VIVA: Spring 2019 Grant Recipients
The response to VIVA’s RFP for its new Course Redesign Grant Program was tremendous, with 61 proposals requesting a total of more than $800,000. VIVA has awarded 17 projects in this first round of funding, totaling $240,696 in grants with the potential to save Virginia students more than $1.7 million dollars each year. Grant recipients represent 19 VIVA institutions, with many of the projects representing multi-institution collaborations, and 13 disciplines, with the STEM fields strongly represented. Summaries of the awards and descriptions of the funded projects are found below.
Math Open Resources Engagement
Sheri L. Prupis
Virginia Community College System, Tidewater Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, John Tyler Community College
The Math Open Resources Engagement (MORE) project aims to replace existing introductory math course texts with a resource that is a combination of existing Math OER and newly created content. Aiming to improve student success rates by 5% by countering early withdraw rates due to high textbook costs, the MORE project will pilot this new resource at three Virginia community colleges, with the potential to expand its adoption across the Virginia Community College System.
A New Vision for Open Music Theory
Dr. Megan Lavengood
George Mason University, Christopher Newport University, James Madison University, The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Lethbridge, The University of Texas at Tyler
A unique partnership between faculty at three Virginia institutions and universities in Texas and Canada, Dr. Lavengood and her team propose to create a comprehensive music theory textbook that is projected to save students in the state of Virginia alone more than $198,000. This resource will be created by adapting currently available content and writing several chapters to compensate when OER is not available on topic, resulting in an openly-available online resource.
Historical Geology for the 21st Century
Northern Virginia Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College, Reynolds Community College
Co-authored by a diverse team from three Virginia community colleges, this historical geology textbook will incorporate media, including 3D models and audio files of authors discussing answers to the integrated assessment questions. Reflecting the importance of field work to geology, it will include “virtual field experiences” already developed with support from the National Science Foundation.
Language and Literacy in Early Childhood Education Textbook
Dr. Christine Schull
Northern Virginia Community College, Patrick Henry Community College, George Mason University, Longwood University, Virginia Western Community College
This project addresses dual educational goals for the state of Virginia. The first is to reduce the cost and improve the quality of instruction received by students in education courses at state universities. The second is to improve the quality of early childhood education in the state by better educating their teachers. In order to accomplish this, Dr. Schull and her team propose to develop an early childhood education text that is comprehensive and communicates essential information in language that can easily be understood and applied in the field.
Creation and Adaption of OpenStax Biology for VCU's Introductory Biology Course
Virginia Commonwealth University
Jonathan Moore and his collaborators will work with departmental faculty to ensure that their new introductory biology textbook will align with University learning objectives and course goals. Their finished resource will adapt available OER, incorporate recent scientific news, and include biology-related videos, quizzes for student self-assessment, and interactive classroom activities.
Graduate Research Methods in Social Work
Dr. Matthew DeCarlo
Radford University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Monmouth School of Social Work
In order to both educate social work graduate students on the importance of research in the field and to better prepare them to conduct that research, Dr. DeCarlo and his team will develop a complete package of materials for graduate classes in social work. This package will include a textbook, ancillary materials, and a student workbook.
Creating an Interactive OER Microscopy Textbook for Petrology
Dr. Juhong Christie Liu
James Madison University
Dr. Liu, Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, and their team will create an interactive microscopy textbook for use in geoscience courses, including petrology. The text, which has the potential for wide adoption across the state, will include a guide for student learning activities and will include the use of the microscope to take measurements and identify minerals and rocks using different measurement techniques.
Creation of an Interactive Differential Equations Text with an Emphasis on Modeling Applications
Dr. Karen Bliss
Virginia Military Institute
Dr. Bliss and her team will be creating an interactive online differential equations textbook with a focus on modeling in order to demonstrate the utility of equations rather than focusing on a more abstract, mathematic point of view. The project will include a host of ancillary materials, including an online homework library, a workbook, and a website designed specifically for the text.
One Less Silo: Generating an Integrated Resource to Support Integrated Delivery
Dr. Renée LeClair
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Currently, faculty teaching two required pre-clinical courses at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine must cobble together resources from 14 different texts with a cost to students of over one thousand dollars. Dr. LeClair and her team intend to eliminate the cost entirely by creating a single integrated, open resource that is aligned with course goals.
Open CSF: An Online, Interactive Textbook for Computer System Fundamentals
Dr. Michael S. Kirkpatrick
James Madison University
Dr. Kirkpatrick will create an online, freely-accessible version of his commercial textbook, Computer System Fundamentals: Principles of Concurrent Systems. In addition to open access content, Open CSF will include tools for low-stakes assessment of new students, dynamic illustrations, and in-class peer assessment.
Harnessing the Geography that Surrounds Us
Dr. Christine Rosenfeld
George Mason University
As part of a department-wide redesign of an introductory human geography course (a core curriculum course at George Mason University), Dr. Rosenfeld’s team will adapt three open educational resources into a single online resource that includes original chapters by Dr. Rosenfeld and Dr. Nathan Burtch, incorporates ArcGIS Online, a mapping software, and homework assignments and check-point activities to facilitate assessment.
Incorporation, Modification, and Assessment of Electronic Lab Notebooks into An Undergraduate Science Curriculum
Dr. Amy Balija
Students in Chemistry courses at Radford University (and throughout the state of Virginia) are required to buy paper lab notebooks at a cost of around $26.50 each semester. Dr. Balija and her team proposes to adapt an open-source electronic lab notebook for use in chemistry classes, eliminating the cost of this resource (projected to save Radford students alone more than $13,000 annually), and providing a means of using these notebooks for formative assessment and more consistency across the curriculum.
Increasing Access to a Core Course in Psychology: Learning and Cognition
Dr. Catherine Diaz-Asper
Part of a larger project to increase accessibility of the psychology course Learning and Cognition, Dr. Diaz-Asper proposes to develop a cost-free text for the course by adapting existing OER into a single resource. This resource would then be used as the basis for an online version of the course, increasing the number of sections of the course that can be offered
Curating the Best of the Public Domain: An OER Anthology for American Literature
Dr. Jenifer Kurtz
Virginia Western Community College
Replacing an anthology required for more than 400 students of an introductory English class each year, this resource will curate existing public domain early American literature (pre-colonization through 1865) into a freely-available English text. Dr. Kurtz will be heading an effort that will take into consideration the needs of all faculty who teach this course at VWCC, ensuring a department-wide adoption.
Open Cultural Anthropology at Mary Baldwin University
Dr. Abby Wightman
Mary Baldwin University
Dr. Wightman will adopt Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology in her introductory cultural anthropology course. In order to make the adoption of this open access text feasible in her classroom as well as in others, she will create lecture slides and other ancillary materials for the course, making them available both through VIVA’s platform and the website of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges.
Adopting OER in General Psychology
Dr. Gregory Koop
Eastern Mennonite University
In order to increase student success rates in the popular introduction to psychology course, Dr. Koop will work with his team to create the ancillary materials, including formative assessments, as they adopt the open textbook, Discover Psychology 2.0 – A Brief Introductory Text. In the process, they will be able to redesign the general psychology course in order to increase access and transparently connect learning objectives and course requirements.
The Python Jubilee Project
Dr. Daniel Showalter
Eastern Mennonite University
The Python Jubilee Project will adapt varied available OER into a single resource for an introductory course in programming in Python. Dr. Showalter will arrange the materials into weekly course modules that can be accessed and completed by enrolled students as well as those interested but too intimidated to enroll in a formal programming course.