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. 

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.

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.

Library Insiders: Loanable Materials & Resources

By: Breannah Brooks

The library was always a place that I was used to. Growing up, my dad and I would go to the library every week to check out new books, so that we could read together and learn new things. However, as I got older, reading just became something that did not interest me as much. We always tend to correlate the library with reading, but this is not always the case. Walking onto FSU’s campus, the first thing that caught my eye was the Starbucks logo inside of Strozier. This made me come to the library more and learn new things about what it had to offer, other than just books. 

My freshman year in college, I found myself using the library more than intended. Not only trying a new Starbucks drink from Tik Tok everytime I went, but being glued to the computers to complete my assignments. It was for my economics class, where we had to play “Second Life” for a grade. I had come to the library before, but it wasn’t for long periods of time; probably to just print and go. However, doing my assignments helped me realize what the library really was, and how much of a benefit it could really be. 

One of the most important and useful things for me was the materials that you could check out. Being that I was already in the library to use the computer for my Second Life assignment- it should already give some insight as to how broken my computer already was. Soon it broke completely, which was an essential item for a college student. I soon learned that the library had macbooks for checkout, which I used until I was able to get a new computer. You could also check out things like cameras, chargers and ever headphone pieces. While being in the library, I also noticed that there were big areas of study rooms that also contained white boards for dry erase. You could also check out those materials too if you needed! 

Everything that I needed was at the library. If I didn’t have something, or left it in my residence hall and did not want to walk all the way across campus to get it, I could find it there. The library became like a second home to me, not only because of the materials that were available, but the atmosphere itself. It became a place I could depend on for my studies and success as a first generation student here at Florida State. 

Alternative Textbook Grants

Instructors, this one’s for you!

ABOUT

The Alternative Textbook Grant program caters to main FSU campus instructors as it addresses the rising cost of college textbooks. This textbook affordability initiative by FSU Libraries will be awarding grants of $1,000 each over the 2020-21 academic year to instructors who adopt Open Educational Resources (OERs) or library-licensed materials to replace commercial textbooks. These grants support the university’s strategic goals to support overall student success and enhance diversity and inclusion.

Open textbooks go through the process of being written by experts, peer-reviewed and published under flexible copyright licenses for downloading purposes, distributed, and adapted for free. The grants can also be used to purchase eBooks for course textbooks that are purchased as a part of the FSU Libraries collection with unlimited user licenses.

Continue reading Alternative Textbook Grants

Supporting Students Through Open and Affordable Course Materials

As we move forward to the semester ahead of fully online classes and the educational community responds to COVID-19, you may be receiving emails from vendors offering limited-time free access to their tools and platforms. We encourage instructors to explore open textbook or library-licensed e-book textbook alternatives during this transition to online teaching, which are always free or affordable. 

Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus. You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over. These options will increase first-day access to required course materials and save students time and money during this stressful time. According to our 2017 survey, 72% of FSU students do not purchase textbooks due to cost and 93% prefer a free online textbook over a traditional print option. 

Subject librarians are available to work with instructors to locate open or already licensed content in order to save students money and ease the pedagogical burdens of the current situation. If you are interested in adopting a library e-book for your course, please consult your subject librarian so we can check on the resource license as not all of our e-books are available for multi user simultaneous usage. 

From Guilia Forsythe, Flickr

Open Educational Resources & Open Textbooks 

Open educational resources (OER) are freely-accessible, openly licensed textbooks, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching and learning. OER can be reused, customized, and widely shared by others. Many courses at FSU already utilize open textbooks including CHM1045. Our top suggestions for open textbooks include:

  • Openstax: Peer-reviewed, open textbooks on introductory topics. Students can buy print copies. See their blog post on Teaching online with OpenStax to support emerging social distancing requirements. OpenStax has quiz banks, slides, and other ancillaries freely available for instructors who sign up with them. OpenStax Allies offer competitively-priced homework platforms that work with OpenStax books, and many of them are waiving costs right now.
  • Open Textbook Library : Read peer reviews and access open textbooks being used across the world.
  • OER Commons: Public library of open educational resources wit platform for content authoring & remixing.
  • BC Campus OpenEd: Search for quality open textbooks offered in a variety of digital formats.
  •  Lumen Learning: Offers a wide array of open content that you can access for free. Their Waymaker and OHM modules are low-cost homework platforms that can be integrated with Canvas

