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Open Book Summer Grant Program

About the Grant

eCampus Center announces the new Open Book Summer Grant. This program will provide online faculty at Boise State the funding, training, and resources to create open textbooks for online courses.

The Open Book Summer Grant is an eight week online learning experience designed to help faculty create their ideal textbook. The program is scaffolded to help build self-publishing knowledge – from designing effective textbook structure to diversifying the curriculum.

Upon completion, grant participants will have a complete open textbook for an online course they teach that leverages openly licensed materials and receive a $2000 stipend. Please note that courses being delivered remotely on a temporary basis are not eligible for the program.

Program Overview

At Boise State, open educational resources (OER) are free, openly-licensed materials that permit use, revision and redistribution. While the benefits of OER are available to all learners and educators, OER draws on the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion. As such, it is developed for the empowerment and with the participation of marginalized learners who may be underrepresented in educational contexts.

However, while open licenses offer educators the opportunity to revise and remix materials for their own purposes, it can be a big challenge to tackle. The Open Book Summer Grant program is designed to help build the expertise needed for the successful adaptation of OER and bridge the gap between a great idea and practical application in the classroom.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Define an open textbook and evaluate methods for organizing and managing the development of an open textbook project;
  • Apply best practices for revising, remixing, citing and attributing OER, including accurately interpreting open licenses;
  • Use generative writing and research processes to produce prose designed for a student audience;
  • Identify and establish accessibility features as a foundation for an effective textbook;
  • Investigate methods for diversifying curriculum in a given discipline;
  • Plan and integrate a variety of images, videos and digital interactives, as appropriate for context and discipline;
  • Use a variety of technologies for authoring and publishing course content;
  • Devise strategies for evidence-based revisions through student evaluations and analytics.

Throughout the 8 week experience, faculty will have weekly synchronous cohort meetings to discuss the curriculum, receive individual consultations from the OER Coordinator and use the Open Book Toolkit to support their success. The curriculum will also include 5 project milestones that will scaffold the process of developing the open book. The program runs June 15th – August 14th with final books due August 21st.

Program Outcomes:

Upon completion of the grant program, faculty participants will have developed an open book according to the following guidelines:

  • Development of a 5 chapter OER textbook that may leverage revised openly licensed content and original faculty writing;
  • Each chapter should cover at least one online module’s worth of course content;
  • Originally written Chapter Objectives and Check Your Understanding activities to support student comprehension of course content;
  • Implementation of images, videos and interactives, as appropriate to the curriculum;
  • Pass an accessibility check and make any requested revisions;
  • Properly implement open licenses and citation practices, pass a review for copyright and be assigned an open license;
  • Collaborate with eCampus Center staff to create a cover for the resulting textbook;
  • Comprise a plan for gathering feedback, evaluating and revising the open textbook.

Program Incentives

Successful completion of these requirements will result in the disbursement of the following participant incentives:

  • Letter of successful completion signed by the Dean of Extended Studies;
  • An original OER textbook and support for studying it’s ongoing impact on students provided by eCampus Center’s Research and Innovation Team;
  • A $2000 stipend disbursed at two points during the program: $1500 on completion of week 3 and $500 on submission of final open textbook project.

Eligibility Information

To maximize the impact of the program on online students, the proposed textbook must:

  • Be for an online course that has already been developed;
  • Result in an online course that does not have material costs above $50;
  • Cover at least 5 module’s worth of online course content;
  • Leverage multimedia in the form of images and videos, as appropriate;
  • Be built upon openly licensed material.

Participation Requirements

These participation requirements are designed to set up faculty for success as they move through the process of self-publishing. Upon receiving the grant, faculty participants agree to:

  • Attend 6 out of 8 virtual synchronous cohort meetings;
  • Review the program textbook and apply content to textbook projects;
  • Complete on-time all project milestones and participate actively during the 8 weeks;
  • Attend approximately 4 one-on-one consultations with the OER Coordinator;
  • Implement Pressbooks as the ebook platform for their completed open textbook;
  • Follow the advice of accessibility consultants to the best of their ability;
  • Attend to diversity, equity and inclusion while crafting the textbook;
  • Implement the resulting book in an online course for at least 3 semesters;
  • Present their open textbook at the Open Textbook Showcase in Fall 2020;
  • Agree to allow their final textbook to be showcased publicly on Boise State’s website and submitted to the Open Textbook Network.

Information Sessions

Attend an info session to learn more about the requirements for consideration, the application and review process, and get an overview of the 8 week online learning experience that participants will follow to create their open books.

For meeting security, please register here. A Zoom link will be distributed to registered participants the day prior to the information session.

Application Requirements

Applications close on June 1st.

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Project Feasibility: The extent to which the application demonstrates clarity of intent and departmental support.
  • Scale of Impact: The extent to which the application demonstrates a significant impact on online student success.
  • Textbook Vision: The extent to which the application demonstrates a clear vision for the textbook with pertinent detail for successful project completion.
  • Responsive to Audience: The extent to which the application demonstrates familiarity with intended student audience and a clear intent to write for students’ needs.
  • Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: The extent to which the application demonstrates an ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the process of creating course materials.

For an overview of required materials, please see the Application Guide below.

Application Guide

Apply Now

Common Questions

Do I need to be familiar with OER to apply?

While some familiarity with OER is helpful, applicants do not need to have an extensive knowledge of OER or open licenses to apply.

Where can I find OER to repurpose for my book?

Boise State University offers tools and resources for finding and implementing OER. Please visit boisestate.edu/oer for additional information.

Why is a letter of support required from my department chair or program head?

To ensure that books developed in the program have the greatest chance of positively impacting online students, we are requesting a letter of support from all applicants to verify that the department is supportive of an OER approach to curriculum.

Is an email an acceptable format for the letter of support?

Yes, an email will suffice as a letter of support.

Are we writing a textbook from scratch?

No. Open Book Grant participants will build their textbooks by compiling Open Educational Resources and completing some additional writing, as needed.

Can I include copyrighted materials in my book?

While some fair use of copyrighted materials will be permitted, the majority of the materials should be openly licensed to permit easy sharing of completed books. During the program, you will have access to copyright and licensing specialists to answer additional questions.

Have additional questions? Feel free to reach out to eCampus Center’s OER Coordinator, Monica Brown at monicabrown1@boisestate.edu.