Professional News

Alternative Textbook Grants Available for Academic Year 2019-20

stock photo of young woman with book open and various letters, emblems flying out

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2019) — University of Kentucky faculty who would like to replace a traditional textbook with open course content in the academic year 2019-20 are encouraged to submit a proposal to UK LibrariesAlternative Textbook Grant Program. UK Libraries is delighted to offer new grants to facilitate instructors’ adoption of existing open textbooks and the creation of new alternative course content.

UK Libraries has held three rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grant Program since 2016. Fifteen of the funded courses had been taught by August 2018 with an approximate total enrollment of 4,318 students and accumulative estimated savings of $665,690 for the enrolled students. In other words, each student saved about $154 on average thanks to the use of alternative course content in place of traditional textbooks in their courses. 

“I found the process painless,” said Christopher Huggins, an Alternative Textbook Grant recipient and lecturer in the Department of Sociology. “The material in the alternative textbook was very similar to the traditional text in both content and quality. These alternative textbooks are freely available on the web and easy to personalize. This made the process of adopting the new book easy.” 

“I now have a plethora of resources to use going forward with this course and will likely not go back to a standardized textbook,” Robin Vanderpool, associate professor in the Department of Health, Behavior & Society and a recipient of the Alternative Textbook Grant, commented. 

Asked about the grant program, Mary Beth Thomson, senior associate dean of UK Libraries, said, “The program outcomes and grant recipients’ feedback have demonstrated that using alternative textbooks are beneficial financially to the students and pedagogically to the instructors.”  

In support of the grant program, Adrian Ho, director of Digital Scholarship at UK Libraries, will hold an information session focused on finding and using open textbooks on March 7, 2019. Seating is limited and registration is required for attendance.

The Alternative Textbook Grant Program offers two tracks for applicants to consider. A successful proposal for adopting existing open textbooks, free online content and/or UK Libraries’ licensed information resources will be awarded a grant of $1,500. A successful proposal for creating new open course content (with at least 50 percent of the content being newly created) will be awarded a grant of $2,500. 

Proposals must be submitted via this online form by April 1, 2019. All applicants will be notified of the results in early summer of 2019. After teaching the specified course with an alternative textbook, each grant recipient is required to submit a description of the outcomes and an evaluation of their experience with the grant program. 

Details about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program are available here. Interested faculty can also contact Adrian Ho, UK Libraries director of Digital Scholarship, or Mary Beth Thomson, UK Libraries senior associate dean, for more information.