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Diverse faculty projects receive affordable course content grants for 2019-20

August 7, 2019

Six faculty projects have been selected for VCU’s third round of Affordable Course Content Awards. This funding stream allows recipients to adopt, adapt, or author free and open educational resources to replace more costly texts in their classes and tailor resources to course goals, both lowering student textbook costs and increasing student success.

The Affordable Course Content Awards program is a partnership of the Office of the Provost, VCU Libraries, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the ALT Lab and Online @ VCU, Academic Technologies and Barnes and Noble @ VCU

Award recipients:

  • Joseph Battistelli, Ph.D., Instructor, Rima Franklin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and Aoife Mahaney, graduate student, from the Department of Biology will create an illustrated open lab manual and an accompanying collection of photos for Microbiology Lab (BIOZ303) and Medical Microbiology Lab (BIOZ209).
  • Victor Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Gabriela León-Pérez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, from the Department of Sociology will create an open textbook, adapting existing open materials while adding context and new content. The new resource has the potential to be used in all research methods focused sociology classes, including Research Methods in the Social Sciences (SOCY320), Sociology Senior Seminar (SOCY406), and Sociological Research Methods (SOCY602).
  • Lisa Cipolletti, M.Ed., Assistant Professor, and Valerie Robnolt, Ph.D., Associate Professor, from the School of Education, with help from Elizabeth Morris, Children’s Librarian at Richmond Public Library (Main Branch), will create an open textbook for Children’s Literature I (TEDU386).
  • Greg Greenhalgh, Ph.D., Director of Student Services and Outreach for the Center for Sports Leadership, will replace current textbooks in Research Methods in Sport (SPTL 603) with open and free resources, including podcasts. He is also looking to convert statistical analysis from SPSS to Microsoft Excel, which will be more applicable in graduates’ real-world organizations.
  • Laura Middlebrooks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, with assistance from Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and Steven Burton, undergraduate student, from the School of World Studies will create the scaffolding for an open textbook to be used in SPAN202. The final work will involve student curation of Spanish language materials.
  • Tammy Williams, Ph.D., RN, Director of Undergraduate Programs, Suzanne McGinnis, Director, Systems and Academic and Administrative Technology, and Elizabeth Miles, eLearning Developer, from the School of Nursing will find open and library-licensed alternatives to most, if not all, current textbooks for the first year of the RN to BSN program (NURS301, 307, 308, 309). The project will also include the creation of ancillaries to supplement these new texts.

The faculty recipients will be working on their projects throughout the 2019-20 academic year, with implementation expected in fall 2020. 

Learn more about affordable course content.



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