Libraries Expand Affordable Textbook Program

cost savings to studentsNow in its fourth year, the UWM Open Textbook and Open Educational Resource Adoption Project—a partnership between the UWM Libraries and Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning—continues to expand affordable course material options across campus.

To date, the project has supported Open Textbook and Open Educational Resources (OER) adoption in 16 UWM courses, and saved 12,056 students $1,666,173 in textbook costs. Students saved $513,568 in 2019, surpassing the 2018 figure of $498,076.

The project continues to gain backing from faculty and students. In summer 2019 the Student Association passed a resolution, later endorsed by the Faculty Senate, to support OER use at UWM. The resolution included research that demonstrated the negative impact of financial strain caused by high textbook costs on UWM students, as well as research on the instructional viability of OER to promote student academic success.

This support has bolstered the efforts to continue to strategically scaffold affordable course material options throughout General Education Requirement courses. There are currently six GER courses with no additional costs for materials and are recommended within the UWM’s MetaMajors, five of which are also large enrollment (over 100 students).

open access week oct. 21-27, 2019Support for instructors is available for engaging with the process of adopting open course materials, including financial assistance.

The Libraries are offering a workshop on implementing OER and open textbooks, including best practices for finding open content that aligns with course goals, on Wednesday, October 23 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in the Digital Humanities Lab located on the second floor east wing of the Golda Meir Library. Registration is requested. More information at