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Affordable Course Content Awards

Overview of the VCU Affordable Course Content Awards

Foundations of Business

Project: Update a recently remixed open textbook

Class: Foundations of Business (BUSN201)

Project Team: Manika Avasthi

Key Features

  • Builds on an OER recently created specifically for the VCU Foundations of Business class by remixing three other existing open resources
  • The OER includes standard introduction to business materials as well as a section on professionalism (e.g. email etiquette and interviewing)
  • Working to update content, data, and examples to ensure they are current

Project Updates

  • Original remix used beginning in Summer 2020
  • Gathered student feedback to incorporate during update to ensure maximum impact of resource
  • Professor no longer teaching course and this iteration no longer in use; resource being adapted for new course professor

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

View the OER:

License: Foundations of Business by Manika Avasthi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Current VCU Impact Level: 250 Students (reached Spring 2021) and $10,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2021). In use for 1 semester.

250 Students Impacted$10,000 in Student Savings1 semester used

Health Psychology

Project: Author an open textbook

Class: Health Psychology (PSYC412)

Project Team: Natalie Dautovich

Key Features

  • No existing resources exist which cover all of VCU's health psychology course. This resource will fill that gap.
  • Plans to include interactive content
  • Plans to align with examples from the Richmond community and potentially link to community engagement as a part of the class

Project Updates

  • Outlining content and textbook structure
  • Working with graduate students to begin authoring content

Current VCU Impact Level: 100 Students (reached Spring 2023) and $25,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2023). In use for 1 semester.

100 Students Impacted$25,000 in Student Savings1 semester used

Data Science

Project: Author an open textbook

Class: Data Science I and II (HGEN611 and 612)

Project Team: Dana Lapato and Timothy York

Key Features

  • Builds on existing resources teaching R programming
  • Will incorporate content on research/data ethics and reproducibility, which is mostly lacking in the OER space
  • Using the Bookdown platform
  • Includes practical examples which students can use to test functions in R

Project Updates

  • Working on authoring content
  • Awarded a 2021 Affordable Course Content Awards sustain grant to support honorariums for peer review by students and faculty and compensate students for content contributions.
  • Testing in classes beginning in Fall 2021

View the OER:

Current VCU Impact Level:  50 Students (reached Fall 2022). In use for 4 semesters.

50 Students Impacted4 semesters used


Project: Customize an open textbook

Class: Nutrition (BIOL217)

Project Team: Jill Reid

Key Features

  • Customize an exisiting OER on Human Nutrition 
  • Adding media and interactive self-assessments
  • Will work with students to add nutritional examples relevant to the VCU community

Project Updates

  • Identified existing OER to use
  • Imported into local Pressbooks instance and adjusted for VCU classes
  • Beginning using in class starting in Fall 2021

View the OER:

Current VCU Impact Level: 1,000 Students (reached Spring 2023) and $100,000 in student savings (reached Spring 2023). In use for 5 semesters.

1,000 Students Impacted$100,000 in Student Savings5 semesters used