Virginia’s academic library consortium partners with KnowledgeWorks to develop open educational resources

book with open lockVIVA, Virginia’s academic library consortium, has signed an agreement with KnowledgeWorks Global Ltd. (KGL) to provide publishing services for its Open Grant program. This innovative partnership ensures the production of high-quality grant-supported open textbooks, open monographs, and other Open Educational Resources (OER) for use in Virginia higher education institutions.

William & Mary Libraries is a member of the VIVA consortium, which is comprised of 71 nonprofit higher education institutions and includes both public and private colleges and research universities from across Virginia. Since 2016, VIVA’s Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative has supported sustainable educational resource and access models that enable equitable and inclusive learning, give faculty control over instructional materials, and lower the costs of higher education for Virginia students.

Starting in 2019, a key part of this program has been the VIVA Open grants, which fund the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER for use in the classroom. While newly-created resources are written for Virginia classes and students, all grant-supported OER can be adopted in classes beyond Virginia and finished resources can be found on VIVA Open. One hundred and fifteen grants have been awarded so far, adopting existing resources, creating new resources, and creating ancillaries, such as slide decks, for existing open textbooks, which help provide a full package of classroom resources for other instructors wishing to use these open course materials.

To support the creation of open monographs and OER, KGL will provide VIVA with a host of content solutions, including interior and cover design, typesetting, EPUB conversion, artwork/graphics processing, copyediting, proofreading, indexing, accessibility remediation and testing, research and permissions clearance and management, animations, project management, other related services, and print on demand through sister company, Sheridan. With this agreement, individual member institutions also have the opportunity to contract directly with KGL to support their own publications. 

“We are excited to collaborate with KGL in empowering Virginia faculty to develop exceptional, no-cost course materials for their students,” said Genya O’Gara, acting VIVA director. “The partnership allows us to leverage KGL's extensive expertise in digital publishing and higher education to provide direct assistance to Virginia faculty as they develop open and affordable texts that integrate and align with their instructional goals.”