Alt-Textbook Project

In the Fall 2014 term, the NCSU Libraries awarded a first round of grants to faculty to adopt, adapt, or create free or low-cost alternatives to expensive textbooks. The first round is in progress and is expected to save NC State students more than $200,000 in the first year. 

How to Apply

Complete the Call for Proposals form with information about your course and a brief narrative describing your proposed alternative to a commercial textbook.  All current faculty members of NC State University teaching courses in Spring or Fall 2016 are eligible to apply. To learn more contact Will Cross, Director of the NCSU Libraries Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center.

Information Sessions

Information sessions will be held in partnership with the Office of Faculty Development on Monday, October 5th from 10:15-11:30am and in the Libraries at the following times:

Thursday 9/17/15 - Hunt Library
Conference Room 5703

Wednesday 10/7/15 - DH Hill Library
Assembly Room

Open Textbooks and NCSU Libraries

The NCSU Libraries is committed to fostering change in the current textbook publishing environment. The Libraries’ Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center is available to partner with faculty members on licensing resources, using digital repositories, and creating and publishing their own open educational resources. The Alt-Textbook Project will empower faculty to innovate pedagogically, enhance access for NC State students to high-quality, tailored educational materials, and reduce the financial burden of expensive textbooks.

The Problem with Textbooks

  • Runaway textbook costs on college campuses have become a major impediment to student success.
  • Textbook costs have outpaced inflation by 300% over the last 30 years.
  • Students spend an average of $1,200 per year on textbooks.
  • 7 out of 10 students have forgone purchasing college textbooks because of cost, according to a recent PIRG survey on 13 college campuses.

Open Educational Resources: A Solution

Many alternatives to the current textbook publishing landscape have emerged in the last decade, allowing faculty to easily find and use current, high-quality free online Open Educational Resources for their courses. Projects such as Open Textbook Library and OpenStax College provide access to free, peer-reviewed textbooks covering a wide variety of subjects, while other initiatives such as OpenStax CNX and Merlot II provide repositories of peer-reviewed open educational materials that can be remixed and customized by faculty who wish to build their own textbook or course materials.

Projects at NCSU

The 2014-15 Alt-Textbook OERs are out and being used in courses this semester!  

Projects from the first round span nine schools and departments, represent innovative strategies for pedagogical change such as Maria Gallardo-Williams' nationally-recognized S.M.A.R.T. lab videos and Sabrina Robertson and Carlos Goller's BIT OER project, and have collectively saved NCSU students more than $200,000 in 2015.

Alt-Textbook projects from the first round include:

  • Dr. Andrew Cooper's (Mathematics) MA225: Foundations of Advanced Mathematics
  • Dr. Michael Evans' (Curriculum, Instruction, and Counselor Education) ECI 515: Online Collaborations in Education
  • Maria Gallardo-Williams' (Chemistry) CH226: Organic Chemistry I Lab
  • Juliana Kocsis' (Foreign Languages) FLE 201: Oral Communication in English for International Students
  • Janell Moretz's (Parks, Recreation and Sport Management) PRT 238: Diversity and Inclusion in Parks, Recreation and Sport Management
  • Jennifer Landin's (Biology) BIO105: Biology in the Modern World
  • Sabrina Robertson and Carlos Goller's (Biotechnology) BIT 410/510: Core Technologies in Molecular Biology
  • Adria E. Shipp's (Education) ECD 561: Strategies for Clinical Assessment in Counseling
  • Alyson Wilson's (Statistics) ST/CSC 495: Introduction to Data Science



Will Cross, NCSU Libraries Copyright & Digital Scholarship Center