The Textbook Liberation Fund
Round 2 of the Textbook Liberation Fund closed on May 31, 2016
The Textbook Liberation Fund was created to provide financial assistance to faculty members pursuing, or interested in pursuing, a course materials cost reduction project (“Project”). Applications will be accepted in 3-4 application rounds each year, with grant awardees from each application round moving through their Projects from development to launch as a group or cohort (“Cohort”). $500,000 is available for disbursement over the lifetime of the Textbook Liberation Fund, with individual project grant awards varying in size based on multiple factors including, but not limited to:
- The number of faculty members involved in the Project
- The scope of the Project
- The amount of effort required for the Project
- The potential impact of the Project to student savings
Skyepack helps college faculty members, departments and universities break free from the traditional textbook ecosystem. Traditional textbook publishers have increased the price of texts to unsustainable levels. Publishers are able to keep book prices high through unfriendly practices such as releasing new editions every 2-3 years with little changes to content, and bundling the textbook with software required for students to complete homework. These practices hurt students and constrain faculty members.
Skyepack works directly with faculty members to create fairly-priced custom course packages delivered to students through the Skyepack web+mobile platform. To create these custom course packages, we leverage open source content, content the faculty member has already created, inexpensive content licensed from third parties, and content created by Skyepack’s instructional designers. Our goal is to make the transition from the “textbook ecosystem” to fairly-priced course content simple and efficient for all faculty members.
Our efforts, and the goals of the Textbook Liberation Fund, are guided by two principle beliefs:
- We believe that every student deserves fairly priced course materials.
- We believe that every faculty member deserves the freedom to use course materials that are best suited to the unique needs of their course, students, and teaching practices.
How to Apply
To apply to the Textbook Liberation Fund, submit your application via email to firstname.lastname@example.org in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Application Instructions/FAQ and an Application Template are available for download below.
The application process will follow the timeline shown below:
- Application Phase: Applications will be accepted for each Cohort beginning on the Application Open Date through the Application Deadline.
- Application Review: Applications will be reviewed by Skyepack personnel, higher education teaching & learning professionals, and subject matter experts, and assessed for Project feasibility, scope, and potential impact to student savings. Applications will be reviewed as they are received on a rolling basis.
- Clarification Phase: After initial review, grant candidates may be contacted to discuss their application and answer any clarifying questions from the reviewers.
- Pre-Award Phase: After clarifying questions have been sufficiently addressed (if any) grant candidates will be contacted to discuss the Project logistics, determine a Project timeline, and receive notification of the size and disbursement methods of the grant available for their Project.
- Award Phase: Grantees will work with Skyepack to fulfill project requirements as determined in the Pre-Award Phase.
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