Course Material Fellowship Program Now Accepting Applications through September 12 

IU Libraries’ Course Material Fellowship Program (CMFP) is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 cohort! Now in its third year, the CMFP assists Indiana University faculty with improving the affordability and quality of their course materials. Fellows in the Program will be awarded a stipend between $2,000 and $5,000 and gain the support of IU librarians, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) instructional experts, and UITS technologists. Program Fellows will work with these experts and their cohort to find, adapt, and create low-cost course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER). The ultimate goal for Fellows is to transform their course materials to be as low cost as possible and tailored to their particular course. Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare explains

“While it’s important that OER are free to students, they are also attractive to instructors interested in making course materials more effective for their specific course.”

Low-cost course materials and OER not only enable instructors to expand accessibility by making higher education more affordable for students, but also to enhance student learning by customizing course materials to suit their unique pedagogical goals. 

The CMFP began in fall 2020, supported by the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC), with the goal of supporting faculty’s adoption and creation of OER. OER are freely available course materials that also have specific licenses that legally permit others to adopt, revise, or remix these materials for their own teaching. The CMFP has since evolved in response to lessons learned from the first two years’ implementation. The Program thus far has resulted in over a dozen fellows’ successful adoption and creation of OER, which saved money and improved learning for over five thousand students at IU Bloomington and IUPUI. About half of the projects so far have reached students in 100- and 200-level courses and about half have reached advanced undergraduate students.  

However, like any new program (especially one launched in the midst of a global pandemic!), the initial years of the CMFP also involved unexpected complications. In order to best serve faculty and students, the Open Education Librarian and CMFP Implementation Group have continually refined the Program. The CMFP has used feedback from past Fellows, along with careful consideration of the Program’s goals, to modify the Program’s structure for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

The 2022-2023 CMFP focuses on assisting faculty with finding, adopting, and creating affordable course materials, with the overarching goal of making their courses as low-cost as possible. Low-cost or free materials may include OER, but they also encompass materials such as IU Libraries’ resources, works in the public domain, or open access academic articles.  

The Implementation Group has pivoted to this focus on low-cost course materials—beyond, but including, OER—due to the wide variety of possible projects. A project’s scope depends on existing resources, the specificities of a given course, and the instructor’s own objectives and capabilities. To accommodate our goals for low-cost materials and the different forms that Program participation may take, the CMFP will assign each accepted fellow’s project as either Tier 1 or Tier 2: 

  • Tier 1 projects require selecting, curating, and adapting affordable materials to move from a textbook to a low- or zero-cost course for students. The final project can take a variety of formats (Canvas course, book, etc.) and will not have to be shared publicly.  
  • Tier 2 projects require an original creation of at least 75% of the course content. The remainder can be adopted from existing open educational resources. The final product must be created in the book-publishing tool Pressbooks and submitted as a complete textbook that can be used to fully teach a course. The final text will be shared under a Creative Commons license. Participation in this Tier requires a significant time commitment, and fewer stipends will be available for this Tier. 

Accepted Fellows will meet with the Open Education Librarian to discuss their projects and agree upon the appropriate Tier, and associated stipend amount, for their affordable course material goals.  

All instructors of record at IU Bloomington are eligible to apply to the 2022-2023 CMFP; interested instructors should submit the Qualtrics application here (the application is also viewable as a PDF). Applications will be considered on a competitive basis and applicants are encouraged to consult the rubric the Implementation Group will use to evaluate applications. Applications are due September 12, 2022. 

We are excited by the new opportunities for teaching and learning that our focus on affordable course materials will bring. The CMFP will benefit students not only by mitigating the cost of higher education, but also by enhancing their learning through customized course materials. Similarly, participating instructors will both make their courses as affordable and accessible as possible and gain professional development through the CMFP’s library and pedagogical support. 

More information about the CMFP application and program can be found at our call for proposals and FAQ page. Any instructor interested in the CMFP or affordable course materials is welcome to email Open Education Librarian Sarah Hare at scrissin@iu.edu

Announcing the 2021-2022 Course Material Fellowship Program Cohort

The Scholarly Communication Department is excited to announce the Course Material Fellowship Program cohort for the 2021-2022 academic year. Following our successful launch of the program in 2020-2021, we are welcoming a new group of faculty who are passionate about developing open educational resources (OER) that will be used in their classes and shared with the wider scholarly community. 

As fellows in the program, faculty will receive institutional support as they develop OER. OER are no-cost, freely accessible course materials which are licensed for others to reuse and revise. By participating in this program and developing their own materials, the 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will contribute to the mission of removing barriers to higher education. Fellows will transform their course materials over the 2021-2022 academic year and implement them in their courses starting in fall 2022.

