A new incentive program at the University of Houston will award UH faculty members who adopt, adapt, or create an open or alternative textbook in their courses.
Instructors of record for a Summer 2018, Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 course are encouraged to apply to the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program by April 15, 2018. Awards of between $500 and $2500 will be made based on overall feasibility of the proposal and the estimated financial impact for students.
In partnership with the Office of the Provost, the UH Open Educational Resources Committee has implemented the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program as part of the University’s initiative to improve students’ academic experience by mitigating the high cost of textbooks. A 2015 NBC News review of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that textbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041 percent increase.
Open educational resources (OER) offer an alternative to the problem of expensive textbooks for students. According to a recent survey conducted by the UH Student Government Association, over 37% of respondents have not purchased a required textbook due to the cost. By shifting to freely accessible and openly licensed teaching, research, and learning tools, including textbooks, more students will have access to course materials.
University of Houston Libraries will host an open forum for faculty to learn about the benefits of alternative textbooks and how to get started in offering an alternative textbook. Mimi Lee, professor, College of Education, and Jason Eriksen, associate professor, College of Pharmacy, will discuss implementing open textbooks in the classroom and the support provided through the incentive program on April 3, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. in the MD Anderson Library, 10F (basement level).
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