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Alternative Textbook Grant

The University of Oklahoma Libraries (OU Libraries) provides the Alternative Textbook Grant (ATG) to incentivize instructors to abandon commercial course materials in favor of those available to their students for free. Since 2014, the Alternative Textbook Grant has saved OU students millions of dollars in course material costs. OU Libraries awards up to $2,500 for successful applications, and some colleges award discretionary funds to supplement the total award amount. ATG recipients can choose to save students money in a variety of ways:

Using Library Resources (In-Kind Grant)

OU instructors can transition from commercial course materials to library resources. The term "library resources" refers to any material that OU Libraries purchases or subscribes to. Applications that propose the use of library resources do save students money by making use of materials the Libraries have already purchased; however, they do not offer the same benefits of adopting truly open materials. Additionally, these grants are awarded not to instructors directly but applied to the purchase of multiple concurrent use licenses for the desired resource or "in kind" work of getting licensed resources into Canvas.

Adopting, Remixing, or Creating Open Educational Resources (OER)

OU Instructors can switch from commercial course materials to one or more Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or are released under the terms of an open license. The nature of these open materials is such that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt, and re-share them. OER range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation (UNESCO). More information is available in our OER guide.

A grantee can create a wholly new openly licensed resource, adopt an already existing OER, or something in between.

  • Adoption: This is when an instructor switches from commercial materials to an already existing OER while making minimal modifications to the content. Little, if any, original content is created by the grantee.
  • Remix (also called Adaption): This is when an instructor uses one or more existing OER to build their own to create a custom learning resource for their course. Some original content can be created by the grantee, and combinations of open materials might be novel. The grantee agrees to share their original content with the open education community.
  • Creation: An instructor creates an OER that mostly consists of original content. The grantee agrees to share their new resource with the open education community.

The amount of original content created by the grantee and the proposed project's benefit to the open education community are considered when evaluating applications.


All original content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  All linked content maintains its respective license.