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This pilot initiative encourages instructors to use low-cost or free alternatives to expensive course materials; these can include open-access scholarly resources, Library-licensed and owned resources, and learning objects and texts that faculty create themselves. Awards are available of $1,000 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of fewer than two hundred students and of $2,500 each for instructors teaching courses with enrollments of more than two hundred students. Collection development awards may also be designated to build or enhance library collections in support of specific courses.
The financial sums are meant to offer an incentive for the time it will take instructors to identify new resources, adjust syllabi, and modify assignments and can also be used to cover any actual expenses incurred by the instructor. Each applicant must be the instructor of record, and the courses must be for enrolled students (i.e., not UCLA Extension courses) at the undergraduate or graduate level.
The initiative has been endorsed by the Office of the UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and the UCLA Academic Senate.
The high price of course materials, including but not limited to textbooks, is a major concern to students and parents; a web page on UCLA’s undergraduate admissions site estimates it will total $1,599 per student for the current academic year, an effective twelve percent addition to basic tuition and fees. Legislative actions to address these costs have been taken by the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature, the UCLA Store has taken steps to lower textbook prices, and the Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) has created a textbook lending library, but the problem resists easy, unilateral solutions.
Several years ago, the UCLA Library launched a collaborative project with USAC and the UCLA Store that continues to lower the cost of printed course readers by leveraging Library-licensed/owned materials. Expanding upon this high-outcome/low-cost effort, the Library has identified a larger role it can play in lowering the cost of course materials, adapted from similar programs created recently by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Temple University.
In addition to better integrating UCLA Library collections and services into instruction, this initiative also supports Library efforts to identify journals for which the licensing terms need revision to make them more usable in instruction and to work with UCLA faculty to more effectively make their scholarly articles, books, and instructional resources available to students and colleagues via open access.
Each applicant must be the instructor of record. Courses can be at the undergraduate or graduate level but must be for enrolled students (i.e., not UCLA Extension courses).
Applicants are asked to complete a one-page application form and attend a one-hour workshop at which Library staff members introduce search strategies and possible sources for open-access or low-cost instructional resources, and applicants can share ideas with one another and brainstorm.
Mail print applications to: UCLA Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative; 11334 Charles E. Young Research Library; Mailcode 157511. Email electronic applications to: email@example.com. Applicants will receive confirmation notices when their application forms are received.
Applications will be reviewed by a small committee that includes UCLA faculty honored for their teaching accomplishments. Each awardee will be assigned an individual librarian, who will work personally with him or her to assist with locating materials. At the conclusion of each awarded course, the instructor is asked to complete an assessment in order to determine the initiative’s pedagogical and financial impact.
- For Fall Quarter 2014 courses: The application period has closed.
- For Winter Quarter 2015: The application period has closed.
- For Spring Quarter 2015: Applications are due by Friday, October 24.
Funds are awarded throughout the academic year until they have been exhausted. With that in mind, instructors teaching courses during later quarters are encouraged to apply by the earlier deadline.
For Further Information
Explore the ACMI guide to learn more about Open Educational Resources, maximizing Fair Use, and other ways to reduce the costs of educational materials for your students.
If you have any questions, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 2016-3388.