Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER) & Textbook Equity

Textbook Equity Librarian

Profile Photo
Anne Marie Gruber

UNI Textbook Equity Mini-grant Program

Purple UNI banner with "UNI Textbook Equity Mini-Grant Program"

UNI Textbook Equity Mini-Grant Program: Funded Projects

Rod Library is pleased to announce the awarding of grants for 5 faculty projects to support use and creation of free, openly-licensed course materials. This funding opportunity provides training and support for faculty adoption, writing, and/or remixing of open textbooks or other materials to replace expensive, traditional textbooks. In addition to saving UNI students an estimated $64,000 per year, many of the new Open Educational Resources created through the program prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are also likely to be adopted at other institutions, expanding the impact and cost savings beyond UNI.

Funded projects are listed below. All are forthcoming in 2023 or 2024.

Program Return on Investment (ROI) = 328%

Funding for this grant program is provided via UNI Provost's Office one-time funds, with support from the Rod Library Dean's Office.
Contact: Anne Marie Gruber at or (319) 273-3711.

Creative Writing

Completed text (August 2023): Elements of Creative Writing
Proposal: Developing a New Original Open Textbook for Elements of Creative Writing
Authors: Dr. Jeremy Schraffenberger, Dr. Grant Tracey, and Prof. Rachel Morgan
Course supported: ENG 2700: Elements of Creative Writing (UNIFI course)
Award amount: $6000
Estimated student savings: $19,050 per year

Description: This project will accomplish the creation of a new multi-genre textbook to be used in introductory creative writing courses, covering instruction on writing poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The co-authors are editors of the North American Review (NAR), the oldest literary magazine in the United States, which has been housed at the University of Northern Iowa since 1969. Readings for the textbook will be selected from recent back pages of the NAR and discussed in terms of the craft of writing. Additional material prepared by the co-authors will cover the preparation of manuscripts for publication at literary magazines.

Introductory Public Administration

Creating an Open-Access Introductory Public Administration Textbook
PI: Dr. Jayme Renfro
Course supported: POL AMER 1048: Current and Emerging Issues in Public Administration (UNIFI course)
Award amount: $2000
Estimated student savings: $14,000 per year

Description: This project aims to create the first widely-accessible openly-licensed Introduction to Public Administration textbook. In addition to all of the benefits that OERs bring to the table in terms of affordability and accessibility, this project will bring this genre of text from a dry tome that disjointedly attempts to cover too many topics to a more modern, cohesive and, frankly, interesting version that engages students in the question of why public administration matters and how civil servants have and can impact society.

Media and Power

Preview text (forthcoming fall 2023): Media and Power

Proposal: A Modular Media Literacy Handbook with Student Resources for the UNIFI Media and Power Course
Authors: Drs. Bettina Fabos, Chris Martin, and Catherine Palczewski
Course supported: COMM DM 1611: Media and Power (UNIFI course)
Award amount: $4000
Estimated student savings: $4000 per year
Description: This project will include creation of openly-licensed instructional materials, assignments, activities, and suggested available readings, for the Media and Power course. Textbooks for these types of courses are expensive, not adequately current or nimble, or too theoretical. Because the media changes so dramatically nearly every month, the faculty team proposes creating flexible, current course materials in the form of an instructor and student handbook.

Social Work Research

Completed text (August 2023): Graduate Research Project Guide: Secondary Data Analysis

Proposal: Creating a handbook/lab book entitled “Step-by-Step Guide for the Graduate Research Project: Focus on Secondary Data Analysis”
Authors: Dr. Sei-Young Lee & Dr. Siyon Rhee
Courses supported: SW 6218: Introduction to Social Work Research and SW 6265: Advanced Social Work Research
Award amount: $1000
Estimated student savings: $21,700 per year

Description: This project aims to develop an open handbook/lab book that will serve as the core textbook for the Advanced Social Work Research course to help students complete a master’s thesis or graduate research paper. This project will create an openly-licensed text by combining and editing portions from one or more existing openly-licensed texts such as DeCarlo, Cummings, and Agnelli (2021) and Mauldin and DeCarlo (2020).

Technology in Language Education

Creating Technology-Enhanced Language Teaching Textbooks for Pre-service Teachers and TESOL Students
PI: Dr. Penny Wang
Course supported: LANG 4093: Technology in Language Education
Award amount: $2000
Estimated student savings: $5500 per year

Description: This project is to develop a OER textbook to replace the current Handbook of Research of Foreign Language Education in the Digital Age so we can provide free materials of cutting-edge research and concepts of technology-enhanced language teaching for LANG 4093 Technology in Language Education course, a required course for TESOL majors. This project will also benefit multiple teacher education programs, teacher training programs, professional development programs and so forth that may have a coverage on educational technology.