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Adapting Course Materials for Equity Faculty Grant Recipients

Libraries & Academic Innovation launched the Adapting Course Materials for Equity Grant in 2022 in order to encourage the adoption and creation of open and affordable educational resources in courses at GW. This program has funded projects from a range of disciplines that has reduced the cost of course materials and positively impacted student learning and engagement.

2022 Grant Recipients

Screening Shakespeare, an OA Web-based Textbook

Alexa Joubin

Alexa Alice Joubin, Professor, Department of English

Project Description

Screening Shakespeare is an open-access web-based textbook designed by Alexa Alice Joubin. The openly-licensed learning modules in this Open Educational Resources (OER) introduced students to key concepts of film studies, such as mise-en-scène, cinematography, sound and music, and film theory within the context of film adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. The site was designed with the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design principles. It drew on film adaptations of Shakespeare as case studies to explain these concepts, beginning with formal and cultural analysis of film as a medium. This website was designed with the principle of multimodal access, with multiple pathways to the contents and cross-references. Students can also navigate this site, in a more traditional manner, by way of drop-down menus that replicate the experience of leafing through a codex book.

Project Impact

  • Each student saved $262.75. Fifty-eight students enrolled in two courses in Fall 2022 saved a total of $15,238.92 this semester.
  • Survey results reveal the positive impact the book has had on my course and my students. Students wrote that this is not simply a linear, PDF book but an interactive website taking full advantage of modularization, dynamic videos, and interactive exercises afforded by the web format.
    • “I love this textbook! It's free and straightforward, it's great that it was designed to be online too. Most of my digital textbooks are just the book in pdf form, so this was much easier to navigate. Love it!!”
    • “It was a great textbook to use and feel really informative. I appreciated it being free as an undergrad student I have spent WAY too much on textbook. I also typically don't love online books but this was formatted in a way I stayed engaged and didn't need to zoom in and strain my eyes. Really appreciated this!”

Project Resources

LAI Project Partners

  • Noah Bickford, Instructional Designer, LAI
  • Cristabel Ocasio Ilarraza, Instructional Designer, LAI

Teaching Adult-Geriatric Nursing 1 and 2 without a Traditional Textbook

Nadine Marchi
Olu Feyisetan
Nicole Trainer

Nadine M. Marchi, Clinical Assistant Professor, GW School of Nursing
Mary K Fey (not pictured), Associate Dean, BSN program, GW School of Nursing
Olu Feyisetan, Senior Clinical Nursing Instructor, Academic Practice Partnerships, GW School of Nursing
Nicole Trainer, Clinical Assistant GW Professor of Nursing

Project Description

For the first time, students did not purchase a textbook for the Adult Geriatric Nursing courses at the George Washington University School of Nursing. This resulted in a cost savings of $229 per student. Our goal was to make nursing education in our courses more affordable for students. Instead of the traditional textbook, the book required for the class was a Medical-Surgical nursing manual that students purchase upon admission to the program. The students purchased the manual to prepare for the licensure exam. By eliminating the traditional textbook, we eliminated the duplicate cost of purchasing two Medical-Surgical textbooks for our course. In addition, we supplemented lectures and learning activities with recent journal articles from nursing journals and other Open Educational Resources. 

Project Impact

  • Eliminated the cost of purchasing two books on the same topics by only requiring one book. The cost savings per student is $229 and so far, there are 76 students who benefited from this project with a total savings of: $17,404. The new cohort for Fall 2022 has 41 students so the cost savings for this group is $9,389.
  • We surveyed the students in both courses in the Summer of 2022 and 75/76 respondents rated decreasing the cost of the textbook favorably and suggested we continue the one ATI workbook format.
  • Students enjoyed the more interactive approach which the open resources provided.
    • “Through quizlets and case studies and other modems of teaching, I felt that the information came across well and helped me to achieve and learn a lot in this class.”
    • “I love the quizlets and the short videos and the case studies. Great class.”
    • “I think that using the ATI book to teach is a lot better than textbooks. ATI questions really helped, quizlets too and the ati supplement assignments definitely helped with the final ati test, and I liked that the ATI test was the final, it definitely caused me to work harder.”

