Open Textbook and Open Educational Resource Adoption Project

The UWM Open Textbook and OER Project seeks to increase textbook affordability and promote alignment of learning resources with course objectives. This grant supports the adoption of open textbooks, open educational resources (OERs) and other course materials that are no additional cost to students in credit-bearing courses. Large enrollment courses which include several sections, possibly with multiple instructors, have the greatest impact on students, however all courses are encouraged to apply.

Did You Know…

The 2018 Florida Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey reports:

  • 22% students report drop courses due to textbook cost barriers.
  • 40.5% do not register for courses they need because of textbook cost
  • 35% of students report earning poor grades because they did not purchase the textbook

Research by Hilton, Fischer, Wiley and Lane shows that students do as well or better in courses where OER is adopted. They also showed that OER adoption has a positive effect on Drops and Withdrawals and grades of C or less in face to face, online and hybrid courses (2016.) At UWM, Psychology 101 students using the free online OpenStax Psychology text students increased their success improving the DFW rate by six percentage points.

This project encourages the adoption of high quality open educational resources and where appropriate, library licensed content, in UWM courses with the goal of improving equitable access to learning materials for all students.

Participation Benefits and Requirements

We will incentivize open textbook and OER adoption and no-cost content curated from our library collections. We encourage collaboration and coordination of open and affordable content in large enrollment courses as well as support instructors seeking to adapt or develop supplemental and interactive course materials. These materials support student learning and position faculty for sustainable OER adoption.

Departments will be required to:

  • Facilitate open/no-cost textbook adoption in their course.
  • Facilitate open/no-cost adoption across multiple sections in a large enrollment courses.
  • Organize, revise, and/or create course materials for sharing among multiple instructors with the goal to provide consistency in the student experience and to overcome the barrier of open textbook adoption.
  • Incorporate the open textbook into a course(s).

CETL staff will evaluate the impact of open textbooks and OER as a vehicle to increase course completion and first to second year retention.

Departments will receive:

  • Funding between $500 and $3,000 depending on the size and scope of the adoption and course revision.
  • Guidance in selecting open educational resources (OERs) and affordable content that align with course objectives. For more information, see the UWM Libraries guide on open textbooks and open educational resources.
  • Pedagogical assistance for incorporating the open textbook and modifying course design/course materials.
  • Support for the evaluation of the impact of open textbooks and OER as a vehicle to increase course completion and first to second year retention.


To apply, complete the following form:

  • Departmental Information

  • Course Information

  • Textbook Information

  • Project Plan

For more information about participating in the Open Textbook/Open Educational Resource Adoption Project, please contact Kristin Woodward and Amy Mangrich, at

The Open Textbook/Open Educational Resource Adoption Project is made possible by funding from UWM’s Advisory Committee on Educational Technology Fees.