Open educational resources (OER) are materials used in teaching that are copyrighted and then licensed for free use and free sharing. One example of a well-known OER is an open textbook.
Adopting an open textbook can lead to a more affordable degree program for students, and may help instructors gain flexibility in teaching as they are not tied to one book purchased by students. In fall 2018, the Libraries estimates that open textbooks are saving UT students over $700,000 every year.
The Libraries joined the Open Textbook Network on behalf of the university in 2016, helping us work with other member institutions (such as NC State and Virginia Tech) to increase the adoption and creation of open textbooks. UT’s Open Textbook Working Group was formed shortly thereafter.
Call for proposals now open! UT’s Open Textbook/OER Grant Program deadline is September 28.
Frequently Asked Questions about OER
- What are open textbooks?
- How are open textbooks different from textbooks in the Inclusive Access program?
- Where do I find open textbooks?
- Who uses open textbooks at UT?
- Where do I find OERs for my course?
Visit the Open Education Portal for more information.
Open Textbook Working Group
At UT, the Open Textbook 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 Textbook/OER Grant Program (see below). Members of the working group are:
- Rachel Caldwell, Scholars’ Collaborative, University Libraries (chair)
- Teresa Berry, University Libraries
- Abigail Brumfield, Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Students
- Jennifer Gramling, Director of Online Programs, Teaching and Learning Innovation
- Stan Guffey, Senior Lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences
- Miriam Larson, Instructional Support, Office of Information Technology
- Molly Royse, University Libraries
- Anna Sandelli, University Libraries
- Allison Shepard, University Libraries
Awards and Funding
In 2016, UT’s Student Government Association established the SGA Open Education Awards. The Libraries’ Scholars’ Collaborative and Libraries’ Dean’s Student Advisory Committee offer support for the awards annually.
In 2018-19, SGA and the Division of Student Life provided funds to establish a one-time grant opportunity for UT faculty and instructors to propose open textbook and OER adoptions, adaptations, and creation.