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Affordable Learning @ Cleveland State University: Textbook Affordability Grant Winners

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Kelly Wrenhaven

Kelly Wrenhaven, HIS 337: Greek Gods, Heroes, and Worship

  • About the book: This book examines ancient Greek religion and considers its role in the contexts of Greek culture and thought. Literary and material sources, such as epic, poetry, architecture, sculpture, and vase painting will be examined in order to establish the nature and function of religion in Greek society. Topics include the gods/goddesses, heroes, cult, magic, curses, initiation rites, athletic competition, local mythic traditions, religious festivals, oracles, and healing sanctuaries.
  • From the Author: "I’m developing my face-to-face course, HIS 337: Greek Gods, Heroes, and Worship, as a web course so I decided to redo the course from the ground up. While I ended up deciding to keep the primary source textbook (it’s extremely difficult to find such a good collection of primary sources online), I wanted the rest of the course material to be open access. This will provide me with the opportunity to make my material more dynamic. In addition to including written material, I can also include documentaries, images, and podcasts/recorded lectures as part of the course material, all in one easy-to-access place."
  • Result: HIS 337: Greek Gods, Heroes, and Worship.
  • Year: 2020
  • College: College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
  • Department: History
  • Potential Student Savings: $7,500 annually

Previous Faculty Grant Recipients (listed alphabetically)

Lisa Bernd

Lisa Bernd, THE 111

  • Proposal: Lisa Bernd identified an open-access textbook appropriate for the course: Theatrical Worlds. This book was organized by Charlie Mitchell, an established theatre scholar and published online by University Press of Florida. It has been well-received by theatre instructors. Bernd proposed to adapt her material for the new textbook during the summer and have it ready for use in fall, 2017. She said changes to the book would include the order of the units, vocabulary, worksheets, quizzes, and exams.

    Dr. Bernd also worked with Heather Caprette to design assignments for her students to produce OER, as part of a second grant administered by the Open Education Group, called Designing with Open Educational Resources. Students produced H5P knowledge checks and interactive learning content within a Pressbook. The Pressbook is Fall 17 — Introduction to Theater — Learning Resources. Students published analyses of local live performances here too. Her Spring 2018 students produced a similar Pressbook, called Spring 18 — Introduction to Theater — Learning Resources.
  • Result: Introduction to Theater—Learning Resources.
  • Year: 2017
  • College: CLASS
  • Department: Theatre & Dance
  • Potential Student Savings: $15,000 annually

Kathy Curnow

Kathy Curnow, ART 286 (A 2020 Textbook Hero)

  • Proposal: Kathy Curnow proposed to supplement an online available open source work, Art and Life in Africa by Chris Roy of University of Iowa. While this source is written by specialists and covers African art both thematically and regionally, it lacks tools for students that would help students conduct visual analyses, effectively research, and memorize salient visuals. She would prepare sections to guide students in these efforts. She would also create links within Bright Access for these Art and Life in Africa segments.
  • Result: The Bright Continent: African Art History
  • Year: 2017
  • College: CLASS
  • Department: Art
  • Potential Student Savings: $10,500 annually

Donna Davisson

Donna Davisson, BUS 151

  • Project: Adoption of an existing OER: Introduction to Business, covering the scope and sequence of most introductory business courses. The book provides detailed explanations in the context of core themes such as customer satisfaction, ethics, entrepreneurship, global business, and managing change. Introduction to Business includes hundreds of current business examples from a range of industries and geographic locations, which feature a variety of individuals. The outcome is a balanced approach to the theory and application of business concepts, with attention to the knowledge and skills necessary for student success in this course and beyond.
  • Prof. Davisson's Impressions: "I was already interested in using an online text. Likely a good idea to use resources available to me to do so. It went well! Was super easy to adopt and bring my team of instructors on board (the course I chose to use the online text in is a large freshman required course). Faculty should give it a try. It's not difficult to adapt your course, and there are plenty of library staff who can help. Students loved the free textbook, they had zero complaints."
  • Result: Introduction to Business
  • Year: 2018
  • College: College of Business
  • Department: Marketing
  • Potential Student Savings: $24,000 annually

Melanie Gagich
Emilie Zickel

Melanie Gagich & Emilie Zickel, ENG 101 and ENG 102 - (2019 Textbook Heroes)