Don’t use a standalone textbook? Many instructors chose to use a mix of open resources to support their curriculum instead of just one open textbook. Sources include TED Talks, online news articles from publications such as The Guardian, government information such as cdc.gov, and other high-quality information available online. Some instructors also use Open Scholarly Monographs as educational resources in their course, which carry the same open licenses.

  • Mason MetaFinder: Search engine that includes a variety of open materials for those looking to mix content and recently added 1.4 million + books from the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library.
  • OASIS: Search tool for open content from 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records of textbooks, modules, videos, podcasts, primary resources and more.

Library-licensed E-books, Articles, and Online Resources for the Classroom 

Library-licensed material expands the amount of materials available for higher-level coursework and complements other OER materials. Many faculty at FSU have opted to adopt e-books, journal articles, videos, images, and other digital resources from our collection. If you are interested in browsing our immense online collection for course materials, here are a couple of our search tools:

OneSearch: Search through many resources at once using our OneSearch tool. Whether you are looking for an e-book or searching broadly by subject or keyword, OneSearch is a great place to start your searching. OneSearch is also a good place to find items by citation – just paste the citation right into the search box.

Databases A-Z List: If you know which database you are looking for, use this list to find the specific database by title.

Databases by Subject List: Our subject librarians have selected the top databases for each subject in this list, helping identify the top resources for each subject.

Journal Search: This tool allows you to find journals by title or subject.

Streaming Media: Showing films in online courses requires some additional planning. We are happy to share that FSU Libraries provide access to multiple video platforms. If you are interested in using our streaming media resources in your online courses, please check out our Streaming Media in Your Course guide for tips on finding streaming resources and streaming models that best suit your course material needs.

FSU Libraries is committed to developing open and affordable solutions that will ease the burden of textbook costs. Affordable course materials are going to be more important to students than ever. Find out more about FSU Libraries Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative.

If interested in exploring open and affordable options for your course, please contact Camille Thomas at cthomas5@fsu.edu or Lindsey Wharton at lwharton@fsu.edu.

Open Video Resources – A Few Alternatives to Kanopy and Swank

By Dave Rodriguez

FSU Libraries currently subscribes to a wide variety of streaming video services and databases. Some of these, such as Swank and Kanopy, provide users access to commercial feature films for scholarly analysis, research, and teaching purposes. Others, like Films on Demand, are treasure troves of documentary content–although there’s some interesting feature film collections in there as well!

In addition to these valuable, paid resources, there are a number of open video collections containing narrative, documentary, ethnographic, and historically significant moving-image resources that can and should be utilized by those working in higher education and promoted by the Library. Below is a list with links and collection highlights from five such collections.

More information on how to access audio-visual content can be found in the Film LibGuide. Direct any questions about these or other online media resources to Shelly Schmucker, Electronic Resources Librarian (shelly.schmucker@fsu.edu), and Dave Rodriguez, Resident/Media Librarian (dwrodriguez@fsu.edu).

