About the course textbook fee
The course textbook fee is a $10 fee students pay when enrolled in a course that uses no-cost open or alternative educational resources rather than traditional, commercial textbooks. Faculty/instructors who are awarded grants from the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative automatically qualify for the application of the course textbook fee on their course when their open or alternative resources are ready to be implemented.
Faculty/instructors who already use no-cost educational resources in their courses will not qualify for the grant, but can apply to have the course textbook fee applied to their course.
By employing use of the course textbook fee, students have a more cost-effective option than most commercial textbook options. The fee also provides an incentive for faculty/instructors to implement and maintain open/alternative resources for their courses, because the majority of the course fee revenue (89%) goes directly to their department.
A smaller percentage (9%) of the course fee revenue is returned to the Initiative’s grant program to help fund future grants, and 2% is reserved for bad debt. For example, if 100 students pay the course fee for one course, then $890 will go back to that faculty/instructor’s department and $90 will go to the grant program, and $20 will be reserved for bad debt.
Faculty/instructors interested in having the course fee applied will need to show they use no-cost educational resources.
The fee can be applied to one or multiple sections of the same course. A proposed course may include any of the following or a combination:
- An existing open access textbook (see Resources to Find Open Textbooks)
- Library resources
- High quality open educational resources (OER)
- Multimedia resources (e.g., audio, video, TedTalks, YouTube videos, Wikimedia Commons)
- Faculty-authored materials (e.g., websites, PDFs, educational presentation slides, lecture videos)
Examples can be found on the Open Textbook Resources page.
To qualify for the fee:
- The course must be one that needs course materials (practicums, exercise classes etc. are not eligible).
- The open/alternative resource must be approved by the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative review panel.
- The course or course section (if only the lecture uses the resource for example) must not require or recommend any course materials that students have to purchase. An exception to this is iClickers since they can be used across courses.
Materials not eligible for the fee include:
- commercial e-text versions of existing print resources
- textbook rentals
In your Course Fee application, please provide the following required information:
- Course information (course name, number, section (s), enrollment, semester(s) offered).
- Information on your Open or Alternative resource (title, format, access point/location).
- How does this resource compare to a traditional resources for this course?
- Does the resource engage students in the learning process? How?
- Are there any copyright concerns for the material used? If so, how are they addressed (e.g., are you relying on TEACH Act, fair use, or obtaining permission)?
- How will students access (view/print) the assigned content? Will the resource be accessible via a student's mobile device or smartphone?
- Will the text follow universally accessible design principles? Can the resource be printed? Will the resource be ADA compliant?
- Will you require support from colleagues at the Libraries, the Student Access Center, and/or iTAC (e.g., to identify or compile resources, consult on copyright, or support with accessibility issues)?
- What semester do you plan to use or start using the open or alternative resource?
Applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of two teaching faculty, a representative from K-State Libraries, a representative from the Student Access Center, and at least one student.
The fee award will be based on responses to narrative questions above and criteria below:
- Quality and strength of application and how well it meets the requirements
- Ability to be successfully implemented
- Ability to adapt or produce a quality product and actively engage students in the learning process
- Sustainability of the resource beyond the initial use
- Willingness or ability to license the resource for re-use or adaption at K-State or beyond
- Accessibility and usability of the resource for all students (see information provided by the Student Access Center).
For more information or to discuss a potential fee application please contact
Dr. Andy Bennett
Dr. Brian Lindshield
Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship