Skip to Main Content

VIVA: Fall 2019 Grant Recipients

Virginia's Academic Library Consortium

This guide has variable layouts and houses the majority of the "sub" pages for VIVA's website.

VIVA Course Redesign Grant Program: Fall 2019 Awards

The response to VIVA’s Course Redesign Grant Program continues to be tremendous, with 44 proposals requesting more than $600,000. VIVA has awarded 14 projects in this first round of funding, totaling $206,955 in grants with the potential to save Virginia students more than $900,000 dollars each year. Grant recipients represent 14 VIVA institutions, with many of the projects representing multi-institution collaborations, and 13 disciplines. When combined with the projects awarded grants in the spring of 2019, VIVA Course Redesign Grant projects have the potential to save Virginia students as much as $12.5 million over five years. Summaries of the awards and descriptions of the funded projects are found below.


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.


Biological Anthropology Open Source Textbook
Dr. Noel T. Boaz
Emory & Henry College, Virginia Commonwealth University

This project will adapt a now out-of-print textbook in the field of biological anthropology. The new resource will have updated references and revised text, as well as enhanced illustrations, and will focus on making links between concepts in biological anthropology and issues of societal importance, including racism, human rights, and healthcare.


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.