patricia Cummins, Vera Abbate, Natalia Boykova, and Maria de Panbehchi

Key Features

  • Interactive and multimedia rich OER
  • Career focused course
  • Providing the scaffolding for open pedagogy in the form of student-curated materials, which are integrating into the text in subsequent semesters
  • Students heavily involved in the creation of the resource

Project Updates

  • Awarded a 2018 Affordable Course Content Award
  • Implemented in French 202 classes
    • Customizing each semester based on student works
  • Spanish 202 awarded a 2019 Affordable Course Content Award to assist in the completion of their project
  • Spanish, German, and ASL, led by Kathryn Murphy-Judy, were awarded a VIVA Open Course Grant. The project is the continuation of work begun with a Mellon Humanities Grant and involves collaboration with VCU, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, and the University of Mary Washington. Through this project, instructor manuals will also be created to help others adopt the OER.
  • Russian 202 awarded a 2021 Affordable Course Content Award to assist in the completion of their project

View the OER: 

Current VCU Impact Level: 100 Students (reached FY2019) and $25,000 in student savings (reached FY2019)

100 Students Impacted$25,000 in Student Savings

Communicating Across Cultures

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: Communicating Across Cultures (WRLD 302)

Project Team: Robert Godwin-Jones, in collaboration with Mayda Topoushian, Jill Blondin, and Aradhna Malik (of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur)

Key Features

  • International collaboration in authoring and implementation of the resource
  • Intercultural approach (not just US-based)
  • Reviews both traditional and newer forms of communication, such as digital communication
  • Website will include additional annotated resources to enhance learning and provide an opportunity for student contribution

Project Updates

  • Text and accompanying content openly available
  • Implemented with students since FY2019
  • Currently refining content 
  • Included in LibreText

Read more about Prof. Godwin-Jones' experiences converting to OER as a part of our Why We Choose Open: OER Stories blog series:

View the OER:

LicenseLanguage and Culture in Context is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Current VCU Impact Level: 250 Students (reached Fall 2020) and $50,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2021)

250 Students Impacted$50,000 in Student Savings

Sports Business

Project: Convert to zero textbook costs (adopt)

Class: Sport Business (SPTL 632)

Project Team: Brendan Dwyer

Key Features

  • Replaced commercial texts with freely available materials, including those from the library

Project Updates

  • First implemented in Fall 2018
  • First course from the Center for Sport Leadership to transition to zero textbook costs but many have since followed, including a 2019 Affordable Course Content Award recipient

View the OER: (for adopt projects, this is the syllabus developed using the open materials)

Current VCU Impact Level: 100 Students (reached Fall 2020) and $25,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2021)

100 Students Impacted$25,000 in Student Savings

Focused Inquiry (VCU Writes!)

Project: Author open course content

Class: Focused Inquiry I and II (UNIV 111 and 112); Inquiry and the Craft of Argument (UNIV 200)

Project Team: Faculty members from the Department of Focused Inquiry’s Textbook Committee

Key Features

  • Detailed citation manual which covers both APA and MLA styles
  • Includes examples of student work, which are continually updated
  • Includes supplementary material for VCU UNIV111, 112, and 200
  • Site undergoes regular review by the Focused Inquiry Textbook Committee with new content added each year. Updates also occur to the style guide sections whenever a new version is released by APA or MLA.

Project Updates

  • Project developed by VCU's Focus Inquiry department's Textbook Committee
  • Project consistently in use in Focus Inquiry classes since 2018

View the OER:

License: VCU Writes! is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license, except where otherwise noted.

Current VCU Impact Level: 15,000 Students (reached Fall 2021) and $1,250,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2021)

15,000 Students Impacted$1,250,000 in Student Savings

Differential Equations

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: Differential Equations (Math 301)

Project Team: Jeffrey Ledford

Key Features

  • Differential equations text developed from lecture notes

Project Updates

  • Free resources used in Fall 2018
  • Faculty left VCU - resource no longer in use

Current VCU Impact Level: $10,000 in student savings (reached FY2018)

$10,000 in Student Savings

Intelligence Community and Process

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: The Intelligence Community and Process (HSEP 320)

Project Team: Stacie Giles

Key Features

  • Approachable overview of the intelligence community that outlines its purpose, structure, and function i

Project Updates

  • Project on hiatus

Experimental Methods

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: Experimental Methods (PSYC317)

Project Team: Joseph H. Porter and Victoria A. Shivy, in collaboration with Harry Whitaker and Mitchell D. Klett of Northern Michigan University.

Key Features

  • PDF text, which will be periodically updated with new examples

Project Updates

  • Project on hiatus