VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Affordable Course Content Awards

Overview of the VCU Affordable Course Content Awards

2019 Award Recipients

Six 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 2019-20 academic year, with implementation expected by fall 2020.

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: 

Microbiology Lab Manuals

Project: Create an open lab manual

Class: Microbiology Lab (BIOZ303) and Medical Microbiology Lab (BIOZ209)

Project Team: Joseph Battistelli

Key Features

  • Remixing existing open microbiology lab manuals
  • Photographing procedures and outcomes to assist students in preparing and conducting
  • Providing detailed metadata for photos, will also be shared independently from the final resource
  • Developing a question bank for pre-lab preparation

Project Updates

  • Draft form used in Fall 2020
  • Currently working on refining content, collecting additional images, and finalizing formatting

View the OER: Check back soon!

Current VCU Impact Level: 500 Students (reached Fall 2021) and $10,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2021)

500 Students Impacted$10,000 in Student Savings

Research Methods for Sociology

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: All research methods focused sociology classes, including Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SOCY320), Sociology Senior Seminar (SOCY406), and Sociological Research Methods (SOCY602) 

Project Team: Victor ChenGabriela León-Pérez​, Julie Honnold, Volkan Aytar

Key Features

  • OER that aims to integrate elements of a traditional textbook, material from blogs, and multimedia (e.g YouTube videos and podcasts)
  • Adapting existing materials, while providing context to create a coherent resource
  • Potential to be used in all research methods classes in the sociology department
  • Includes examples from local Virginia scientists to provide local context for content

Project Updates

  • Awarded a VIVA Course Redesign Grant in Fall 2019
  • Will publish on Pressbooks (hosted via Rampages)
  • Currently authoring chapters
  • Working with student RAs to conduct pre-tests and develop sidebars

Children's Literature

Project: Author an Open Textbook

Class: Children's Literature I (TEDU386)

Project Team: Lisa CipollettiValerie Robnolt, and Elizabeth Morris, Children’s Librarian, Richmond Public Library (Main Branch)

Key Features

  • Provide an overview of children's literature (e.g. history) as well as detailed explorations of literary genres 
  • Will include suggested booklists for each genre
  • Plans to eventually include student contributions, such as book reviews and digital book trailers

Project Updates

  • Began beta-testing written content in Summer 2020.
  • Gathered feedback from students in Summer and Fall 2020 to help ensure the maximum impact of the resource
  • Identified an existing OER which can be reused in part to eliminate duplication of efforts in creating content
  • Currently finishing authoring the text and working on importing into the website which will deliver content
  • Awarded a 2021 Affordable Course Content Awards sustain grant to assist in finalizing importing and formatting content in their online platform.

View the OER: Check back in soon!

Current VCU Impact Level: 50 Students (reached Spring 2021) and $5,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2021)

50 Students Impacted$5,000 in Student Savings

Sports Leadership Research Methods

Project: Adopt open and free materials and adjust software use

Class: Research Methods in Sport (SPTL 603)

Project Team: Greg Greenhalgh

Key Features

  • Replace the previous textbook with open alternative (OpenStax's Introduction to Business Statistics)
  • Use podcasts to provide insight into the ways research and analysis are used in the sports industry
  • Convert statistical analysis from SPSS to Microsoft Excel, which will be more applicable in graduate’s real-world organizations. Use LinkedIn Learning Course freely available through VCU to teach statistics in Excel

Project Updates

  • Implemented in Fall 2019

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

Current VCU Impact Level: 50 Students (reached Spring 2021)

50 Students Impacted

Intermediate II Foreign Language Courses--Spanish

Project: Author Open Learning Modules

Class: SPAN202

Project Team: Laura Middlebrooks

Key Features

  • Continuation of the previously awarded Foreign Language project, focused on the completion of open textbook for Spanish 202
  • Providing the scaffolding for open pedagogy in the form of student-curated Spanish language material
  • Students heavily involved in the creation of the resource
  • Focus on diversity and inclusion within the text

Project Updates

  • Publishing on Pressbooks (hosted via Rampages)
  • Began beta-testing in Fall 2020
  • Working on refining chapters with help of student workers
  • Student workers creating interactive content to enhance the online text 

View the OER: Public version will be available soon

Current VCU Impact Level: 100 Students (reached Fall 2021) and $10,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2021)

100 Students Impacted$10,000 in Student Savings

Nursing: RN to BSN year 1

Project: Adopt open and library-licensed materials and create ancillaries

Class: Year one of the RN to BSN program (NURS301, 307, 308, 309)

Project Team: Tammy Williams, Suzanne McGinnis, and Elizabeth Miles

Key Features

  • Eliminating most, if not all, textbook costs for the first year of the RN to BSN program
  • Creating ancillaries to replace those lost when no longer using publisher resources

Project Updates

  • Reduced textbook costs implemented beginning in Fall 2020
  • Developing openly licensed ancillaries

Current VCU Impact Level: 50 Students (reached Fall 2021) and $25,000 in student savings (reached Fall 2021)

50 Students Impacted$25,000 in Student Savings