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VCU Faculty awarded state grants supporting no-cost course materials

February 18, 2020

VCU faculty are a part of three out of 14 projects awarded in the Fall 2019 cycle of the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) Course Redesign GrantsThis funding supports faculty in transitioning to course materials available at no cost to students, such as open educational textbooks and/or library resources.

The three VCU projects were awarded a combined $57,820 out of $206,955 awarded this cycle. VCU was one of 14 Virginia institutions represented in this round of awards. A full list of recipients and brief project descriptions from the Fall 2019 cycle can be found on the VIVA website

"The Craft of Sociological Research: Principles and Methods of Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Social Science Data"

This team will create an open textbook to be used in all research methods classes in the Sociology department. The textbook will include multimedia, such as videos and blogs, and will spotlight Virginia researchers and examples. This sociology research methods book was also a recipient of a 2019 VCU Affordable Course Content Award administered by VCU Libraries. 

The project team members are Victor Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor, Gabriela León-Pérez, Ph.D., assistant professor, Julie A. Honnold, Ph.D., associate professor, Volkan Aytar, Ph.D., instructor, with assistance from Thomas Woodward, associate director of innovation, ALT Lab, and Jessica Kirschner, open educational resources librarian.  

"It's an honor to receive this generous grant from VIVA to write our research methods textbook, on top of all the support that VCU Libraries has provided us through the Affordable Course Content Awards,” Chen said. “We know the statewide competition for grant funding can be intense, but VCU is well ahead of other universities when it comes to supporting the growing field of open educational resource development. The advice, resources, contacts, and other backing we received from VCU Libraries were a tremendous help in crafting a winning proposal for the VIVA grant. We're grateful for all the guidance and encouragement we received, and we're excited to put together a high-quality methods textbook that makes sociological knowledge freely accessible to students.”

"Teaching Cultural Anthropology for 21st Century Learners"

This project aims to create an undergraduate textbook that focuses on trends in 21st century anthropology and the ways that the discipline can help students contextualize and understand global issues.

The project is led by Cortney Hughes Rinker, Ph.D., associate professor at George Mason University, and Sheena Nahm, Ph.D., adjunct professor at the New School for Public Engagement and vice president for research and development at Health Leads, with assistance from Sarah Raskin, Ph.D., VCU assistant professor, Aaron McCollough, Ph.D., director, George Mason University Press and Mason Publishing Group, and Andrew Lee, Ph.D., humanities and social sciences librarian at George Mason University.

VCU’s Raskin will be serving as a subject matter expert on the project. She plans to use the textbook in classes she teaches in the Wilder School.

"Biological Anthropology Open Source Textbook"

This project will revise and update an out-of-print biological anthropology textbook. It is led by Noel T. Boaz, Ph.D., professor at Emory and Henry College, and Richard Harrington, Ph.D., VCU adjunct professor.

About the Grant Program

The VIVA Course Redesign Grants are designed to empower Virginia faculty with the resources and time they need to redesign courses by swapping textbooks and other expensive course materials for open, no cost, or library options.  The program award grants from $1,000 to $30,000 to assist faculty in transitioning to course materials available at no cost to students, such as open educational textbooks and/or library resources. 

The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) administers the grant program. VIVA is a consortium of academic libraries that collaborates on public policy priorities and shares costs and negotiates joint use of resources to strengthen stewardship of state dollars. The Virginia General Assembly and member libraries funds VIVA, which is also sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). 

Visit the VIVA website for additional information about the grant program.

 

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