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Scholars’ Collaborative

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are materials used in teaching that are copyrighted and openly 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 using a single book purchased by students.

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

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



Frequently Asked Questions about OER

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




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.




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

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



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 above). Members of the working group are:

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