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Open and Affordable Course Materials


ETSU received a $100,000 grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to improve diversity, equity and inclusion by implementing Open Educational Resources and Affordable materials in courses with a high number of underrepresented students, particularly those in the general education curriculum. OER or "Open" in this context means free plus rights to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute, which is generally accomplished through a Creative Commons license. Affordable in this context means using materials freely available to our students, which are not and cannot be licensed as Open, such as articles and resources available through library databases. OER and Affordable materials create an inclusive learning environment that lead to improvements in retention, persistence, and graduation rates. The transition to OER and Affordable materials will have a significant impact in three main ways.

  • Reduction in Financial Burden: Switching from commercial textbooks to OER and Affordable materials will ensure students can afford their educational materials.
  • Access and Equity: Students will have access to course materials on the first day of class, leveling the academic playing field.
  • Pedagogical Transformation: Faculty will enjoy more freedom in selecting course materials and can customize these materials to fit the specific needs of their students and goals of their classes.

The project team has representation from ETSU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, Multicultural Center, Charles C. Sherrod Library, Center for Teaching Excellence, Department of Engineering, Engineering Technology, and Surveying, Institutional Research, and Office of the Provost.


Information Workshops will be offered to faculty to learn how they can participate in this TBR grant funded OER Initiative. Workshop participants will receive a $250 stipend from TBR grant funds for attending the workshop and completing a survey. The survey will require faculty to (1) provide feedback on suggested OERs in their subject area provided by the presenters and (2) indicate their level of willingness to participate further grant activities. Workshops will be offered twice during the Spring 2021 semester: Monday, March 22, 11:30-1:00 PM and Tuesday, March 23, 3:00-4:30 PM. Apply to attend the workshop today!

Faculty will have the opportunity to receive monetary awards from TBR grant funds for attending an OER Summer Camp during July 2021 and implementing OER and Affordable materials in their Fall 2021 courses. Application and guidelines to participate is now available. 

OER Summer Camp will be a month-long series of workshops by faculty and staff from Sherrod Library, Center for Teaching Excellence, and other units on campus. Workshops will help faculty who intend on implementing OERs in their Fall 2021 courses to identify OER textbooks and supplemental materials that are culturally responsive and inclusive and how these OERs affect pedagogical practices, student participation, and learning outcomes. All OER Summer Camp workshops are virtual via Zoom, Wednesdays 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM. Tentative Schedule for OER Summer Camp: June 30 (Getting Acquainted and Making Plans), July 14 (OER and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), July 21 (Open Technology, Accessibility, and Copyright), July 28 (Open Course Design).

Implementation of OER in Courses will occur during Fall 2021 in courses taught by faculty who attended the OER Summer Camp. Faculty will be required to attend a monthly learning community meeting. In these meetings, faculty members will share and exchange their experiences with the newly developed OER courses. Faculty will continue to receive support from Sherrod Library and Center for Teaching Excellence. Surveys will be distributed to the students and faculty to measure student and faculty satisfaction with the OER courses.


Please email with any questions or requests.