Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials used in teaching that are copyrighted and openly licensed for free use and sharing. Adopting an open textbook can lead to more affordable degree programs for students, and may help instructors gain flexibility in teaching as they are often able to modify and adapt the materials in ways not provided by traditionally copyrighted textbooks.

The UT Libraries estimate that, as of spring 2019, open textbooks are saving Vols over $800,000 every year!


Frequently Asked Questions about OER

For more questions and answers, visit the Open Education Portal.



The Student Government Association (SGA) and the Division of Student Life traditionally provide funds to establish grant opportunities for UT faculty and instructors to propose open textbook and OER adoptions, adaptations, and creation. Click here for more information about UT’s Open Textbook/OER Grant Program.


In 2016, UT’s Student Government Association (SGA) established the SGA Open Education Awards. The Libraries’ Scholars’ Collaborative and Libraries’ Dean’s Student Advisory Committee offer support for the awards annually.

  • SGA Open Education Awards 2017
  • SGA Open Education Awards 2018
  • SGA Open Education Awards 2019
  • SGA Open Education Awards 2020

UT students can nominate their instructor for the SGA Open Education Awards anytime throughout the year.

Open EDUCATION Working Group & Advisory Board

The Libraries joined the Open Education Network in 2016, helping us work with other member institutions to increase the adoption and creation of open textbooks. UT Libraries’ Open Education Working Group was formed shortly thereafter.

The Open Education Working Group promotes greater awareness of open textbooks among faculty and instructors. The working group has been instrumental to the success of open textbook adaptations and to UT’s Open Education/OER Grant Program (see above). In 2021, the Open Education Working Group formed the Open Education Advisory Board, welcoming the support and guidance of students and additional units across campus, each of are invested in furthering OER and other course material affordability initiatives.