  1. Public Domain Movies (http://publicdomainmovie.net/)
    • A consolidated site of feature films, shorts, and cartoons that have fallen into the public domain either by virtue of being created before 1924 or the copyright having lapsed for some other reason.
    • Collection Highlights:
    • Search Note: Unfortunately, this site lacks an internal search feature. However, you can effectively search the collection via Google by using the following search command: site:http://publicdomainmovie.net/ “insert movie title or other search criteria between quotation marks”
  2. Snagfilms (http://www.snagfilms.com/)
    • A streaming platform with over 2,000 independent feature films and documentaries. Looks and runs like Netflix but some content contains ads at the beginning of playback.
    • Collection Highlights:
      • Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty and Pierce Rafferty’s documentary indictment of the nuclear age The Atomic Cafe (1982)
      • Lucy Walker’s exploration of Amish youthful transgression The Devil’s Playground (2002)
  3. Library of Congress National Screening Room (https://www.loc.gov/collections/national-screening-room/)
    • An initiative by LoC to make its moving-image collections accessible for streaming and download. Wide variety of titles ranging from silent films by Thomas Edison and D.W. Griffith to feature films and shorts from the 1940s and 50s
    • Collection Highlights:
      • Ida Lupino’s taut, masterfully crafted noir The Hitchhiker (1953)
      • Oscar Micheaux’s landmark work of African American silent cinema Within Our Gates (1919)
  4. Internet Archive’s Moving Image Archives (https://archive.org/details/movies)
    • An old standard at this point but full of great material for those willing to do some digging.
    • Collection Highlight:
      • The Prelinger Collection – Perhaps the the world’s most comprehensive collection of educational, ephemeral, propaganda, and industrial films ever assembled. A crucial repository for studying the culture of the 20th century.
  5. Florida Memory (https://www.floridamemory.com/video)
    • The State’s extensive catalog of moving-image materials offers a vivid snapshot of Florida’s history.
    • Collection Highlights:
      • The Adventures of X-14 (ca. 1963) – A promotional tourist film produced by the FL Development Commission and the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce about an alien visitor (disguised as a kitten!) to Florida’s Gulf Coast
      • Julio 26 (1960) – A TV documentary produced by a local Miami news channel chronicling the first six months and 26 days of Fidel Castro’s leadership in Cuba.

ALTERNATIVE TEXTBOOK GRANTS FOR INSTRUCTORS AIM TO REDUCE FINANCIAL BURDEN ON STUDENTS

FSU Libraries are currently taking applications for new Alternative Textbook Grants. These grants support FSU instructors in replacing commercial textbooks with open alternatives that are available to students at no cost. Open textbooks are written by experts and peer-reviewed, just like commercial textbooks, but are published under open copyright licenses so that they can be downloaded, distributed, and adapted for free.

“These grants encourage faculty to relieve some of the financial burden on their students, advancing the University’s strategic goal of ensuring an affordable education for all students regardless of socioeconomic status,” said Gale Etschmaier, Dean of University Libraries. “Grant programs of this kind are having a big impact at elite institutions across the country, collectively saving students millions in textbook costs each year.”

The cost of college textbooks has risen 300% since 1978, with a 90% cost increase over the last decade alone. Due to high costs, many students decide not to purchase textbooks, a decision which is proven to negatively impact student success. In a recent survey conducted by the Libraries, 72% of FSU students (n = 350) reported having not purchased a required textbook due to high cost. Instructors who participated in previous rounds of the Alternative Textbook Grants program are expected to save FSU students up to $270,000 by Summer 2019.

During the 2018-19 academic year, ten grants of $1,000 each will be available to FSU instructors who are interested in replacing commercial course materials with open textbooks, library-licensed electronic books or journal articles, or other zero-cost educational resources. Thanks to a partnership with International Programs, an additional ten grants of $1000 will be available for faculty who teach at FSU’s international study centers.

Interested instructors are encouraged to review the grant requirements and submit an online application form by the following dates:

  • October 1st, 2018 (for spring and summer on-campus courses)
  • November 1st, 2018 (for courses taught at our international study centers)
  • February 1st, 2019 (for summer and fall courses)

Successful applicants will receive training and consultations to assist them in implementing their alternative textbook. For more information, and to apply for a grant, please visit lib.fsu.edu/alttextbooks or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at dsoper@fsu.edu.

Florida State University Libraries’ mission is to drive academic excellence and success by fostering engagement through extensive collections, dynamic information resources, transformative collaborations, innovative services and supportive environments for FSU and the broader scholarly community.