Project Resources

LAI Project Partner

  • Tom Harrod, Associate Director, Reference, Instruction, and Access, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library

Customize a Handbook of Pre-Calculus Content for MATH 1220 Using OER Materials

Sharon Roosevelt

Sharon E. Roosevelt, Professorial Lecturer, Department of Mathematics

Project Description

The goal of the project, Customize a Handbook of Pre-Calculus Content for Math 1220 Using OER Materials, was to remix and build upon OER sources to create an in-depth, customized, supplemental pre-calculus text. The course already used an OER text but that text was missing discussion and practices for many of the course topics. Other sources did not meet our needs; they were either too broad, not the right level, or they cost too much. By using the grant to create ancillary notes and practice problems, we were able to create sources that specifically responded to the students’ needs.

Project Impact

  • The resources were used for 2 sections, so 140 plus students were able to save money and use materials created with their specific course needs in mind. Students’ reliance on paid tutors also decreased.
  • The resources were responsible for a greater synergy between the calculus and pre-calculus portions of the course.
  • The resources were able to be shared among instructors.

Project Resources

LAI Project Partner

  • Debbie Bezanson, Senior Librarian for Science, Engineering & Assessment, LAI

An Open-Source Music Theory Text in a Fundamentals Classroom

Eugene Montague

Eugene Montague, Associate Professor, Music Program

Project Description

This course was a first-semester course in the basics of notating, writing, and thinking about music. It functioned as a introduction to core skills in music theory, including the ability to write and read Western staff notation, an introduction to concepts of pitch organization including triads, chords, scales, harmony, and melody, and a broader, text-based discussion of musical elements such as timbre, texture, and form. This project aimed to detach the course from a thorough but pricey traditional textbook to an open-source book, supplemented by further online resources. The aims were not only to ease the cost-burden on students, but also to allow for greater flexibility in the course topics, especially a focus on topics outside the common purview of Western music theory.

Project Impact

  • Each student saved $124.99. Sixteen students enrolled in the Fall 2022 class and twenty students enrolled in Spring 2023 saved a total of $4499.64.
  • The students were not required to purchase or rent an expensive textbook which was designed for four semesters of use. Rather, the online text gave succinct explanations of key terms, often illustrated by embedded aural examples. Since the necessary skill exercises were also contained on the same platform, the students gained a more integrated and simple course structure. My conscious attempt to guide the topics of the course outside the domains of staff notation also benefited the students through allowing them to engage with a diverse array of musical genres and styles through text-based discussion and writing.
  • It also allowed for a substantial engagement with topics outside the range of traditional textbooks, by being situated online, I could integrate other support materials into the appropriate modules in a more flowing way that would be possible with a paper text.

Project Resources

LAI Project Partner

  • Shira Eller, Art & Design Librarian, LAI

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering II

Hyungsok Nathan Choe

Hyungsok "Nathan" Choe, Assistant Professor of Practice, School of Engineering and Applied Science (Biomedical Engineering)

Project Description

This course increases a student’s understanding of current health inequity issues. The class previously required a textbook that costs $113 and has a typical enrollment of 45 students per semester. By adopting a free, open textbook as part of this project, students at GW will save $5,085 per semester.

Project Impact

  • Coming Spring 2023

Project Resources

  • Coming Spring 2023

LAI Project Partner

  • Debbie Bezanson, Senior Librarian for Science, Engineering & Assessment, LAI

2022 Selection Committee

Daphna Atias, Educational Developer, GWLAI

Shira Eller, Art & Design Librarian, GWLAI

Valerie Fliss, Course Reserves & Resource Sharing Specialist, GWLAI

Maddy Kadish, Director of Instructional Design, GWLAI

Paul Kelly, Digital Services Manager, GWLAI

Abby Shulte, GW Student, M.A. American Studies '23

John Warren, Director and Associate Professor, Masters of Professional Studies in Publishing

2022 Grant Coordinators

Morgan Stoddard, Director of Research Services, GWLAI

Brigette Kamsler, University Archivist, GWLAI

Ally Zomchek, Eckles Librarian, GWLAI