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Textbook Affordability

Background on OER

Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed text, media, and other digital assets that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. W&M Libraries are interested in helping the campus community to learn about and incorporate OER's into their courses. 

Faculty can also pursue integrating OpenStax textbooks and other OER resources through Barnes & Noble’s Faculty Enlight, which is its faculty textbook and course materials tool. Using this tool (which can be integrated with Blackboard), faculty can link to customized course materials such as OER’s and course packs. They can also get estimates on student textbook costs, see what has been adopted for the course in prior semesters and even see what other universities have adopted. Read more on their courseware information.

Funding for OER

dollar signCourse Redesign Grants

Are you interested in textbook affordability for W&M students? If so, there is some new funding and resources available from Virginia’s academic library consortium, VIVA, to fund up to $30,000 per applicant or applicant team for adopting, adapting or creating openly-licensed textbooks and/or course materials. Funds can cover faculty and staff time and compensation, including course release time, overload pay, and replacement coverage, depending on institutional and departmental policies. The RFP, application,  evaluation criteria and more are all described on the VIVA Course Redesign Grants program page.

Open Publishing Awards

The Coko Foundation occasionally has awards for publishing open content or open source software. Read more here

Evaluating OER

There are some excellent sources available for evaluating OER. These include:

Open Textbook Network provides an excellent quality rubric

California OER Council’s quality and accessibility evaluation rubrics 

Empirical research on OER

Clinton, V., & Khan, S. (2019). Efficacy of Open Textbook Adoption on Learning Performance and Course Withdrawal Rates: A Meta-Analysis. AERA Open.

Cuttler, C. (2019). Students’ Use and Perceptions of the Relevance and Quality of Open Textbooks Compared to Traditional Textbooks in Online and Traditional Classroom Environments. Psychology Learning & Teaching 18(1), 65-83.

Hilton, John. (2016). Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. 64: 573. 

Wiley, D., Williams, L., DeMarte, D., & Hilton, J. (2016). The Tidewater Z-Degree and the INTRO Model for Sustaining OER
Adoption. Education Policy Archives, 41. doi: