August 6, 2020

Professor Wins Grant to Pen Open Education Textbook

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – to write an Open Education Resources textbook.

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education, was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – to write an Open Education Resources textbook.

It’s a dilemma faced by many students on financial aid. Funds often don’t hit accounts until a few weeks into the semester, so students can’t purchase textbooks, and they risk falling behind.

Melissa Wells, an assistant professor in UMW’s College of Education (COE), knows this scenario all too well. That’s why she’s designing an Open Education Resources (OER) textbook for her Foundations in Education course, thanks to a $10,000 grant from VIVA – Virtual Library of Virginia – a consortium of nonprofit academic libraries within the Commonwealth. News of the grant comes as educators nationwide celebrate Open Education Week, March 2 to 6.

As the cost of textbooks rises, so does the importance of providing access to personalized learning materials meant for diverse audiences. Buoyed by new Virginia legislation encouraging the adoption of open and affordable materials in higher education, Mary Washington professors like Wells are leading the way. Read more.