According to the most recent survey data from the College Board, the average full-time, on-campus undergraduate student at a four-year school is estimated to have spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 academic year. To address the rising cost of textbooks for IU students, IUPUI and IUB Libraries have created a Course Material Fellowship Program with support from the Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council (WPLC). The program helps to address the issue of rising textbook costs for students at IUPUI, IUB, and IUPUC, in part by educating instructors about the benefits of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are learning materials (tutorials, syllabi, worksheets, interactive experiences, lesson plans, and blogs) shared under an intellectual property license that enables others to reuse, revise, remix, retain, and redistribute them. In addition to OER, fellows will have the option of creating/ editing Pressbooks with their own material and/ or using library eBooks and databases. The Program recognizes that a mix of these solutions is often required in order to move to zero cost course materials.
One of the goals of the program is to centralize support for instructors working with the variety of affordable course material solutions available. In addition to librarians specializing in an instructor’s content area and OER, fellows will have access to experts from the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) and the UITS Digital Education Programs and Initiatives Team.
The Fellowship Program is a result of years of work building awareness about course material affordability solutions, including a symposium to discuss the issue in 2018, CITL and library partnerships to raise awareness about OER within STEM, University Information Technology Services (UITS) providing access to the Pressbooks platform to easily organize and publish books, and, most recently, the IU system joining the Open Education Network.
Instructors at IUB, IUPUI, and IUPUC can learn more about eligibility, application details, and expectations of the Program by visiting the Course Material Fellowship Program website. Applicants are required to fill out a short qualtrics survey with details about their course on the Fellowship Program website in order to be considered. Applicants must be an instructor of record at IUB, IUPUI, or IUPUC.
Selection will be based on a variety of factors such as potential student savings, enrollment rate, interest in the Fellowship Program and its benefits, and sustainability of resources. The Fellowship Program seeks a diverse group of applicants who have a passion for making educational resources more accessible.
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