OER, Open Educational Resources, textbook affordability, OER initiatives, Open Textbook Network


Higher Education | Library and Information Science | Scholarly Communication | Scholarly Publishing


Congratulations! Your college or university is ready to plan (or maybe expand!) a campus-wide initiative focused on Open Educational Resources or other textbook alternatives. But OER and affordability programs vary widely in scope, funding, and strategies, described in articles, book chapters, and news stories. At Grand Valley State University, library OER supporters faced this situation when our faculty senate established a task force to identify university-wide strategies for OER and affordable course materials. To help this task force hit the ground running, we surveyed the landscape of programs at other institutions, identified organizations actively engaged in OER work, and selected readings on related issues. The resulting background report gave our task force members a shared foundation of knowledge, models to borrow from, and ideas for their subsequent work. We are now excited to share this resource with a wider audience, especially anyone looking for ideas and inspiration in their own OER initiatives.

If the variety of potential OER support strategies is daunting or you aren't sure where to start, go to Takeaway 1. If you're excited by the wide open world of OER and want to know more about the background report, go to Takeaway 2. If you're a savvy OER traveler with expertise to share, go to Takeaway 3.

  • Takeaway 1: This poster presentation shared highlights from our environmental scan and illustrated how our context made some models particularly good (or bad) approaches for a campus initiative.
  • Takeaway 2: We also shared the latest version of this living document and discuss our Summer 2019 work to make it useful to a wider audience.
  • Takeaway 3: Education is sharing, so please share with us! We invited participants, and invite online readers, to suggest new examples, resources, and relevant readings for this compilation, as well as new ideas for OER initiatives. Leave a note on our poster, strike up a conversation, or join in online!


Presented at the 2019 Open Education Conference, in Phoenix, AZ, October 30-November 1, 2019.