Create Freely Available Textbooks & Learning Resources
The University Libraries at Virginia Tech provide new ways to discover, access, create, sustain, and share information. We are so passionate about this mission and our commitment to learning, teaching, research, and service that we fund creation and worldwide sharing of learning resources at no cost to students. We do this because many students struggle to afford (or ethically access) required course materials , and because some faculty have asked for solutions and support.
We developed a faculty grant program that engages faculty in adapting or creating and openly sharing high quality legally remixable learning resources called open educational resources (OER).
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. (Hewlett Foundation)
Our Open Education Faculty Initiative Grants support faculty engagement in creating no cost alternatives to traditional textbooks and homework software access codes. We provide infrastructure, project management, technical expertise, introductions to potential collaborators, and we use Creative Commons licenses to further allow customization of these materials.
Our first book, Fundamentals of Business, a collaboration with the Pamplin College of Business is used by over 700 students at Virginia Tech each year. It has been adopted by at least 11 other colleges and universities. It has also been downloaded over 80,000 times worldwide since publication in August 2016.
A Beta version of our second book Electromagnetics Vol 1 was peer reviewed in Fall 2017 and is being field tested this semester. It will be revised and released worldwide as a first edition in Summer 2018.
A video series demonstrates methods for examining a canine and a virtual reality canine model for use in teaching is also in development.
Your financial support will provide funds for larger projects and year-round support for creation of open educational resources (OER).
Faculty who want to adapt, create, and share resources for teaching and learning with their students and beyond the University are encouraged to explore the program here. Team and collaborative projects are especially encouraged. Pre-application consultations are also encouraged. Questions or comments? Please contact Anita Walz.
Cover credit for Fundamentals of Business: Trevor Finney. Image attributions “Hong Kong Skyscrapers” by Estial, cropped and modified by Trevor Finney CC BY-SA 4.0; “Paris vue d’ensemble tour Eiffel” by Taxiarchos228, cropped and modified by Poke2001 and Trevor Finney CC BY 3.0
 In 2015, the Virginia Tech Student Government Association hosted a student forum and subsequent panel discussion. Students articulated a variety of observations about their own and others' experiences. View the blog post here.
The project owners wish to thank graduating seniors in COMM 4304 Public Relations Campaigns for their collaboration and development of the project video.