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Alternative Textbook Grants

Alternative Textbook Grants
FSU Libraries' Alternative Textbook Grants support FSU instructors in replacing commercial textbooks with open educational resources, open textbooks, or library-licensed eResources that are available to students at no cost. Open textbooks are written by experts, peer-reviewed and published under flexible copyright licenses so that they can be downloaded, distributed, and adapted for free. Grants are also available as purchases of eBooks to be adopted as course textbooks purchased as part of FSU Libraries collection with unlimited user licenses.
Successful applicants will receive support and consultations to assist in implementing their alternative textbook. The Alt-Textbook team will notify successful applicants within two weeks of each application deadline, before the upcoming textbook reporting deadline. Project timelines may vary but must be completed within 18 months of the date that each grant is awarded. Interested instructors are encouraged to review the grant requirements and submit an online application


Upcoming deadlines: October 5, 2020 (for spring courses) and applications accepted on rolling basis (for summer and fall courses)

Main Campus Application Form 


International Programs GrantsFSU Libraries partners with International Programs and our international study centers to offer ten grants of $1000 for main campus instructors that are teaching at our international study centers (five grants per application period) and six grants of $1000 for instructors based at each of our European study center locations (three grants per application period). Additionally, the Republic of Panama will offer two grants of $1000 for instructors based at FSU Panama. Please see the International Programs OER Grants page and application for information specific to applicants teaching on International Programs. 
Upcoming deadlines: Applications accepted on rolling basis (for summer and fall courses)

The 35 instructors who participated in previous rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grants program are expected to save FSU students up to $437,000 by Spring 2020. Studies show students have similar or increased success and engagement in courses with open materials. Openly licenses materials support academic freedom and learning outcomes, allowing instructors and students to contribute to knowledge exchange in new, meaningful ways.

Requirements for applicants:

  1. Identify the open textbook, open educational resources, or eBook that you will use to replace your current textbook or course materials. Good places to search for OER include OpenStax College, the Open Textbook Library, BCcampusOER Commons, and MERLOT. You can also search across these and other sources using the GMU OER Metafinder. Contact your subject librarian if you need further assistance in locating open or library-licensed materials. (Note: not all eBooks will be available for purchase and are subject to availability. Click here to learn more about some of the challenges libraries face in providing access to traditional textbooks.)
  2. Obtain a letter of support from your department chair or school/college dean, to confirm that replacing your current textbook will not contravene any applicable policies.
  3. Complete the online application form by the deadline.

Requirements for grant recipients:

Successful grant recipients will:

  1. Enroll in our OER at FSU Canvas course to meet other OER adovcates, engage in discussion, and find resoruces for finding and adopting alternative materials in your teaching
  2. Consult with the Alt-Textbook team to develop a timeline of deliverables, implementation plan, and assessment tools as needed
  3. Promote your work by providing the Alt-Textbook team with press-worthy updates and sharing your experience with your departmental colleagues
  4. Provide feedback about the grant program and suggestions for how it could be improved for future applicants

Application Evaluation Rubric

Alt-Textbook grant applications will be evaluated using a rubric that balances the following criteria to prioritize impact and collaboration:

  1. Estimated savings to FSU students
  2. Openness of proposed content, with openly licensed content given preference over library-licensed materials
  3. Inclusion of a clear plan to assess student learning outcomes
  4. Potential for proposed content to be adopted by other courses or sections 
  5. Departmental commitment (i.e., letter of support from department chair or dean)
  6. Feasibility of project being implemented by anticipated semester
  7. Availabilty and price of eBook to be purchased (if applicable)

Distribution of Grant Funds

Funds will be distributed for technology or software following procedures outlined in a memorandum of understanding between FSU Libraries and the successful applicants. 


Camille Thomas, Scholarly Communication Librarian

Lindsey Wharton, Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian

About The Florida State University Libraries

The mission of the University Libraries is to support and enhance the learning, teaching, research, and service activities of the Florida State University...