  • Proposal: Melanie Gagich's grant application was to pilot an open access text to be used in her four ENG 101 courses in the fall of 2017; however, her ultimate goal was to help the First-Year Writing Program integrate an open access textbook in ENG 100, ENG 101, and ENG 102 with her colleague Emilie Zickel. She planned to replace Stephen Wilhoit's text, A Brief Guide to Writing from Readings 7th Edition with as an Open Access Textbook in her ENG 101 courses beginning in the fall semester of 2017. The materials coincide with the information in the traditional printed text. She noted Emilie Zickel's project proposal for an open access textbook in her ENG 102 courses. She hoped that by sharing their experiences and material, they would eventually be able to integrate their work into CSU's First-Year Writing curriculum.
  • Result: Introduction to Writing in College. Combined text by Melanie Gagich & Emilie Zickel as a result of the individual grants: In Practice: A Guide to Rhetoric, Genre, and Success in First-Year Writing.
  • Year: 2017-2018
  • College: CLASS
  • Department: English
  • Potential Student Savings: $126,000 annually

Adrienne Gosselin

Adrienne Gosselin, ENG 347 and ENG 207

  • Proposal: Charles Chesnutt: Citizen of Cleveland is an interactive instruction model for teaching race relations in fiction by Charles Chesnutt set in Northeast Ohio in the 19th-and 20th-centuries. Although there are numerous websites devoted to Charles Chesnutt, few examine the city 's influence in shaping both the author's life, and his literature. This project will offer no cost material to address this gap. It would provide an open access textbook that includes course material, lesson plans, and multimedia to reinforce content. The text would be divided into three main sections: Chesnutt's biography, which includes a history of education policies for African Americans; lesson plans for teaching the Groveland stories, Chesnutt's fictional city based on Cleveland; and a study guide for teaching The Quarry, Chesnutt's final novel, which features Northeast Ohio.
  • Result: Charles Chesnutt in the Classroom
  • Year: 2018
  • College: CLASS
  • Department: English
  • Potential Student Savings: $5,000 annually

Beth Nagy

Beth Nagy, UST 200 - Introduction to Urban Studies

  • About the Project:
    I applied for the grant for my large Introduction to Urban Studies class. It is a core class for Urban majors, but it is also a popular General Education course enrolling students from across the university. Total enrollment for two sections is about 150. The cost of the book varied from $75-$130, which in my mind seemed like a lot to pay for a book, especially for non-Urban majors. I also found that not having the book made it very difficult for students to complete the assignments, and therefore put it on reserve in the library. That did not help students who were taking it online, but out of the Cleveland area. Getting the book was a barrier to about 25% of the students. When I saw the Textbook Affordability grant, it dawned on me (as a relatively new faculty member) that I had the power to suggest new material, and in particular, a low- to no cost set of material. I am on a 9-month contract, so I do not earn a salary in the summer for any work done. The grant gave me the financial support and information about free materials that could be used in lieu of the textbook. It was a win-win opportunity.

    What advice do you have for other faculty considering applying for a Textbook Affordability Grant?
    The process was straightforward, and the support was excellent. While I didn't need much support, it was helpful to know where to look for open materials and having an expert available to ask questions of. If I was to offer advice, it would be to identify the topics you want to cover upfront and plan enough time looking through the available materials and knowing what format you'd like to present them as (an e-book, lecture-by-lecture or module-by-module packets), or if you want the materials to be available to more than just you and your students.

    What were the results of your project on student engagement and academic achievement?
    Transitioning from a hard copy book at a high cost to online, open materials has been a vast improvement. The 25% of students who had trouble accessing the book has now dropped to 0. I can also easily update readings and/or activities without having to change a textbook. All students can access the materials online, at any time, and students can keep the open materials after the class ends for other classes or projects. There's no need to sell the books back! Also, in light of the recent pandemic, having open materials was especially important when CSU transitioned to remote learning. All materials were already available and in the expected format.

  • Result: Adoption of Open Educational Materials.
  • Year: 2018
  • College: Levin College of Urban Affairs
  • Department: Urban Studies
  • Potential Student Savings: $15,200 annually

Shelley Rose

Shelley Rose, HIS 200

  • Proposal: Shelley Rose completely switched to open access in spring 2017 using Open Geography Education and her own Google Earth Virtual Workbook. She proposed to revise and update the platform for the Google Earth Virtual Workbook she created in 2013. Because of the nature of Google Earth and its plugins, the workbook requires at least minor revisions before each course (broken links, revised instructions to accommodate Google changes). In particular, she relies on a Thematic Mapping Engine for a substantial portion of exercises. The engine is a critical component of the workbook, but its developers are no longer maintaining the code. She would commission a developer who can use the open-source code to update the mapping engine and integrate it with the workbook.
  • Result: In progress
  • Year: 2017
  • College: CLASS
  • Department: History