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Open Textbooks, OER & Other Open or Free Resources for Faculty

A guide to exploring open textbook options for faculty.

OER Projects: community colleges

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Z-degree

"The Z-Degree is an additional degree pathway towards earning the Associate of Arts Degree. Designed in 8-week online courses (Z-courses) with zero cost for textbooks; you can register for classes offered during five sessions throughout the year." 

Maricopa Community College: Maricopa Millions OER Project

"The goal of the Maricopa Millions project is to radically decrease student costs by offering low cost or no cost options for course materials. Courses designated as "no cost" will have no additional cost to the student beyond fees associated with tuition. These might include OER, licensed online resources purchased by the MCCCD for student access, etc. Courses designated as "low cost" will have required course materials that are under $40. These costs may be associated with copyrights for textbooks, printing of required materials, online homework/quizzing systems, etc.

Northern Virginia Community College: OER-Based General Education Project

"The OER-Based General Education Project is designed to allow any student at NOVA to take one or more courses that utilize free and/or open course materials and content to deliver a high quality learning experience without requiring the purchase of textbooks or other course material. The current OER courses can be taken individually, or the series can be completed as a General Education Certificate. ELI is currently developing a second series of OER courses that will satisfy the requirements for the Associate’s degrees in General Studies and Social Sciences beginning fall 2014."

The Medrano Project from Paradise Valley Community College (Arizona)

A "living textbook" project with high student engagement, development of critical thinking skills, and use of free resources.

Lane Community College Faculty Fellowship Program

"The purpose of this fellowship is to to provide support and opportunities for Lane faculty to use OERs in their courses and save students money by reducing textbook requirements and increasing the number of textbook free courses."

OER Projects: 4 year colleges and universities

Affordable Learning Georgia

"A University System of Georgia (USG) initiative to promote student success by providing affordable textbook alternatives. A one-stop service to help USG faculty and staff identify lower-cost, electronic, free, and open educational resources (OER), building on the cost-effective subscription resources provided by GALILEO and the USG libraries."

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: OER Pilot Project

"During the Fall 2014 semester, 11 SIUE faculty members and more than 300 SIUE students are participating in a pilot project using Open Educational Resources (OER) in their courses. The goal of this project is to to gauge the feasibility of using OER as no-cost or low-cost alternatives to traditional textbooks."

Florida Memorial University, Oakwood University & Wiley College: Distance Learning Collaboration

"The Universities are forging a new path by tapping into the wealth of high quality open education resources (OER) available today. The Center for Excellence in Distance Learning is working with OER services provider Lumen Learning to tailor online courses to the unique needs of HBCUs and the students they serve."

Temple University's Alternate Textbook Project

"The goal of the Project is to encourage faculty experimentation and innovation in finding new, better and less costly ways to deliver learning materials to their students. Through the Project faculty can receive a funding award to develop an alternate to the traditional textbook. That could be anything from a customized set of instructional content to an existing open textbook. There is no expectation that faculty will author complete open textbooks, but that would certainly qualify as an acceptable project proposal."

OER & Alternative Textbooks: Policies

Affordable Textbooks: A Policy Guide

From the U.S. PIRG (Student Public Interest Research Groups)

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