Open Textbook Challenge, Take Two!

This morning, the Saylor Foundation was excited to announce that we are now accepting submissions in the second wave of funding for our Open Textbook Challenge (OTC). (Click here to see our press release.)

With this Challenge, we’re on the hunt for textbooks that correlate to the 200+ online college-level courses offered on Saylor.org. We’re offering $20,000 awards to each textbook author who submits an accepted text and agrees to relicense their work under a CC-BY license. (Unfortunately, we cannot accept texts that are already CC-BY licensed.) Once accepted, these texts will be offered on Saylor.org along with our courses, further  expanding upon our free education offerings for students facing barriers to receiving a higher education. If you missed our first post about the OTC, be sure to check it out here for specific details on the Challenge.

Submissions for the second wave of funding will be accepted via the OTC webpage from today through January 31, 2011. We closed the first wave of the OTC just weeks ago, and were impressed with the caliber of submissions received!

“We’re excited about the submissions we received during Wave I of the Open Textbook Challenge,” says Charlie Adair, Open Textbook Challenge Coordinator for the Saylor Foundation. “These textbooks are currently undergoing a peer review and accepted texts will be announced by January 31st. With each accepted text, the Saylor Foundation and inspired textbook authors from all over the world are able to provide access to a complete textbook for individuals who are otherwise unable to obtain these college-level course materials.”

Now, you may be wondering: How many of these Challenges will you be running, Saylor? The answer: as many as it takes to ensure we have a textbook for each course that needs one!  Dates of subsequent waves of funding will be announced on the OTC webpage. Wave I educated Saylor in terms of the types of materials that are in the educational space, and we believe that many types of materials, in addition to textbooks, can match up to our courses and be eligible for $20,000.

“Wave I of the Open Textbook Challenge taught us that there are a number of complete and comprehensive college-level resources in the hands of many educators, and that many are eligible for the $20,000 prize,” says Alana Harrington, Director of the Saylor Foundation. “We encourage educators to utilize and restructure the products of their labor, including textbooks, course packs and lecture notes. Aggregated resources used in classes over a professor’s career could serve the same purpose as a textbook for any number of our courses.

The main difference between today’s launch and the initial launch on September 6th is the list of eligible courses, which is dwindling thanks to the great success we saw during Wave I of the Open Textbook Challenge. Wondering if your textbook might match one of our eligible courses and therefore be entitled to a $20,000 award? Be sure to check it against our list of eligible courses. One word of warning: we will be updating this list as we receive and accept texts into our curriculum, so be sure to keep an eye on it prior to submitting your text.

We also owe a huge THANK YOU to all of our Open Education cheerleaders. “The OER community has been fantastic in supporting our efforts with the OTC,” says Harrington.

We’re hoping for big things during this segment of the Open Textbook Challenge. Want to help? Generate a referral code and pass it along to anyone you know who has written a textbook or any college-level materials.  If they submit their work using your referral link, and that work is accepted, you’ll be rewarded with a $250 referral bounty!

Photo credit, Plutor

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