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VIVA: VIVA Open Grant Award Summaries

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

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VIVA Open Grants Awarded Projects

Spring, 2019

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
Callan Bentley
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
Jonathan Moore
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
Radford University
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
Marymount University
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.


Fall, 2019

Aligning Student Learning Outcomes and OERs at James Madison University and Blue Ridge Community College
Dr. Timothy C. Ball
James Madison University, Blue Ridge Community College
Dr. Ball’s team will take on two tasks in order to eliminate the cost of textbooks in introductory human communications courses for more than 5,000 students in Virginia each year. First, they will align learning outcomes in these 100-level courses at James Madison University and Blue Ridge Community College. Then, they will create an open resource that will replace the existing textbook. The new OER will integrate materials openly available into a single text and develop ancillary materials, including lecture slides and a final exam test bank.


The Craft of Sociological Research: Principles and Methods of Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Social Science Data
Dr. Victor Chen
Virginia Commonwealth University
This project will create an OER that aims to be a “one-stop shop” for textbook needs for the department’s five sociological research methods-related courses. Integrating text and multimedia files, including video and audio, the final project will include a focus on Virginia-based researchers and highlight localized examples of issues particularly pertinent to Virginia.


An Interactive Learning Guide for Human Anatomy and Physiology, Part I
Dr. Rong Zhu
Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University, Marymount University
Dr. Zhu’s team will create cloud-based, interactive OER for courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology. Aligned with the national standards of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, this project will create a platform that can be downloaded as a SCORM package for instructors of both online and campus courses. 


Teaching Cultural Anthropology for 21st Century Learners
Dr. Cortney Hughes Rinker
George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University
Focusing on translation and application of basic principles to real-world scenarios, this project will create a cultural anthropology textbook that will fill a need in a popular undergraduate course. Easily adaptable for a variety of course formats to facilitate wider adoption, this textbook will focus on trends in 21st century anthropology and the ways that the discipline can help students contextualize and understand global issues.


Open Access Undergraduate Robotics Textbook
Dr. Nathan Sprague
James Madison University
Creating the first undergraduate robotics textbook of its kind, Dr. Sprague’s team will respond to a growing need for undergraduate computer science students. Their text will make material accessible to students with strong programming skills but lacking the graduate-level math skills current textbooks take for granted. In addition, the team will create exercises and visualizations to accompany the textbook.


Conversaciones Corrientes: Temas de Cultura y Sociedad
Dr. Laurie A. Massery
Randolph-Macon College, University of Lynchburg
In order to facilitate optimal student interaction and eliminate costs, Dr. Massery and her team will create an interactive textbook that offers opportunities for students of advanced conversational Spanish to easily interact with one another and with native Spanish speakers. In addition, they will develop the ancillary materials that will make the resource easy for instructors to adapt the resource to meet their own needs.


Creating an Open Lab Manual for Quantitative Methods in Geography
Dr. Nathan Burtch
George Mason University, University of Mary Washington
Dr. Burtch and his project partner, Dr. Caitlin Finlayson, will create an open laboratory manual for quantitative methods in geography. Currently, no such manual exists. Their manual will make use of a variety of software platforms for wider adoptability and focus on methods that utilize statistics to solve real-world geographic problems.


Adopting OER-Enabled Pedagogy in Hydromechanics (AOpH)
Dr. Tian Luo
Old Dominion University
An essential component in the redesign of a required course in civil engineering, the project will adapt four open textbooks into a single resource for undergraduate students of hydromechanics. Team members will also create ancillaries, including slides and a test bank, and students will work with the team to create videos that may be incorporated into the resource in the future.


Foundations of Education, Foundations of OER
Dr. Melissa Wells
University of Mary Washington
All students in the University of Mary Washington’s College of Education take the introductory course, Foundations in Education. This project will replace the $80 textbook required of students with an accessible open educational resource that will be aligned directly with Virginia standards of teacher preparation. The text will also integrate themes of social justice, in line with the mission of the university.


Creation of an Open Textbook, Fish, Fishing and Conservation
Dr. Donald Orth
Virginia Tech
Filling the need for a textbook for a general education conservation course, this project will create an openly-license text that will promote critical thinking around issues of fish conservation and integrate social, economic, and ethical issues into consideration of public policies surrounding fisheries. The resource will focus on teaching natural science and social science reasoning and examine multiple perspectives on highlighted issues.


Creating an OER Textbook for PHI 220
John McDonald
Thomas Nelson Community College
Nearly 20% of full time students at Thomas Nelson Community College take the introductory philosophy class in ethics. John McDonald and Jason Moulenbelt, both instructors in philosophy department, will work with university librarians to integrate library material no longer protected by copyright, case studies, and other open content to create an online resource that will expose students to original texts and eliminate the cost of course materials for more than 1,000 students each year.


