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Open and Affordable Textbook Initiative @ LMU

This guide is designed to help LMU faculty learn about, discover, adapt, and create open and/or free alternatives to traditional costly course materials.

Past & Current Faculty Grant Recipients

Funded through the Office of the Provost, ASLMU, and the William H. Hannon Library, the OATI Faculty Grant is designed to help LMU faculty identify, adopt, and/or create high-quality, flexible, accessible, and low-or no-cost course materials for our LMU students using Open Educational Resources (OER) and library-licensed materials. 


Funded by the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Grant, the OER for Social Justice is a three-year initiative to support the creation and use of open educational resources (OER) across four California private institutions. Librarians from LMU, Saint Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, and the University of San Francisco will recruit, incentivize, and prepare up to 12 faculty teams to adapt, create, and publish OER that integrate diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist resources into high-enrollment courses across multiple disciplines. 

Inaugural OATI Grant Recipients - Art History

Professors Amanda Herring, Kirstin Noreen, and Melody Rod-ari from the Department of Art History were the first recipients of the pilot LMU OATI grant for AY20-21. Together, these three faculty committed to convert course materials for five Art History classes taught in AY20-21. Through collaboration with the William H. Hannon Library, a network of art historians from around the country, and each other, the three faculty completely eliminated textbook costs for students enrolled in four out of the five courses. In addition, the grant provided an opportunity for the art history faculty and the library to design a new interactive, openly licensed tutorial to help students learn to write and cite using the Chicago Manual of Style. 

"My students have been positive about not having a textbook, especially the reduced cost. The assigned readings, in general, often include more images than in the textbook, which allows students to see three-dimensional art from different angles. In addition, I have been able to assign a wider variety of assigned materials, not just written text, but videos and podcasts, which so far, seems to have increased student learning. It caters to different types of student learners, and gives students a wider experience." - Professor Amanda Herring


"As we rethink our courses to provide an increasingly diverse and global perspective, open resources will continue to be an important consideration for our class design." - Professor Kirstin Noreen

"The use of alternative resources was important before the pandemic. In the midst of a pandemic and our pivot to remote learning, the use of OER and Library and University-licensed textbooks and books is more urgent." - Professor Melody Rod-ari

Share Your Story!

Are you a faculty member who has already replaced costly course materials with free or very affordable alternatives? Have you transformed your courses with open pedagogy?

Please let us know - we'd love to hear your story and share it here.