Open Textbook Network Workshop for FSU Faculty

The Office of the Provost is sponsoring an open textbook workshop for FSU faculty from 10:00am-12:00pm on Thursday, October 25th. The workshop will be facilitated by two Open Textbook Network trainers, Dr. Abbey Dvorak and Josh Bolick from the University of Kansas. The purpose of the workshop is to introduce faculty to open textbooks and the benefits they can bring to student learning, faculty pedagogical practice, and social justice on campus.

Participating faculty will be invited to engage with an open textbook in their discipline by writing a brief review, for which they will be eligible to receive a $200 stipend.

What: Open Textbook Network Workshop

Where: Bradley Reading Room, Strozier Library

When: Thursday, October 25th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Interested faculty members are invited to apply by Friday, October 12th. Capacity is limited and open textbooks are not available for all subjects. Preference will be based on the availability of open textbooks in applicable subject areas.

If you have questions about this workshop or open textbooks, please contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian, at 850-645-2600 or dsoper@fsu.edu. You can also visit the Open & Affordable Textbook Initiative website for more information about our open education initiatives.

2018 FLORIDA BOOK AWARDS COMPETITION OPENS WITH CALL FOR ENTRIES

The Florida Book Awards kicks off its 12th annual competition with a call for entries in 11 categories. The Florida Book Awards competition is coordinated through the Florida State University Libraries, with the support of partner organizations from across the state. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 13, 2019
 
Established in 2006, the Florida Book Awards is the most comprehensive state book awards program in the nation.The contest recognizes and celebrates the year’s best books written by Sunshine State residents, with the exception of submissions to the Florida Nonfiction and Visual Arts categories, whose authors may live elsewhere.
 
Contest categories include: Florida Nonfiction, General Fiction, General Nonfiction, Poetry, Popular Fiction, Spanish Language, Visual Arts, Young Adult Literature, Younger Children’s Literature (ages 0-6), Older Children’s Literature (ages 7-12) and Cookbooks.
 
In 2014, the Gwen P. Reichert Gold Medal for Young Children’s Literature was introduced, providing a cash prize for the gold winner in the Younger Children’s Literature category. This award is in memory of Gwen P. Reichert and serves as a lasting tribute to honor her accomplishments as a rare book collector, her dedication to nurturing authors and their audience and her commitment to children’s education.
 
The Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Prize for Visual Arts and the Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal Prize for Florida Nonfiction were introduced in 2016.  
 

The Richard E. Rice Gold Medal Prize for Visual Arts supports a $500 prize for the Visual Arts Gold Medal Winner of the Florida Book Awards and serves as tribute to Richard E. Rice, who suffered from life-altering arthritis since childhood and spent a large amount of time in the hospital. From his hospital room, Rice discovered his artistic talent at the age of four and became a lifelong artist. Creating artwork offered Rice comfort, strength and joy, and this prize honors his talent and his commitment to art and to celebrate art and artists.
 
The Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal Prize for Florida 
Nonfiction provides a $500 prize for the Gold Medal Winner of this category and serves as a tribute to the donor’s parents, Phillip and Dana Zimmerman, recognizing their deep roots in Florida and their love of Florida’s rich history and culture.
 
Applicants are encouraged to submit their books into competition any time after the competition is launched, and as soon as possible after books are officially published. Entries, which can be submitted by anyone, must be published between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, and have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).  All entries must be received no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2019 (this is not a postmark deadline).
 
Three-person juries –– including members of co-sponsoring organizations, subject experts from the faculties of Florida colleges and universities, and previous Florida Book Award winners –– will choose up to three finalists in each of 11 categories. The jury may award one Gold, Silver and Bronze medal in each category.
 
Co-sponsors of the competition include: Humanities organizations from across the state, such as the Florida Center for the Book, the State Library and Archives of Florida, the Florida Historical Society, the Florida Humanities Council, the Florida Literary Arts Coalition, the Florida Library Association, the Florida Association for Media in Education, the Center for Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College, the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Friends of FSU Libraries, the Florida Writers Association, the Florida Literacy Coalition and “Just Read, Florida!”
 
