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FIPSE grant (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education)

The Texas Language Technology Textbook Initiative

Dr. Carl Blyth, director of the Texas Language Technology Center (TLTC now COERLL) at the University of Texas has won a two-year award of $263,000 from the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). The award is to develop a sustainable publishing model for foreign language instructional materials to combat the rising costs of textbooks. For the project, TLTC will form a publishing consortium with three other Texas institutions: Rice University, Texas Christian University, and Lone Star Community College (Houston, TX).

The two-year FIPSE grant will allow TLTC to join open source technology with print-on-demand publishing to radically lower textbook prices. Besides price reductions, print on demand publishing holds many benefits, such as inventory tracking and little or no waste from unsold products. The goal is to create an online French textbook that will be free of charge and free of copyright and licensing restrictions. A print-on-demand version will be available for a fraction of the cost compared to most commercially published textbooks. In addition, the collaboratively published textbook will allow students and instructors to customize materials by editing existing content or by adding their own content.

The Texas Language Technology Open Access Initiative (TLTOAI)

In the Fall of 2007 TLTC (now COERLL) in collaboration with Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) was awarded a three-year $540,000 FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education) grant to produce open access foreign language instructional resources. Open-access resources are digital scholarly works accessible online, free of charge. The TLTC open access initiative will focus on the development, production, dissemination, and evaluation of six current TLTC multimedia resources: Aswaat Arabiyya, Alkitaab Textbook, Deutsch im Blick, Persian Online, Radio Arlecchino, and Tá Falado.

UT scholars and TLTC technical staff will build on the model of instructional technology development successfully implemented in Français interactif, UT's highly successful online first-year French curriculum. The development model rests on:

  • Rigorous and ongoing formative evaluation
  • Inclusion of students as evaluators and co-creators;
  • Emphasis on high production values and accessibility.