The 2021-2022 CMFP cohort consists of eleven instructors from the IU Bloomington and IUPUI campuses who represent a wide range of academic disciplines. Our fellows teach in the humanities, STEM, business, law and public affairs, and philanthropy fields. The program will impact a broad array of students: by providing no-cost materials, fellows will tangibly mitigate education costs for these students.

We estimate that, altogether, the 2021-2022 cohort’s projects will directly impact over 2,000 students per academic year at the IUB and IUPUI campuses. This amounts to an approximate total cost savings of $233,500 per year.

The CMFP fellows’ OER projects will contribute to teaching and learning in their respective fields through the creative development of unique resources which:

  • Target distinctive student audiences
  • Incorporate values of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Attend to currently relevant topics

For example, Gregory Carter of IUB’s School of Nursing is responding to the problem of astronomical medical/health textbook costs by developing an OER unique to their course. As Carter describes their project:

“What makes this course unique is the focus on community health as well as perinatal concepts. This forces us to use two different (expensive) textbooks in order to present the required materials. What we envision is to develop a resource that combines both areas and allows for a deeper dive into the barriers and facilitators of rural health. Because the Bloomington campus is more focused on rural nursing issues, the proposed resource would not only be unique, it would provide the information in a way that is more accessible to our students.

Meanwhile, L. Anne Delgado, an IUB English instructor, plans to address the current issue of Internet/media misinformation by including relevant readings in their OER text. Additionally, the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion are an important cornerstone of the program’s OER development. While all fellows are promoting these values in their work, some are making it a centerpiece of their OER development. For example, Lasana D. Kazembe of IUPUI’s School of Education will develop an OER focused on teaching for social and racial justice. 

Our CMFP fellows are enthusiastic about the promise of OER development to increase the accessibility of higher education and to strengthen teaching and learning materials. Adam Maltese’s project for their STEM for Educators course highlights the value of developing OER materials. Not only will OER allow Maltese to directly impact IUB students by cutting costs, but Maltese will also use OER to challenge common narratives of scientific endeavors as primarily white and male, which is important for their students, who are mostly women. OER development enables instructors to make decisions about the content of their textbooks; in this way, instructors can fully integrate the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and appeal to students’ particular needs and interests. In eventually sharing their OER online, faculty fellows will also make their valuable resources widely accessible for the use of others.

We are excited about the Open Educational Resources our 2021-2022 CMFP fellows will develop and look forward to seeing the impact of these OER materials on the IUB campus, IUPUI campus, and beyond. 


The Scholarly Communication department also offers support to faculty outside of the program who wish to implement Open Educational Resources into their teaching. Please contact us at iusw@iu.edu for more information.

Navigating Course Material Services at IU Libraries

In response to the ongoing global public health crisis, universities across the country are embracing remote learning models that utilize digital resources. With most instruction occurring virtually, IU students need easily accessible and affordable digital course materials now more than ever. If you are experiencing challenges obtaining course materials, the IU Libraries Scholarly Communication Department provides resources to help instructors in all disciplines find and evaluate digital course materials. 

Student reading a book in the library
Image courtesy of Indiana University.

In a recent video, our graduate assistant Matt Vaughn outlines the options and services that instructors have for selecting course materials. These include:

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital course materials that you can legally customize to fit your needs. Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their courses and used freely. The library can assist you with finding, evaluating, and creating these freely available materials. To learn more about OER options, explore this resource guide or contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare.

Temporarily Available Academic Resources – In addition to traditional open educational resources, many vendors and publishers are making scholarly content temporarily available for free during the ongoing pandemic. Discover these ever-changing materials here.

Analyzing Resources for Fair Use 

Another option to consider, especially if you normally use a physical book in your course or your students frequently utilize course reserves in person, is fair use. Fair use is a legal doctrine that permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. 

Fair use is important if you are considering scanning large portions of a book or journal for your students to access in Canvas. Generally, we recommend that you link to electronic book chapters, but you can upload PDFs of journal articles after you have downloaded them from a library database. IU has resources to help instructors analyze their intended use of copyrighted materials and to make informed decisions about use. For more information, explore this resource guide or contact Naz Pantaloni, Copyright Program Librarian.

Scanning Print Materials

After confirming that copyrighted materials may be used via fair use analysis, the Document Delivery Service unit can help you create digital scans of print materials for Canvas use via the Request Article Delivery program. You can use this service by accessing your Interlibrary Loan (ILL) account and completing the request form.