The 2018 winners will be announced in early March 2019 and recognized at several events around the state, including an awards banquet in April.
 
Winning books and their authors will be showcased in the summer 2019 issue of FORUM, the statewide magazine of the Florida Humanities Council, and will be featured at book festivals and association conferences throughout the year. In addition, copies of all award-winning books will be put on permanent public display in the Florida Governor’s Mansion library and in Florida State University’s Strozier Library.
 
For general information and the entry form, requirements and detailed submission instructions, visit http://floridabookawards.lib.fsu.edu.
CONTACT: Jenni McKnight, Executive Director, Florida Book Awards
(850) 644-6323; jlmcknight@fsu.edu
 
Chase Miller, Florida Book Awards Communications Director

FSU Libraries Announces 2018-19 Alternative Textbook Grant Recipients

FSU Libraries is proud to announce the winners of our second round of Alternative Textbook Grants. The grant program, launched by the Libraries in November 2016, awards successful applicants with $1,000 to support the adoption or creation of open or library-licensed course materials that are available at no cost to students. These high-quality materials are written by experts and peer-reviewed, ensuring a level of intellectual and instructional rigor on par with expensive commercial equivalents.

Applications were evaluated based on criteria balancing the estimated savings to students, the openness of the proposed materials, and the likelihood of the materials being adopted by other courses at FSU.

Based on projected enrollment figures for the courses in question, the instructors participating in the second round of this program are expected to save FSU students up to $213,580 by Summer 2019, and the total projected savings across all grant recipients since the program’s inception are expected to exceed $270,000.

Congratulations to this year’s winners! For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship.

2018-2019 Grant Recipients:

Filiberto Asare-Akuffo is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. His research interests include transportation, healthcare accessibility, GIS, and spatial modeling and analysis. Asare-Akuffo regularly teaches GIS 3015 “Map Analysis”. He plans on adopting content from three open textbooks in his Fall 2018 “Map Analysis” course.

Gregory Burris is a US Army veteran and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. He has two Master’s degrees from Florida State in Geographic Information Science and History. He has presented papers at the Southern British Historical Association, the Northern Great Plains conference, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers meeting, and the annual AAG Conference. His research interests include biogeography, bioclimatology, and historical geography. Burris will use open textbooks and online videos in GEO2200 “Physical Geography” in the upcoming school year.

John T. Bandzuh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography. His research interests include health geography, political ecology, and vector-borne diseases. Bandzuh will incorporate journal articles in place of textbooks in his Fall 2018 GEO4930 “Geography of Wine” course.

Ella-Mae Daniel is Teaching Faculty in the School of Teacher Education within the College of Education. She teaches elementary education methods courses and supervises teaching assistants in the College of Education. Daniel will use journal articles to supplement regular course materials in a new IFS course entitled  “Reimagining Intercultural Conflicts and Diversity,” expected to be offered for the first time in Spring 2019.

Vanessa Dennen is a Professor of Instructional Systems & Learning Technologies in the Department of Educational Psychology & Learning Systems. Her research investigates the cognitive, motivational, and social elements of computer-mediated communication. She teaches courses on learning theory and instructional design and research methods for new and emerging technologies. Dr. Dennen is developing her own multimedia resource with graduate students for EME2040 “Teaching and Learning with Technology”.

Arash Fahim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics. His research interests include Applied Probability and Financial Mathematics. Dr. Fahim will convert his extensive lecture notes into an alternative textbook for use in MAP5601 “Introduction to Financial Mathematics”.

Giray Okten is Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. His research interests include Computational Finance and Monte Carlo and quasi-Monte Carlo methods. He will use lecture notes in lieu of textbooks in his MAD3703 “Numerical Analysis” course in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.

Paromita Sanyal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on understanding development and anti-poverty & women’s empowerment interventions from a sociological perspective. Paromita received her doctorate from Harvard University and regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate Sociology courses. She plans to adopt journal articles and an open-access textbook in her 2018-2019 offerings of SYG1000 “Introductory Sociology”.

