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VIVA: VIVA Course Redesign Grants

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

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VIVA Course Redesign Grants

Summaries of the Spring 2019 awarded proposals can be found here!

Summaries of the Fall 2019 awarded proposals can be found here! 


The goal of the VIVA Course Redesign Grants is to make textbook and course materials free to students by empowering faculty with the resources and time they need to redesign their curricula using open, library, or no cost resources.

Important Dates

The Request for Proposals was released December 9, 2019. Applications are due February 28, 2020, and award notification will take place on May 15, 2020

Webinars will be held at the following times and include a general introduction to the grants, the application process, and a Q&A:

In addition, a recording of an earlier grant webinar can be found here:


The costs of higher education have skyrocketed for students, and textbook rates have inflated at an even greater rate than other expenses. Students are often choosing to not purchase required textbooks or course materials, which has been linked to poorer academic outcomes, degree completion rates, and what majors are chosen at the outset of school. 

There are expanding efforts to create open and no-cost alternatives that are tailored to faculty needs. Virginia has been a leader in this arena, with schools across the state working to publish open educational textbooks, provide grants to incorporate open into the classroom, partnering with the Open Textbook Network, and offering z-degrees, where all resources in the degree program are no-cost to students.  

These efforts have demonstrated that there are benefits to using open resources beyond saving students money. Student engagement increases, due in part to immediate access to course materials; faculty have more control over the course materials and can tailor them to specific classroom needs; and instructors have the freedom to rethink courses with outcomes-centered approaches, often difficult with a static book. 

Even with expanding interest in this topic, there are still many barriers for faculty interested in incorporating or creating open or no-cost textbooks or course materials in their classrooms. These can include lack of open resources in a particular subject, difficulty in locating resources, concerns about quality, lack of time and support for incorporating open or no-cost materials, a lack of existing ancillary materials, such as test banks, and more. 

The course redesign grants are meant empower faculty to address these issues and to provide the support, resources, and time needed to redesign curricula using open, library, or no-cost resources. 


Course redesign grant awards will range from $1,000 to $30,000. Full and part-time faculty from public and private, non-profit institutions may apply. Proposals may involve one person or teams that include: teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, subject matter experts, editors, graphic designers, or others as needed. Applications that include multi-institutional partnerships are encouraged. 

Successful applications will receive 75% of the funding at the outset of the project and the remaining 25% upon completion of a final report.

The funding for this program was added to VIVA's budget in the 2018-2020 Biennium as part of an overall Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative. VIVA is funded by the Virginia General Assembly as well as VIVA member institutions, and is sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education. 

Award Criteria

Successful applications will be selected on the basis of:

  • Potential for student savings, including class enrollment and existing resource costs
  • Use of Open Educational Resources (freely available and free to be modified)
  • Frequency of course offering, with a preference for high-enrollment, required courses, and/or courses that are part of the SCHEV Passport Program
  • Impact of the project on open education, such as the development of high quality resources in areas for which no other open content is currently available
  • Preference for statewide reach through multi-institutional efforts
  • Commitment to continue offering the course for future years
  • Agreement to the terms of the grant and required activities

Applications will be peer-reviewed by a committee comprised of VIVA, Open & Affordable Committee members, and faculty and instructional designers.

Grant Classifications

Proposals fall unto three grant classifications: 

  • Adopt: Those who "adopt" a resource will be using existing resource(s) as-is or with minimal editorial changes.
  • Adapt: Those who "adapt" will be modifying resource(s), combining several existing resources with changes, or creating ancillaries for an existing resource. This includes resources created through the curation of currently available material. 
  • Create: Those who "create" an OER resource will be creating the content all or largely from scratch.


Awarded grants will either be Standard Scale ($1,000-$10,000) or Large Scale ($10,001-$30,000). Standard scale will generally apply to smaller teams at individual institutions, and will almost always be for adoption and adaption, rather than creation. Large scale will demonstrate a large-scale impact through high-enrollment, broad change, or content creation in an area not currently covered by existing open materials; large scale teams will often be multi-institutional.

Each awarded team will receive a project orientation and ongoing support from VIVA staff, including copyright consultation and Creative Commons license support where needed. 


Any questions about the Course Redesign Grant Program, RFP, or the application process should be submitted to