Finding and Acquiring Library Databases and eBooks

Lastly, IU Libraries may be able to obtain new materials to support your courses. Instructors can request that the Libraries purchase an eBook, a journal subscription, or access to an electronic resource via the Request A Purchase Form. It is important to note that you will need to send students to the eBook publisher’s platform to read these books, and publishers sometimes impose limits on printing and the number of simultaneous users. 

A number of library databases also include media particularly relevant to classroom use. Kanopy, for example, provides access to a wide range of films and documentaries. It can be helpful to discuss eBook and database options with your subject librarian in order to ensure long-term access for your students. 

For more information about these digital resources, visit the IU Libraries services page, contact your subject librarian, or reach out to the Scholarly Communication Department at iusw@indiana.edu.

Course Material Transformation Fellowships Awarded

The Scholarly Communication Department is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of the 2021 Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program. The IUB Libraries and IUPUI Libraries launched the Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program in Fall 2020 for instructors interested in adopting or creating affordable course material, with generous support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council.

Chosen from a competitive list of applicants, our Fellows comprise 13 faculty members and one graduate student who are dedicated to creating and cultivating an environment that allows students to have access to quality course materials without the burden of cost. Many of the fellowships will increase access to educational materials for underrepresented populations. The instructors come from Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and teach courses ranging across the disciplines. In addition to learning methods for improving access to educational resources, Fellows will learn about available platforms such as Pressbooks, and new approaches such as Open Pedagogy in the classroom. They will be implementing the new materials in their courses during the 2021-2022 academic year. These may include Open Educational Resources (OER), library eBooks and databases, and instructor-created materials. 

Please join us in welcoming our Fellows. Their comments below provide a glimpse of their excitement about this new opportunity.

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship would yield a higher-quality OER text for my course and students, and provide me with a tremendous opportunity for continued learning and support.”- Miranda Rodak, Department of English, IU Bloomington

I would like to make [materials] interactive to ensure students are reading and getting immediate feedback on their understanding.” – Kim Donahue, Kelley School of Business, IUPUI

Creating a collection of no-cost materials specifically for IUB multilingual students means that I would be able to customize the content using existing Open Educational Resources.” – Megan Hansen Connolly, Second Language Studies, IU Bloomington

I am excited about this program because of the opportunity to work with experts and others in diverse fields.” – Kathy Berlin, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

The transformation of the course curriculum to better meet the learning objectives in the field and align with the General Education community contributions is my priority under my capacity of instructor and expert in the Culture and Health domain. The current Fellowship program offers a valuable opportunity to improve the learning experience in the field.” – Valia Kalaitzi, Department of Global Health, IUPUI

I want to ensure students are able to access and utilize course materials easily. Due to the course having a large quantity of students each semester, if the course materials were available completely online many students would be able to save money on course materials.” – Amy Powell and Julia Sanders,  ePortfolio, IUPUI

By using a multitude of resources, I can provide students with the most up-to-date, broad base of knowledge required to enhance the lives of people with disability across society.  I am excited to learn more about all the resources available to me to make this transition, especially the OER and ways to create my own, diverse set of instructor-created materials to support student learning.” – Heaven Hollender, Department of Health Sciences, IUPUI

My vision is to create cohesive course materials that align with the story I want to tell with each unit. I would like this to be through lecture videos (some redone to be in the form of whiteboard animations), supplemented with open-source text chapters when appropriate,  or source animations or simulations that are already available.” – Sapna Mehta, Department of Biology, IU Bloomington

“It is paramount that we give [students] a thorough background for the content that we are teaching.  We teach them professional communication and procedures while simultaneously teaching them the requisite medical terminology to get started.”Todd Peabody, School of Optometry, IU Bloomington

I would like to move a multitude of resources such as assessment materials into one resource that students have the ability to apply the content more easily.” – Roxie Barnes, School of Nursing, IU Bloomington

Every semester I have a handful of students who struggle to buy the book, for whom I usually put copies of the book on reserve at Wells. During the COVID pandemic, with library reserves shut down, this situation has become untenable… I have been looking for the time and intellectual space to identify and develop all-digital materials, and this fellowship would provide it.” – Kathryn Graber, Department of Anthropology, IU Bloomington

I appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts and colleagues about OER materials.” – Shana Stump, Department of Political Science, IUPUI

I’m interested in finding free materials to serve as a reference in the classroom for students.”Rick Hullinger, Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences, IU Bloomington

The Course Material Transformation Fellowship Program aims to:

  • Lower the cost of college for students in order to contribute to their retention, progression, and graduation
  • Encourage the development of alternatives to high-cost textbooks by supporting the adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Make course material access on the first day of class a reality for all students, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Support instructors in navigating the variety of affordable course material solutions available and aggregate material instructor support across campus into one space

Even outside of the Fellowship Program, our Department provides support to faculty members who wish to introduce open educational resources and open pedagogy to the classroom. Consult our OER Libguide or contact us for more information.