Koji Ueno is a Professor in the Department of Sociology. He received his doctorate from Vanderbilt University, and his research interests include sexuality, mental health, and social networks. Dr. Ueno will incorporate an open textbook, journal articles, and online videos in SYG2010 “Social Problems”.

Willie Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography. His research interests include Black geographies, urban geography, and cultural geography. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In lieu of textbooks, Dr. Wright will use online documentaries and videos in his Fall 2018 offering of GEA1000 “World Regional Geography”.

International Programs Grant Recipients:

Edward James Hansen is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Psychology. He earned his Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in Social/Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and he also holds a master’s degree in Sports Psychology. Dr. Hansen has taught “Child Psychology”, “Psychology of Personality”, “Research Methods”, and a Special Topics course focusing on Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Dr. Hansen will use online book chapters and journal articles in Summer 2018 in PSY4930 “Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Applied Social Psychology” at the London Study Center.

Tracie Mahaffey is Associate Teaching Faculty and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy. She received her doctorate from Florida State University. Her research interests include philosophy of action, feminist theory, and ethics. Dr. Mahaffey will adopt the open textbook Reading for Philosophical Inquiry: A Brief Introduction to Philosophical Thinking in PHI2010 “Introduction to Philosophy” in Summer 2018 and 2019 at the London Study Center.

Patrick Merle is an Assistant Professor in the College of Communication and Information. He studies media effect with an emphasis on political and international perspectives. His teaching areas include Public Relations, Political Communication, and International Communication. He will in utilize alternative textbooks in COM3930 in Summer 2018 at the Florence Study Center.  

Lisa Munson is Teaching Faculty in the Department of Sociology. She studies social inequality and social justice, particularly public sociology – applying sociological knowledge to promote social justice in the community. She will use journal articles and open textbook material in SYG1000 “Introductory Sociology” and SYG2010 “Social Problems” in Summer 2018 at the Florence Study Center.

#Textbookbroke FSU

To celebrate Open Education Week (March 27-31), a team from University Libraries partnered with the Student Government Association to bring the #textbookbroke campaign to FSU. #Textbookbroke is a national campaign aimed at informing students about Open Textbooks, Open Educational Resources, and alternatives to traditional textbooks. It is also aimed at empowering students to provide feedback on their course materials and encourage their instructors to explore more affordable alternatives.

To that end, we organized two well-attended tabling events at Strozier and Dirac, with the goal of engaging with as many students as possible over the course of each event. We created an engagement display board where students could share the most they have spent on textbooks in a single semester, and we also encouraged students to complete a short survey on how the textbook affordability problem has affected them.


Over the course of the events, we spoke with hundreds of students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and at different stages of their educational careers. 316 students contributed to the engagement board, and 350 submitted responses to the student survey. Overall, the data from the engagement board suggests that $407.32 is the average maximum amount spent by students on textbooks in a single term across all disciplines. Some of the more striking findings from the survey include the following:

  • 93% of students would use an online textbook if it was free
  • 97% of students feel that a $30 print textbook would reduce financial strain
  • 72% of students have decided not to purchase a required textbook due to high cost
  • 11% of students have decided not to take a course due to the cost of the textbook

These findings not only underline the impact of the textbook affordability problem on FSU students, but also suggest that the vast majority of our students would support broader adoption of OERs and Open Textbooks at FSU. We believe that students can play a key role in promoting such broader adoption by becoming advocates for OER on campus, and we hope that our many conversations with students during #textbookbrokeFSU will inspire them to take action to that end. At the same time, FSU Libraries is doing its part to support FSU instructors in adopting more open, affordable course materials through an Alternative Textbook Grants program that launched in late 2016.

This is an exciting time for open education at FSU, and our team is looking forward to continuing to advocate for change in this space, providing both students and instructors with the information and resources they need to make a difference! For more information about the open education movement and related initiatives at FSU, see our research guide on OER, or contact Devin Soper, Scholarly Communications Librarian at FSU Libraries’ Office of Digital Research & Scholarship.