Tip: ALX Project A Great Opportunity To Enhance Your Course Design While Authoring A Free Course Textbook

It is no secret that textbooks constitute as a major source of expense for students, and some students opt to not purchase textbooks due to cost. However, “education can’t be excellent if students aren’t fully equipped. The cost of textbooks shouldn’t be a limiting factor to their success.”

The Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) program out of the Office of Distance Education and eLearning set out “help instructors take ownership of their courses and content [through exploring] creative solutions that promote students savings. This includes re-imagining the textbook, encouraging faculty innovation, and empowering our faculty through grants and training opportunities to adopt, adapt, create and share open educational resources.”

The Office of Teaching and Learning has been working with a team led by Dr. Ryan Jennings and Dr. Chris Premanandan this summer on an in-house textbook that will be used in the VME-I Veterinary Histology Course. Entitled Veterinary Histology, the textbook currently consists of 14 chapters, spanning from basics such as the cell itself, to specialized structures such as the cardiovascular system and the eye. Students will be able to access this free textbook on the web while online, or download a portable file to any device (phone, tablet, laptop) to review offline; they can also choose to print any part of the book. Writing this textbook allowed the team to take ownership over not only the selection of content, but also how the content is presented and used in the histology course.

If you are interested in participating in this process, ALX will offer a webinar entitled “Make and Use Open Resources with Tools and Support from the Affordable Learning Exchange” on 8/17/2017; you can sign up via this registration link. In addition, ALX is currently accepting applications for their next round of grants; you can via this application link.

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