RFP for Course Redesign Using OER

Mason 4-VA, in collaboration with Mason Publishing in the University Libraries and the Office of Digital Learning in the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning, has issued an RFP regarding Open Educational Resources (OER). This project is focused on innovative course redesign that reconsiders the materials currently used with the intent purpose to integrate digital materials. Courses of particular interest are those that 1) have high enrollment numbers, 2) are required courses for majors, 3) count in the Mason Core, or 4) carry high textbook costs.

Open Educational Resources are defined as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” Open Educational Resources. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2016.

Redesigning courses to include open educational resources can accomplish the following:

  • reduce the cost of instruction for students
  • improve teaching and learning outcomes
  • create student economic opportunity through open access to quality educational resources

Who May Apply: Mason full-time faculty who teach high demand, highly populated courses. Adjunct faculty may apply as part of a team. For example, a group proposal may contain an adjunct instructor and full-time faculty from a department. Teams representing multiple sections of a course are encouraged to apply.

Grant Amounts: Competitive grants will be awarded ranging from $1,000-$5,000, depending on the nature of the work and the level of team collaboration. Larger amounts will be considered for projects that develop original materials.

Application & Deadline: For application forms and requirements, see attached or visit the 4-VA site. Deadline is December 1, 2017.

NOTE: Mason Publishing is available to aid faculty in developing OER textbooks or workbooks as a part of this project. Telephone: (703) 993-3636, publish@gmu.edu.

Mason Libraries are here for YOU

Are you taking advantage of the Mason Libraries’ numerous resources and activities? Don’t forget:

Need a break from studying and research? Like to read? Consider joining the Mason Libraries Book Club, or attending one of our upcoming special events:

  • Musical Rarities and Curiosities, Friday, November 3, 2pm Special Collections Research Center (Fenwick Library, Room 2400): Join Steven Gerber, Music Librarian, for an informal inspection of a dozen musical rarities acquired for Special Collections in the last year or two. These range from a 19th-century psalm setting in manuscript by Francesco Basili and costume designs for opera characters to the printed program of an 1850 Jenny Lind concert, a leaf from a medieval choir book, and limited-edition songs from Irving Berlin’s musical Top Hat.
  • Advances in Science 1586-1999: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Exhibition Reception, Tuesday, November 7, 3pm – 5pm, Special Collections Research Center (Fenwick Library, Room 2400): Visit SCRC to hear remarks about our current exhibit and enjoy refreshments generously provided by Argo Tea Café.
  • Music in the Lobby: Up Close + Classical, Wednesday, November 15, 1pm – 1:45pm: Join us in the Fenwick Lobby to hear the Mason Student Strings group perform selections by Bach and Dvorak. Refreshments generously provided by Argo Tea Café.
  • Mason Author Series: Patricia Donahue, Thursday, November 16, 3pm – 4:30pm, Fenwick Main Reading Room: Communities are the sum of myriad types of participation—positive, negative, formal, informal, direct, and indirect. Join us for a discussion with Patricia Donahue on her recent book, Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb, which challenges conventional wisdom about participation in modern American communities through the story of Northern Virginia’s Pimmit Hills.

Check out the Libraries calendar for more workshops and happenings, and visit our website to learn more about our resources and services!

A few Mason Author titles to consider

This week, we are highlighting some recent publications by Mason authors, representing various academic disciplines and viewpoints. All are available for checkout from the Libraries! Remember, you can find more faculty and alumni publications and profiles over at the Mason Spirit. You can find more titles in the Libraries’ collection by checking out our Faculty Author Collection at bit.ly/masonauthors. And, don’t forget about the next Libraries’ Mason Author Series event on Thursday, November 16 at 3pm in the Fenwick Main Reading Room, where Patricia Donahue will discuss Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb.


The Chance of Salvation: A History of Conversion in America
Lincoln A. Mullen, Assistant Professor, History and Art History

The Chance of Salvation (Harvard University Press, August 2017) offers a history of conversions in the United States which shows how religious identity came to be a matter of choice. By uncovering the way religious identity is structured as obligatory decision, this book explores why Americans change religions and why the U.S. is both highly religious in terms of religious affiliation and very secular in the sense that no religion is an unquestioned default.


Trump Effect 
Karina V. Korostelina, Professor, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

In Trump Effect (Routledge, October 2016), Korostelina explains how the support for Trump among the American general public is based on three pillars: 1) Trump champions a specific conception of American national identity that empowers his supporters, 2) Trump’s leadership has been crafted from his ability to recognize where and with whom he can get the most return on his investment, and 3) Trump challenges the existing political balance of power within the United States and globally.


Governing Under Stress: The Implementation of Obama’s Economic Stimulus Program
Timothy J. Conlan, Priscilla M. Regan, and Paul L. Posner, Schar School of Policy and Government

Governing Under Stress (Georgetown University Press, January 2017) presents perspectives on the implementation and performance of President Obama’s economic stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It explores the management of ARRA within all levels of government as well as its portrayals in the media and public perception. Contributors draw upon more than 200 interviews and nationwide field research to present insights into the challenges facing public policy and management.


Resolving Structural Conflicts: How Violent Systems Can Be Transformed
Richard E. Rubenstein, University Professor, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Resolving Structural Conflicts (Routledge, January 2017) analyzes how certain social systems generate violent conflict and discusses how such systems can be transformed to create the conditions for positive peace. The book addresses a key issue in the field of conflict studies: what to do about violent conflicts that are not the results of misunderstanding, prejudice, or malice, but the products of a social system that generates violent conflict as part of its normal operations.


The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream
Tyler Cowen, BS Economics ’83, Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics; Distinguished Senior Fellow, F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics; and General Director, Mercatus Center

In The Complacent Class (St. Martin’s Press, February 2017), Cowen examines the trend of Americans away from the traditionally mobile, risk-accepting, and adaptable tendencies that defined them for much of recent history, and toward stagnation and comfort. He argues that this development has the potential to make future changes more disruptive.