Open Textbooks for UK Courses

Image of free the textbook

Free the textbook is made available by opensource.com under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) License.

Amid the concerns about the costs of higher education are escalating textbook prices.  According to the Student PIRGs, 65% of students have skipped buying a textbook at some point because of cost.  The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the financial and technological barriers students encounter when trying to gain access to learning materials.  To redress the situation, governments and higher education institutions in North America have promoted open educational resources (OER) to replace traditional textbooks.  In addition to being free of charge to students, OER allow instructors to customize the content to suit their pedagogical needs and provide students with up-to-date information on the subject.

Instructors at the University of Kentucky interested in using OER and/or library-licensed resources for their courses are welcome to submit a proposal to UK Libraries' 2021 Alternative Textbook Grant Program.  Below are some instructor testimonials and student comments regarding their use of alternative textbooks.  If you have questions about the Alternative Textbook Grant Program or OER in general, feel free to contact Adrian Ho. Additionally, you can find useful information from this guide.

Instructor testimonials:

Brian Frye: “This is a fantastic program. It encouraged me to create public domain open access teaching materials that have already saved UK students ~$20,000 and hopefully will generate even greater savings in the future. I currently only assign open access materials in all of my classes. I plan to create additional public domain open access teaching materials in the future.”

Regina Hannemann: “Having relied on my open source textbook has made my current start into the online teaching world due to COVID so much easier.” 

Student comments:

“The textbook online is amazing. It is easy to have pulled up on my computer directly next to my notes as I am typing. It is helpful to find the small details that we need to understand in this class by being able to "control F" and type in what exactly we are looking for.” 

“The book was free - which meant I did not have to spend $200 on a book that I wouldn't use past this course. I did like the layout of the questions after the chapter, and I think the explanations throughout the chapters of specific topics was good.” 

“It allowed for more information from different sources instead of having to stick to one textbook. It contributed to my learning experience in this course because it allowed me to see multiple sides of the issue.”

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HOURS for June 17, 2021