Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Transform Textbooks into Lower Cost Options Through ALG Grants
Beginning in academic year 2014-2015, the State of Georgia has supported a University System of Georgia (USG) Initiative to provide grants for libraries, institutions, and faculty seeking to transform their textbooks and learning materials into more affordable options. The Affordable Learning Georgia initiative offers Textbook Transformation Grants to facilitate creation of Open Educational Resources (OER), as well as utilization of existing materials available in GALILEO and USG libraries. Two new rounds of funding (rounds ten and eleven) for the grants will occur in 2017, and a Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open.
Please see the following press release for further information: Transform Textbooks into Lower Cost Options Through ALG Grants
Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching, learning and research resources that can be freely retained, reused, revised, remixed and redistributed.
OERs have saved more than 26,000 UGA students approximately $2.7 million in textbook costs since fall 2013.
“The reading materials for this course were AMAZING. I’m not just saying that because I didn’t have to pay for a textbook (although that was nice) but because I could be certain what I was reading was both relevant and the best source of information for the topic we were discussing. I was extremely grateful for this form of reading.” - EDUC 2120 student, Spring 2015
"Open educational resources” (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open copyright license that permits everyone to freely retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them. OERs include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, journal articles, and any other tools or materials used to support learning.
The University of Georgia is actively engaging in the promotion and adoption of OERs by providing faculty members, especially those who teach large enrollment courses, such as those included on the University System of Georgia Top-100 Undergraduate Enrollment list, with resources and assistance to transition away from expensive textbooks to open education resources. Since the OER initiative began in 2013, OERs will have saved UGA students approximately $2.7 million in textbook costs by the summer of 2017.
Courses Using OERs at UGA
In response to the challenges students face due to the collective costs of attending college, the CTL and other groups on campus have been working to reduce textbook costs for students. Many large, core courses have been involved in this adoption to significant cost savings since 2013. These implementations have been supported by CTL Learning Technologies Grants and external funding from the University System of Georgia, Affordable Learning Georgia, and a CTL partnership with Rice University resulting in a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Next Generation Courseware Grant.
"The instructor realizes that not everybody can afford a textbook, so she is giving everybody an equal opportunity to succeed." - HIST 2111 student, Fall 2014
Number of Students
|BIOL 1103/1104*||2013 - 2014||2,030||$200,000|
|2014 - 2015||2,030||$200,000|
|2015 - 2016||2,030||$200,000|
|2016 - 2017||1,150||$112,700|
|HIST 2111/2112*||2014 - 2015||1,030||$70,000|
|2015 - 2016||1,030||$70,000|
|PEDB 1000(+)*||2014 - 2015||4,500||$135,000|
|2015 - 2016||4,500||$135,000|
|EDUC 2120**||2014 - 2015||100||$15,000|
|2015 - 2016||120||$18,000|
|EDUC 2110**||2015 - 2016||120||$12,000|
|PSYC 1101*||2015 - 2016||900||$210,000|
|SOCI 1101*||2015 - 2016||150||$17,250|
|2016 - 2017||470||$47,000|
|BIOL 1107*||2015 - 2016||450||$112,500|
|THEA 2000||2015 - 2016||146||$24,820|
|2016 - 2017||93||$7,440|
|THEA 3290/ENGL 3650||Fall 2016||30||$2,400|
|CBIO 2200/2210||2015 - 2016||710||$175,000|
|2016 - 2017||730||$179,580|
|CBIO 2200(L)/2210(L)||2015 - 2016||710||$187,000|
|2016 - 2017||730||$191,990|
|Total = 26,389||Total = $2,722,650|
*Core courses included in Areas A – E of the General Education Core Curriculum
**Area F Core Courses for students in the College of Education
News Coverage of OERs at UGA
- UGA Uses Grant to Consider e-Textbooks to Reduce Costs for Students (Athens Banner-Herald) »
- Free Text Experiment a Success, say UGA Students, faculty (Athens Banner-Herald) »
- Biology Students Swap Expensive Textbooks for Free, Online Resource (Red & Black) »
- An Introduction to Open Educational Resources (Public Radio Exchange Interview) »
- How Some Colleges Are Offering Free Textbooks (CNN) »
- SGA Initiative Hopes to Increase Textbook Affordability (Red & Black) »