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Open Textbook Workshop


Are you an instructor looking for a new textbook? Perhaps you’d like something more affordable for your students, something more aligned with your syllabus, or something which allows for more flexibility in your course design? Learn about and explore these free textbook alternatives through this asynchronous Canvas course and then write a short review of an open textbook. Receive a $200 professional development stipend for your efforts! 

Did You Know...

  • The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success.
  • The College Board estimates that the average undergraduate can budget $1,220 - $1,420 for textbooks and supplies in 2017–18.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of four times inflation.
  • Seven out of 10 students don’t purchase a required textbook during their academic career because of cost.
  • 60 percent of students have delayed purchasing textbooks until they’ve received their financial aid.
  • Free materials improve student success, especially for those who are from historically underserved groups, first generation, part-time, or Pell grant recipients.
  • Open textbooks are customizable, allowing faculty to adjust the book to meet their course and creating more engaging learning experiences.

What You Can Do

Enroll in the virtual Open Textbook Workshop — an asynchronous course where you'll begin to explore the cost of higher education, including the high cost of course materials, and be introduced to one affordable alternative: open textbooks. Previously a live session, this workshop has been reimagined as an asynchronous course to allow you to engage with the materials at your own pace. It should take you approximately two hours to complete and can be completed in multiple sessions. 

After you complete the the workshop, you'll be asked to write a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library that will benefit other faculty considering the adoption of open textbooks. Upon completion of both the course and the review, you will receive a $200 stipend.

If you wish to learn about open textbooks but do not wish to receive a stipend, you are welcome to work through the course without submitting a review and/or assignments.

Registration and course timeline

All VCU faculty are eligible to enroll. We encourage those who enroll to have a course for which they would like to locate a free textbook.

To enroll, complete a registration form. Make sure to provide your VCU email address, which will be used to enroll you in the Canvas course. You must register by July 22.

Shortly after you submit your registration, you will be added to the Canvas course and an email confirmation sent. You can then proceed to working through the course. Course content must be completed by July 31. 

Following the close of the course on July 31, you will receive an email from the Open Education with information about completing your review. You will have until September 5 to complete your review.