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Faculty Chose Open Textbooks, Saved Students over $700,000

Students saving money — and thanking their professors for helping them do so. Instructors feeling more freedom in teaching not to the book but to the subject. Sound interesting? This is just a sample of the feedback received during a semester-long project gathering data on open textbook adoptions at UT. Here’s what we did:

  • Throughout the semester, instructors who adopted an open textbook were invited to report their open textbook adoptions so they could be added to the tally. Did you know that two graduate courses have adopted open textbooks? Find out who has adopted an open textbook, or request that your name be added to the list.

  • OIT’s Community of Practice featured a Geography instructor talking about the decision and experience of moving to an open textbook in Geography 101. Watch the recording.

  • At the same presentation, a librarian from the University Libraries Scholars’ Collaborative described the differences between open textbooks and inclusive access, which are both aimed at addressing textbook affordability. Check out the comparison chart.

  • And the University Libraries teamed up with the Student Government Association to measure estimated student savings and gather student feedback on free and openly licensed educational materials. You may have seen the large signs set up in Hodges Library this semester, or learned about them through a Tweet.

We now know there has been significant growth in open textbook (OT) adoptions on campus. In 2016-17, University Libraries knew of OT adoptions saving students approximately $300,000. After a workshop held at Hodges Library in April 2017, adoptions increased significantly. OT adoptions in 2017-18 now save students approximately $700,800.

On December 5th, SGA and University Libraries celebrated and thanked more than two dozen instructors for their commitment to open education.* An e-thank you note will be sent to instructors from students who signed it, with gratitude for the faculty, lecturers, and graduate assistants who contributed to students saving nearly three quarters of a million dollars.

Earlier this year, the Office of the Provost, Student Government Association, Teaching and Learning Center, and University Libraries announced an ambitious goal of reaching $1 Million in student savings from faculty adoptions of open textbooks. Though we did not make this goal, reaching 70% and doubling the number of UT’s open textbook adoptions are definitely reasons to celebrate.

Interested in learning more? Peruse the Open Ed Portal: https://libguides.utk.edu/opened. Adopted and not on the list? Let us know: https://s.lib.utk.edu/opened.
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* Courses/Sections Adopting Open Textbooks:

    BIOL 150: Dr. Guffey
    COSC 311: Dr. Berry & Dr. Day
    EDPY 577: Dr. Rocconi
    EF 15: Dr. Bennett & All Instructors
    EF 230: Dr. Schleter & All Instructors
    GEOG 101: Dr. Forresta, Dr. Sharma & All Instructors
    PHIL 235: Marlin Sommers
    PHYS 221/222: Dr. Cooper, Dr. Ross-Sheehy & All Instructors
    PSYC 110/117: Dr. Breinig, Dr. Guidry & All Instructors
    PSYC 360: Dr. Larsen
    VMD 888: Dr. Fry & All Instructors
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