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Affordable Course Content Awards

Overview of the VCU Affordable Course Content Awards

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

Read more about Prof. Murphy-Judy's experiences creating OER as a part of our Why We Choose Open: OER Stories blog series:

View the OER: 

Current VCU Impact Level: 100 Students (reached FY2019) and $25,000 in student savings (reached FY2019). In use 5+ semesters.

100 Students Impacted$25,000 in Student Savings5+ semesters used

Introduction to Biological Sciences I

Project: Adopt an Open Textbook and create ancillary materials

Class: Introduction to Biological Sciences (BIOL151)

Project Team: Ching-Yu Huang, Dianne Jennings, and Jonathan Moore

Key Features

  • Adapted OpenStax's Biology 2e and customized to match the VCU Bio 151/152 curriculum
  • Created supplementary materials, including interactive content via Top Hat
  • Using learning analytics to review student engagement and improve the efficacy of course materials

Project Updates

  • Text used in all VCU Bio 151/152 classes since FY2019
  • Initially used via Top Hat and includes interactive content 
  • Awarded a VIVA Course Redesign Grant in Spring 2019 to expand content to VCU BIO152 classes
  • Currently working on finalizing customization
  • Currently working on importing content to Pressbooks

Current VCU Impact Level: 5,000 Students (reached Fall 2021) and $1,250,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2022). In use 10+ semesters.

5,000 Students Impacted$1,250,000 in Student Savings10+ semesters used

Piloting the Enterprise

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: Piloting the Enterprise (ARTS351/CREA350) and other courses offered in the VCUArts Center for Creative Economy

Project Team: Garreth Blackwell, Matt Woolman, and Jeffrey Foster

Key Features

  • Fills a gap of a single text covering entrepreneurship for the arts (how to envision, establish and develop a business practice as an artist)
  • Used across many classes in the Center for Creative Economy
  • Part of efforts to increase enrollment within these classes

Project Updates

  • Text has been used in class since FY2019
  • OER has played a key role in increasing enrollment and impact of the CREA350
  • Awarded a 2021 Affordable Course Content Awards spread grant to move the resource to a publicly accessible platform, create introductory videos for each chapter, create an audiobook version, and develop a companion workbook

Current VCU Impact Level: 1,000 Students (reached Spring 2023) and $1,000,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2024). In use 10+ semesters.

1,000 Students Impacted$1,000,000 in student savings10+ semesters used

Digital Histology

Project: Author an OER

Class: Medicine 150, Medicine 250, Microscopic Anatomy (ANAT502), and Histology (ANAT611)

Project Team: John Bigbee, Alice Pakurar, and Kenneth Foster

Key Features

  • Interactive digital atlas of digital histology
  • Each page contains an original, high quality image accompanied by descriptive text and selectable lables
  • Hierarchy mirrors modern histology texts
  • Includes interactive quizzes with formative feedback
  • Includes a review PDF textbook with hyperlinks to images

Project Updates

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

View the OER:

License: Digital Histology  is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Current VCU Impact Level: 2,500 Students (reached Spring 2023) and $100,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2021). In use 10+ semesters.

2,500 Students Impacted$100,000 in Student Savings10+ semesters used

Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Project: Adopt, Adapt, and Author OER

Class: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies (GWSS201)

Project Team: Liz Canfield, Christine Cynn, Myrl Beam, Sandra Burke, bee coston, Matilde Moros, and Archana Pathak

Key Features

  • Compilation of open resources and library materials, including articles, book chapters, videos, and more
  • Intersectional and interdisciplinary focus

Project Updates

  • Resource list compiled and initial website created
  • Working on restructuring website to make it more user friendly

View the OER:

Current VCU Impact Level: 2,500 Students (reached Fall 2022) and $250,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2022). In use 10+ semesters.

2,500 Students Impacted$250,000 in Student Savings10+ semesters used