Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Introducing FSU Libraries eTextbooks Search

Lindsey Wharton, Michael Pritchard, Finley Talley

As we welcome the start of 2021 Summer C, FSU Libraries are proud to announce the launch of our eTextbooks in the Classroom portal!

FSU Libraries’ new eTextbook program identifies currently available eBook titles assigned as required course materials. Instructors and students are able to search by course code, instructor, or book title to see if required course materials are available online through the Libraries. Since its implementation, this project has identified 848 total titles in Spring 2021 and 343 titles in Summer 2021 available through the Libraries’ existing licenses. In these two semesters, the total potential student savings is $1,941,369. 

A screenshot of the eTextbook Search portal on the Library website.

This initiative was inspired by ongoing student feedback about the high cost of course materials. The Libraries’ eTextbook program builds upon our current Course Reserves service and bolsters advocacy for the program as part of the broader Libraries’ Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative.

$1,941,369 United States Dollars

Here is a message of support from a student whose textbook was identified as currently licensed by the Libraries:

It’s well known that textbooks can be an onerous additional cost for those pursuing any degree, so it was a welcome and extremely helpful surprise when my professor announced that the library had added an electronic version of the course textbook. This happened two semesters in a row, and the savings across those semesters was close to $200 just for two classes. The ease of access is also a huge benefit that I was very grateful for.

FSU Libraries eResources expand the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other open educational resources. Furthermore, this program provides a crucial opportunity to support student success by ensuring equitable access to teaching and learning materials. Our eResources work to benefit our FSU community by…

Positively impacting student success & engaged learning

20 out of 28 instructors from studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that learning outcomes improved with open textbooks. FSU Alternative Textbook Grant recipient Vanessa Dennen, Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies, recently published results from her customized OER project in which students offered positive feedback because the OER were customized to meet their needs and received accurate, relevant, and focused learning materials. This OER and eTextbook integration in the classroom meets these same learning outcomes by providing students and instructors access to paid information that is covered by FSU Libraries.

Ensuring an affordable FSU education for all students regardless of socioeconomic status.

 A ground-breaking study from the University of Georgia found that drop, fail and withdrawal rates (DFW) decreased significantly for low income (Federal Pell Grant Recipients) and part-time students when Open Educational Resources (OER) were used in courses. There was a 53.12% increase in average course grade and a 29.54% decrease in DFW rates for students who were not enrolled full-time. The average final grades of self-identified non-white students in the study were higher with OER and their DFW rates were lower.

Allowing instructors to incorporate perspectives that prepare students to live and work in a diverse and global society.

Open Educational Resources support a diverse community of learners including those with accessibility needs and multicultural perspectives and active student participation with materials. Sixty-four percent of faculty members in studies between 2015 and 2018 reported that using OER facilitated meeting diverse learners’ needs and sixty-eight percent perceived greater student satisfaction with the learning experience when using OER.

We look forward to growing our eTextbook program as part of our larger affordability initiative to reduce barriers to information access and reduce the cost of higher education.

If you are interested in adopting a library-licensed or open eBook to replace your traditional textbook, please reach out to Lindsey Wharton or learn more at our eTextbook Information for Instructors.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

We are celebrating Asian and Pacific American Heritage this month. Congress proclaimed a week of May in 1979 as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week, and in 1992, it designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants coming to the United States on May 7, 1843, and the Golden Spike Day of May 10, 1869 when Chinese workers contributed tremendously to complete the first transcontinental railroad in the United States.

Over one hundred years have passed since Angel Island, a counterpoint to Ellis Island, was built on the West Coast. It was used as an immigration detention center during the Asian exclusion era. Today, the estimated number of AAPI population in the U.S. is 24.2 million, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimate, Asian Americans are one of the fastest-growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S. Over the years, AAPIs have contributed to shaping the identity of the nation. They have confronted persistent exclusion and inequity in domestic policies and social practices, and yet contributed to the nation’s economy, science and technology, and culture and arts. They fought not only against discrimination and violence in the nation, but also in many wars to protect the nation. Yet, their challenges and struggles, and contributions to and legacies in U.S. history and culture have not been well-recognized or educated. It was only last month when the very first bill mandating a curriculum of Asian American History in public schools passed. 

(more…)