Open Textbooks

Top Savings

Courses with large sections achieved the greatest savings.


Specialized Courses

Based Of the 65 Open Text pilots, many involved specialized courses, as sampled below.

♦ Introduction to Permaculture
♦ North American Anthropology Online
♦ Data Visualization
♦ Reinforced Concrete Structures
♦ Applied Statistical Methods
♦ Irish Writers and Cultural Contexts
♦ Globalization and Governance
♦ Leadership in Multicultural Training
♦ English - Theorizing the Discipline
♦ Intellectual Disabilities
♦ Transportation Sustainability
♦ Transportation Systems Analysis


Our sister school at UMass Amherst is at the forefront of the Open Text, or Open Educational Resoures (OER) movement. Fueled by the dedication and enthusiasm of librarian Marilyn Billings and her colleagues, Amherst's program is now a national model, for reasons listed below.

Amherst's program incorporates the main elements of Open Texts

1. Specifically, featuring open-access educational resources (OERs) published on the Internet, and shared as part of the Creative Commons

2. Including library-licensed and owned resource packets (e-books and journal articles)

3. Featuring textbooks that faculty produce; i.e. Creative Commons Texts

Amherst's program offers competitive, Open Text grants to its faculty

1. A competitive grant program both motivates and compensates its faculty for the extra time and effort required to pursue any of the OER options

2. The program began in 2011. Over the first four years, a total of $49,000 was distributed, with $1,000 awarded for courses with enrollment under 200, $2,500 for courses of 200 or more.

3. Over the last five years, 65 open educational resources (books, packets, etc) were used in courses.

4. Based on enrollments and the cost of prior course books, the University estimates savings of almost $1.5 million. The top 10 resources accounted for nearly $1.1 million, and the bottom 55 resources accounted for over $.4 million in savings.

Open text Published as PDF & Website

Open Text Published as PDF

Open Text by Professor Charles Schweik published as a PDF and uploaded to UMass Amherst's Institutional Repository.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Natural Resources Management

Open Text Published as Website

The homepage of a textbook written by UMass Amherst's Professor Hossein Pishro-Nik, billed as "an open access, peer-reviewed textbook intended for undergraduate as well as first-year graduate level courses on the subject."



Amherst Librarian Marilyn Billings notes:

Based on my experiences at UMB and UMD, it’s useful to have a program for the campus. We’d be glad to participate and I could recommend pulling in an outside speaker as well. In addition, I’d recommend that the library partner with academic IT and Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence (or equivalent) to provide the support needed by the faculty. I also created a small group (4-5 people) of faculty and support partners to review the proposals.