The University of Georgia is laying the foundation for the increased adoption of free and low-cost course materials through a new grants program sponsored by the Provost’s Office.
Through the Affordable Course Materials Grant program, faculty members can receive $5,000 to support the transition from costly course materials such as textbooks to educational resources that are free for students or cost less than $40.
“The Affordable Course Materials Grant program enables our faculty to play an active role in keeping costs down for students while also providing the nationally recognized quality of education that students have come to expect from the University of Georgia,” said Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Libby V. Morris.
A growing body of literature shows that in addition to reducing costs for students, the use of free online textbooks and other open educational resources can help keep students on track toward graduation by improving grades and pass rates. These benefits can be particularly pronounced for students with limited financial means who might otherwise forego purchasing traditional textbooks to save money.
The Affordable Course Materials Grant program, which is being administered by the UGA Libraries and the Center for Teaching and Learning, is open to all full-time faculty. Proposals will be evaluated for impact measures such as dollars saved and number of students who will benefit, as well as for sustainability. Proposals should be submitted online at https://tinyurl.com/AffordableUGA, and the deadline is Feb. 20.
The new program complements the Textbook Transformation Grants program that is sponsored by the Affordable Learning Georgia initiative of the University System of Georgia. Since that program was launched at UGA in 2013, open educational resources have saved more than 26,000 UGA students approximately $3.1 million in textbook costs.
“The University of Georgia has emerged as a national leader in the use of open educational resources, and the Affordable Course Materials Grant program seeks to build on that success to benefit our students,” said Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives.
Questions about the Provost’s Affordable Course Materials Grant program should be directed to the Center for Teaching and Learning at 706-542-1355.