Developing an Open Access Resource for Introductory Ecology
Dr. Sarah Sojka
Randolph College
This project will adapt available open content from the Ecological Society of America and other open textbooks to create a new resource for introductory ecology. With a focus on the link between basic ecological concepts and environmental issues, the new textbook will incorporate readings, activities, and videos.


Creation and Adaption of OpenStax Sociology for Virginia Wesleyan University’s Introductory Sociology Course
Dr. Thomas Brown
Virginia Wesleyan University
Dr. Brown will be adopting the OpenStax Introduction to Sociology textbook in order to save his students the sometimes prohibitive cost of the standard textbook for this popular undergraduate course. In addition, he will create and integrate data analysis labs and video lectures into the resource, making it possible to teach essential data analysis skills that are frequently left out of the introductory curriculum.


Spring, 2020

Creating an Interactive Family and Community Engagements OER for Future and Novice Teachers
Dr. Adria Hoffman
James Madison University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Hoffman and her team will create a resource for required courses in teacher preparation that focus on developing partnerships between educators, families, and communities. The resource will include simulation and case studies in order to address the need of educators to engage with families in educational contexts.


World Languages OER Textbook Collaboratory
Dr. Kathryn Murphy-Judy
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, University of Mary Washington, Virginia Commonwealth University
This collaboration, the continuation of work begun with a Mellon Humanities Grant, will co-produce student-driven OER for 4th semester courses in Spanish, German, and ASL, required courses for majors at all the institutions represented on the team. Instructors manuals will also be created.


Pre-College Composition for English Language Learners
Ms. Breanna Bayraktar
Northern Virginia Community College
This project will develop a set of course materials to address the gap in available OER for English language learners. Those course materials will include reading assignments, vocabulary and grammar exercises, collaborative activities, quizzes and exams, all of which can be adapted for upper-level composition courses.


Adapting OER for Principles of Management
Dr. Andrew Bennett
Old Dominion University, New River Community College
Instructors at Old Dominion University and New River Community College will adapt OpenStax Principles of Management for a core course for business majors at these institutions. In addition, faculty will create ancillary materials, curate class activities, and migrate new material into existing online course modules.


Adapt OER for Quantitative Reasoning
Ms. Jennifer Polm
John Tyler Community College, Tidewater Community College, Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
Faculty on this team will adapt OER content and create a MyOpenMath course framework that includes assessments, homes and test questions, and samples of student projects that can be used online or face-to-face.


Adaption of OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology by Preparing a Lab Manual for Nursing and Allied Health Students
Dr. Aylin Marz
Norfolk State University
Dr. Marx and her collaborators will adapt the OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology textbook for the two-semester course that nursing and allied health students take at Norfolk State University and create a lab manual to accompany the textbook. The manual will include interactive exercises, use the scientific method, and provide sketching exercises in order to significantly enhance learning.


A No-Cost, All-Inclusive Statistics Course
Dr. Neville Fogarty
Christopher Newport University
As many as 500 students take Math 125: Elementary Statistics at Christopher Newport University each year. This project will eliminate their materials costs entirely and ease instruction by curating a selection of free textbooks, revising existing lecture notes, creating a set of video lectures, and creating homework sets.


Aerospace Structures — Three Projects in One
Dr. Mayuresh Patil
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
This three-part project will complete and make the open textbook Aerospace Structures, redesign three engineering courses that will adopt the text, and create and release a pilot database of relevant homework and test problems that will be exportable in multiple formats.


Increasing the Accessibility of General Undergraduate Education in Physical Science
Dr. Nadine Gergel-Hackett
Mary Baldwin University
Dr. Gergel-Hackett will adapt open access chemistry and physics textbooks for non-science majors in introductory courses. The project team will include undergraduate researchers who will bring the text to life through multimedia resources, including 3D models and simulations.


Making Free Textbook Adoption Easier with Minimum Compromise in Quality
Dr. Can Dogan
Radford University
Dr. Dogan's team will create and align text bank questions for the OpenStax Principles of Macroeconomics and Microeconomics textbooks in order to allow instructors to create practice and graded assignments in each chapter.


Adaptation of the PHI220 Ethics Course
Ms. Deborah Holt
Southside Virginia Community College
The PHI 220 Ethics course will be modified, and new course resources will replace the traditional textbook and associated learning material. Ms. Holt will also make instructor's notes available to increase the utility of this resource to other instructors.