VIVA: VIVA Open Grants
As part of VIVA’s Open and Affordable Course Content Programs, VIVA provides two grant opportunities, the VIVA Open Adopt Grants and the VIVA Open Course Grants. These grants encourage the use of open and affordable course content, including textbooks, software, and other course materials, by providing funding for instructors to adopt, adapt, and create course content that can be made available to students for no or very little cost. Grant details, application and award deadlines, and program information can be found below.
$2,000 grants to adopt a pre-existing open educational resource for a recurring course. The next application for VIVA Open Adopt Grants is due October 19, 2020.
Grants that range from $2,000 up to $30,000 and support individuals and teams in adopting, adapting, and creating free and affordable course content. The next application cycle for VIVA Open Course Grants will begin in December, 2020.
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 not to purchase required textbooks or course materials, and this has been linked to poorer academic outcomes, degree completion rates, and what majors are chosen at the outset of school. Added to this, the COVID-19 crisis has further exacerbated issues of student access and equity in the availability of curricular resources, and forced instructors to quickly shift pedagogical approaches, deepening the importance of making resources available that can be reimagined and are broadly accessible.
For many years, Virginia has expanded efforts to create open and no-cost alternatives that are tailored to faculty needs, with schools across the state working to publish open educational textbooks, provide grants to incorporate open resources into the classroom, partner with the Open Textbook Network, and offer z-degrees, where all resources in the degree program are no cost to students. These efforts have demonstrated the benefits to using open resources beyond saving students money. Student engagement increases, due to immediate access to course materials; faculty can tailor the course materials to specific classroom needs; and instructors have the freedom to rethink courses with outcomes-centered approaches.
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, and a lack of existing ancillary materials, such as test banks.
The VIVA Open Adopt and Open Course Grants 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.
The funding for this program was added to VIVA's base 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.
Grants were awarded in the spring of 2019, the fall of 2019, and the spring of 2020. Summaries of awarded grants can be found here. Examples of previously completed grant projects can be found in VIVA Open as well.
Questions about all VIVA Open Grants can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.