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New Grant-Funded Projects to Save Students Money on Textbooks

October 14, 2020

Six Angelo State University faculty members have been awarded three grants from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to fund their projects that will provide free open-source course materials to students in select classes, eliminating their need to purchase textbooks.

The grants are being awarded through the THECB’s Open Educational Resources (OER) Grant Program. OERs are teaching, learning and research materials that are freely available to everyone in the public domain. They may include textbooks, lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules and other materials.

ASU’s grant-funded projects involve developing and providing OERs for three core courses that regularly have some of the highest student enrollment.

Dr. Don Topliff Dr. Don Topliff “Applying for and receiving these grants demonstrates ASU’s commitment to making education available and affordable for all of our students,” said Dr. Don Topliff, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Kristi Moore of the ASU psychology faculty has been awarded a $4,949 grant to implement existing OER resources for the online version of the PSYC 2301: General Psychology course. Upon completion, the project will eliminate the need for students to purchase a textbook for that course.

Dr. Brenda Norton and Dr. Matthew Gritter of the political science faculty have been awarded a $21,474 grant to develop OER materials for the POLS 2306: Texas Government course, a required course in the core curriculum. When the project is complete, students will no longer need to purchase a textbook for that course.

Dr. Jesse Taylor, Dr. Dennis Hall and Dr. Susan Abernathy-Taylor of the mathematics faculty have been awarded a $22,137 grant to develop OER materials, including a textbook and problem sets, for the MATH 1324: Finite Mathematics course. Upon completion of the project, students will no longer need to purchase a textbook or purchase problem sets from for that course.

For the two larger OER development projects, the ASU faculty members are also collaborating with select faculty from Howard College.

These are also just the latest ASU faculty efforts in the OER arena. In September, ASU history, political science and security studies professors collaborated with other faculty from colleges and universities across the country to produce an OER digital textbook for high school U.S. history. Now, history teachers everywhere have a free and easily accessible tool to help prepare their students.

For more information, contact Topliff at 325-942-2165 or