IU System Joins the Open Textbook Network

The IU system has joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN). Representing over 1,000 institutions, OTN is a consortium of campuses and systems aimed at reducing textbook costs using open educational resources (OER). OTN membership will give IU instructors across the state the ability to review open textbooks in the Open Textbook Library, a collection of nearly 700 textbooks in a variety of disciplines that are free to use, modify, and distribute. Over half of these textbooks have been Open Textbook Network Member badge reviewed by participating instructors, and 70% of the reviews have at least four stars. OTN has found that 45% of instructors who review a textbook go on to adopt it because of its high quality and comprehensiveness.

As part of the OTN membership, IUB staff will receive training on how to find, evaluate, and share open educational resources. Staff will then return to Bloomington to lead workshops for instructors, which introduce both OER and the Open Textbook Library. After each workshop, instructors have the opportunity to review one of the available textbooks in the Open Textbook Library. IUB instructors will receive a stipend for attending the workshop and posting a textbook review in the library. The OTN model provides a low-stakes way for faculty to learn more about OER while aggregating high-quality reviews that help others discern the strengths and weaknesses of OER in a specific subject area. Any IUB instructor of record is eligible to attend a workshop and write a review.

OTN membership also gives IU access to the Publishing Cooperative, an online community with resources to support open textbook publishing and modification. Most of the textbooks available through the OTN library are legally licensed to be modified. The Publishing Cooperative offers guidance to assist instructors in adapting an open textbook to suit their needs. If instructors want to develop their own textbook, the Publishing Cooperative also provides online tools, courses, and step-by-step guides on the open textbook publishing process.

Finally, as a member of the OTN, IUB will have an opportunity to shape the strategy and governance of a key organization that has furthered OER across the nation. Instructors and staff will also be able to monitor textbook usage and track student savings.

According to the OTN website, the average student is now spending $1200 annually on textbooks and supplies. Participating in the OTN will save students money on textbooks while helping instructors customize their course materials.

For more info about OER please visit the Open Scholarship website and be on the lookout for open textbook workshop dates in Bloomington in the Fall.

IU systemwide OTN membership was made possible through the Central Indiana Community Foundation. 

Major Open Scholarship Website Update Includes New Open Education Tab

IU Libraries’ Open Scholarship website, an overview of open scholarship services provided by the Scholarly Communication department, recently underwent a major update. One of the  most notable changes to the site is the addition of the Open Education tab, which provides information on the library’s services regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are teaching and learning resources shared under an open license, usually a Creative Commons license, that renders them compatible with the 5Rs of Open Education; they can be retained, reused, revised, remixed, and redistributed in perpetuity and without restrictions. OER provide free course materials to students, which help combat the rising price of textbooks (the average student at IUB spends over $1,000 on textbooks per year). The customizable nature of OER allows them to be closely tailored to specific courses and better reflect current events and new discoveries. While it can difficult to navigate implementing the right OER into your classroom, the Scholarly Communication department can help instructors find, evaluate, and create OER. The following is a detailed synopsis of the new open education tab, intended to help patrons understand the process of incorporating open education and OER into their pedagogy. This process often begins with searching for pre-existing OER to include in your course.

Screenshot of Open Education tab on Open Scholarship website

 

Find

There are many ways to approach finding OER. One possible starting point is to search for keywords in conjunction with “open educational resources” in your preferred search engine. There are also several OER repositories that can help streamline the process: the Open Education tab’s “find” subsection provides a list of some of our favorite repositories, and the IU OER LibGuide contains several other suggested resources. The LibGuide also provides access to the Mason OER Metafinder (MOM), which searches across several OER repositories. Often, there are many potentially relevant OER and choosing the right option for your classroom can be difficult. The following section provides evaluation tips and suggestions to make sure you are choosing the most appropriate resources.

