Affordable course content awards: Four new faculty projects underway

January 11, 2021

Four faculty projects have been selected for VCU’s fourth round of Affordable Course Content Awards. This funding stream supports recipients as they adopt zero-cost resources or create or customize openly-licensed alternatives to expensive textbooks.

Free course materials remove textbooks’ this financial barrier to access, increasing the possibility that students can succeed in their academic careers. Course materials with open licenses also allow faculty to tailor materials to their specific classes, creating engaging learning experiences for students. The Affordable Course Content Awards support faculty who wish to follow this path to enhance the learning experience for students across VCU.

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

Award recipients:

  • Manika Avasthi, instructor from the School of Business, will add updated content, data and examples to an open textbook for Foundations of Business (BUSN201) which she recently created from three existing open texts.
  • Natalie Dautovich, Ph.D., assistant professor from the Department of Counseling Psychology, will create an open textbook for Health Psychology (PSYC412) that includes interactive activities and examples from the Richmond community.
  • Dana Lapato, Ph.D., instructor from the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics in the School of Medicine, will create an open resource teaching R programming and research/data ethics and reproducibility for HGEN611 and 612 (Data Science I and II).
  • Jill Reid, associate professor from the Department of Biology, will customize a textbook for Nutrition (BIOL217), adding media and interactive self-assessments as well as nutritional examples relevant to the VCU community.

The recipients will be working on their projects starting in January 2021, with implementation expected in fall 2022. 

Learn more about the Affordable Course Content Awards and VCU Libraries’ support for open and affordable course content.

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