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2017 – 2018 Awards

The 2017 – 2018 Alternative Textbook Grants have been awarded! See a full list of our grantees on the 2017 – 2018 Awards tab to read about the innovative ways they are saving students money, while adding flexibility to their teaching practices. 

A big thanks to the College of Arts & Sciences and the Price College of Business for their continued contributions and partnerships. We greatly appreciate your advocacy and support.

Grant applications for the 2018 – 2019 academic year will be available in January, 2018.

Quick Facts

Textbook Costs:

  • Average cost of course materials is $1,200/year1
  • 65% of students didn't purchase a textbook because of cost2
  • 48% said textbook costs impact class selection2
  • Because of high textbook costs3
    • 31% of students didn't register for a course
    • 35% took fewer courses
    • 14% dropped a course

Sources: 2Student PIRG Study, 3Florida Student Textbook Survey

Read More about Alternative Textbooks

Grant Introduction

2017 is expected to be a banner year for the OU Libraries Alternative Textbook Grant. With this, our fourth grant cycle, we expect to save OU students over $1,000,000 in textbook costs. We invite you to be a participant in this record-breaking year!

OU Libraries' Alternative Textbook Grants help reduce the cost of course materials by supporting faculty members in the adoption, adaptation, or creation of openly licensed course content or library resources. All University of Oklahoma-Norman full-time faculty are eligible to apply for awards of up to $2,500+ in funding and support. For 2017, the OU College of Arts and Sciences and the Price College of Business will be contributing to the grants awarded to their faculty members, dependent on the level of impact projects will have on students.

Grant applications are open from January 16, 2017 until March 31, 2017.

These grants are designed to support faculty in the adoption of openly licensed solutions to reduce the cost of course materials for students.  Alternative Textbooks give faculty members the power to customize content specifically for their courses as well as provide less expensive textbooks for their students.   

Faculty are not expected to write a textbook.  Many open textbooks have been authored and reviewed by faculty members and educational consortia, and – combined with additional open resources – faculty can create a customized content solution.

If you are interested in adopting an alternative textbook or learning more about open textbooks and other OER, read through the resources in this guide, see our OER guide, or contact Jen WallerCody Taylor, or your liaison librarian.

Why choose an affordable textbook solution?

According to the U.S. Department of education, the cost of higher education for students increased 42% from 2000 to 2010, and the average cost of materials is now at $1,200 per year as reported by the College Board. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that 7 in 10 students didn't purchase a textbook because it was too expensive.  

A recent report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and the Student PIRGs further shows the effect of the high cost of textbooks and materials on students,

  • The survey found that 94% of students who had foregone purchasing a textbook were concerned that doing so would hurt their grade in a course. More than half of the students felt significant concern for their grade.
  • Nearly half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many/which classes they took each semester.

Through alternative textbook solutions, the cost of student materials can be drastically reduced.  Open textbooks also give instructors the ability to customize the materials, creating the "perfect" textbook instead of being bound to traditional print resources. 

There are already faculty at OU using alternative textbooks in their classrooms; you find out more about them on the 2015-2016 Awards tab and the 2014-2015 Awards tab. The 2016-2017 Awards list is also posted and will soon be updated with project descriptions.

OU is seen as a leader in OER and alternative textbook initiatives, but many other academic institutions also have successful initiatives. For example: 


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Jen Waller

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Jen Waller
Bizzell Memorial Library
401 W. Brooks St., Room 243
Norman, OK 73019
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Cody Taylor

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Cody Taylor
( 405 ) 325 - 2429
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