Evaluate

As OER can be created, used, and revised by anybody, instructors may have concerns regarding their quality and suitability. The process for evaluating OER is very similar to evaluating any other course material; the only difference is understanding each resource’s specific license. The OER Evaluation Checklist provides a walkthrough of considerations when evaluating OER, in particular, ensuring that the materials are of proper quality, appropriate for the class demographic, and are technologically compatible with the course aims. The Open Scholarship website also contains a rubric for evaluating OER that addresses relevance, accuracy, production quality, accessibility, interactivity, and licensing. As an additional evaluative tool, many OER repositories include reviews of particular resources from other users, often other instructors, which provide a succinct and critical overview for  helping instructors quickly evaluate a particular OER. If you are still having trouble finding the right OER for your course, or are interested in development, the Scholarly Communication department can help instructors create their own OER.

Create

Creating an OER for your course can take many forms, and there are several resources available to you. One option is using Pressbooks, an accessible tool that allows users to create, edit, and publish texts in a variety of formats. It is easy to involve students with Pressbooks, and they can even create OER as a final project for a course. The Pressbooks User Guide provides a walkthrough of the tool, and the Open Pedagogy Notebook provides examples and suggestions for creating OER with students. There are even funding opportunities for supporting OER creation and implementation, such as IUB’s Information Literacy Course Grant. For a more thorough discussion of a recent example, please see Scholarly Communication Librarian Sarah Hare’s previous blog post about a course that received an Information Literacy Grant to create an OER using Pressbooks.

Further Resources

Not every class is the same, and the steps discussed above are not always linear. The process often includes a combination of different steps. The Scholarly Communication department offers various resources and services to help you integrate OER into your classroom, no matter what your project looks like. A detailed list of these services, including FAQs, can be found under the Open Scholarship website’s new Open Education tab, and the IU OER LibGuide provides supplementary resources and information. While this blog post details the Scholarly Communication Department’s OER services, it does not exhaust all available options for finding, implementing, and/or creating affordable course materials at IU. If you have any further questions about OER and how you can incorporate them into your classroom, please email iusw@indiana.edu.

Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium To Be Held on March 8

Indiana University Bloomington undergraduate students are estimated to pay $1,034 for course materials each academic year. Said another way, students must work 142 hours at a minimum wage job to purchase their course materials each year. Thus, high course material costs directly impact first generation, food-insecure, and low-income students and their ability to do well in class.

IUB students are estimated to pay $1,034 for books and supplies for the 2017-2018 academic year. Be part of the solution: http://bit.ly/IUAffordableTextbooks

Image created by IU Press

A national survey of over 2,000 students found that if students cannot afford course materials, 65% of them will avoid renting or buying texts even though they know it may possibly impact their overall success in a course. Almost half of the students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks also “impacted how many/ which classes they took each semester,” potentially affecting student course loads and degree progression (pg. 5).

Affordable and open course materials offer a potential solution to this issue. Affordable course materials are offered to students at a reduced price, often at a fraction of what they would normally pay. IU’s eText program has helped IU instructors integrate affordable course material into their classrooms since 2010. Students play a reduced, flat fee for their eTexts and they are guaranteed access on the first day of the semester, increasing engagement for the entire class. Students retain access to eTexts throughout their time as an IU student.

Similarly, Open Educational Resources (OER) are course materials that are shared under an intellectual property license that explicitly allows others to use and revise them freely. Examples of OER include textbooks, videos, activities, syllabi, and lectures shared under a Creative Commons license. In addition to cost savings, OER have been connected to student retention and completion. A study at Virginia State University found that students who took courses that utilized OER “tended to have higher grades and lower failing and withdrawal rates.” Thus, affordable and open course materials save students money while also helping instructors improve learning outcomes.

Still, many faculty do not know how to find, evaluate, or create affordable and open course material. The Office of Scholarly Publishing and UITS have partnered to hold a day-long Driving Student Success through Affordable Course Material Symposium on March 8, which will explore the connection between course material costs and student success, progression, and retention. The symposium will feature three experts on affordable course material from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Steel Wagstaff (Educational Technology Consultant), Kris Olds (Professor of Geography), and Carrie Nelson (Librarian and Director of Scholarly Communication) will share their experience locating, creating, assessing, and integrating OER and affordable course material into courses in several disciplines.

Morning workshops will explore tools and repositories for finding and creating affordable course materials firsthand. The afternoon panel will provide an overview of current initiatives at IU and UW-Madison and address how course material costs impact students in more depth. The day will conclude with an informal reception, where attendees can meet one-on-one with IU experts to get started on adopting or creating affordable course material in their own courses.

All IU Bloomington instructors interested in course material creation, new forms of pedagogy, and tools for finding and evaluating affordable/ open content are welcome! Space is limited and registration is required by February 16, as lunch is provided.

Instructors interested in working with the Office of Scholarly Publishing to find or create either OER or eTexts can e-mail iusw@indiana.edu.