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At OU Libraries, we believe student success is paramount and helping reduce the cost of course materials contributes to that mission. By incentivizing the transition to free resources, the Alternative Textbook Grant acknowledges the labor that goes into redesigning a course. Our Open Educational Resources librarian, Morgan Briles, is also available to assist grantees in searching for OER and alternative textbook best practices.


All full-time, OU-Norman instructors are eligible to apply for an Alternative Textbook Grant. OU-Tulsa instructors may apply as long as their department is based out of the Norman campus. OU College of Law instructors and graduate teaching assistants are also welcome to apply.

Unfortunately, OUHSC instructors are not eligible.

Those without faculty status must inform their supervisor, department chair, or director they are applying for this grant.

All projects implemented as a result of an Alternative Textbook Grant should be put into practice during the summer, fall, or spring semesters following the grant award. Applications submitted in 2024 will be for courses taught in academic year 2024-2025.

If you have received a grant in the past, you may apply again for a different course, or to make changes to course materials used in the initial grant.

Using Library Resources

One way that OU instructors can reduce course material costs to students is to transition from costly course materials to resources that are licensed by OU Libraries and freely available to students. The term "library resources" refers to any material that OU Libraries purchases or subscribes to. Applications that propose the use of library resources save students money by making use of materials we have already purchased; this can include journal articles in library databases, as well as unlimited simultaneous user ebooks. We’re pleased to offer a scoped collection where you can easily search among our ebook holdings: HERE

If you would like assistance in finding library materials suitable for your course, speak to your liaison librarian. If there are specific resources you have in mind that we currently don’t offer, our acquisitions team can investigate whether the library would be able to purchase them in a digital format. Please keep in mind that textbook publishers (i.e. McGraw Hill, Pearson, Cengage) do not typically allow libraries to purchase digital copies of their textbooks.

Using Open Educational Resources

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. These materials are free to students along with everyone else. 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. There are many existing OER in a wide array of subjects. Some well-known sites to begin looking for OER materials include the Open Education Network’s Open Textbook Library, OER Commons and Openstax For more information about finding OER, please contact the OER librarian, Morgan Briles

OER are under an open license, (ie Creative Commons) that allows for others to revise and remix them to better fit their pedagogical needs.  If you choose to adopt one or more OER for your course, you are permitted to alter these materials. This might include updating or creating new homework problems; localizing the content to suit OU program requirements, the state, or industries; and revising textbook contents with the most up to date information or examples.

If you choose to modify an existing OER as part of your grant, please consult the Open Educational Resources librarian.