Get Help
Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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.


Supported through the Academic Technology Committee, the Office of the Provost, and the William H. Hannon Library, the LMU Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative (OATI) grant:

  • Encourages LMU faculty to explore relevant, high-quality alternatives to expensive course materials through adoption, adaptation, or creation of open educational resources (OER) and/or low-cost/no-cost resources
  • Encourages a teaching culture that explores new pedagogical models for learning
  • Lowers the cost of an LMU education for our students
  • Increases equitable access to required course materials for all students

In 2021-2022, the OATI grant will recognize up to ten faculty (or project teams) with awards ranging from $1000 to $10,000 based on the scope and scale of the project proposed, the cost-savings, the number of students impacted, and potential “shareability” of the revised syllabus and/or resource created. Individual and team submissions are encouraged.

The application deadline for the 2021-2022 OATI grant is 5pm on February 9. 2021. Download complete application guidelines and forms here


Continuing tenure-line and contingent faculty teaching in all undergraduate and graduate level departments and programs are eligible for grant funding. Contingent faculty are eligible to apply as a co-lead or partner with a tenure-line faculty member.

Faculty can apply:

  • Individually
  • As an academic department (two or more faculty from the same department submitting two or more courses)
  • As a course group (two or more faculty who teach the same course)

Eligible courses include:

  • existing (or previously taught) courses
  • a newly approved course
  • a course taught by multiple instructors
  • a series of courses that use the same materials over 2 semesters
  • courses with existing zero-cost textbook alternatives that the applicant proposes to rework and improve

These material types are ineligible for grant funding:

  • Commercial e-text versions of an existing print textbook
  • Textbook rentals or access codes (print or digital)


Grant applicants shall adhere to the following requirements:

  • Commitment to move required material(s) for courses offered in Summer or Fall 2021, or Spring 2022 along the open-ness and affordability spectrum (below) through:
    • Adoption, adaptation, or creation of an open textbook or other open resource(s)
    • And/or assembly of freely available or library or other university-licensed (no-cost) and low-cost (less than $40 total/student) resources

  • Meet with OATI grant coordinator Jamie Hazlitt in Spring or Summer 2021 to confirm project and implementation plan
  • Confirm that all adopted materials meet copyright requirements, are properly cited and licensed, and are accessible to all students
  • Submit a final report of grant activities with an attached updated course syllabus for each course included in the application
  • Commitment to reporting on the experience and impact of the grant program on your course(s) through your department and through the Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Commitment to having your participation in the grant featured through the library, school / college newsletters, or other promotional venues


Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

Library or other University-licensed Resources
The term "library or other university-licensed resources" refers to any digital content that the William H. Hannon Library or another unit at LMU (for example, ITS or an individual academic department) purchases or subscribes to, such as e-books, LinkedIn Learning, or MATLAB that are freely accessible for current LMU students. All eligible resources must also be licensed and accessible by multiple simultaneous users. Grant applications that propose the use of library or other university licensed resources will save students money by making use of materials in which the university has already invested. While licensed materials are free for the end-user, they are not open. Moreover, because each resource has its own license and terms of access established by the copyright holder, not every licensed resource will be suitable for course adoption. Librarians can help faculty determine what is permissible.

Freely Available Resources
Many materials available on the internet for free (e.g., TedX, YouTube, museum resources, etc.) are not open by definition due to copyright or other restrictions. But so long as they are free and accessible for students, they are eligible alternatives to commercial products for the purposes of this grant. 

Low-Cost Resources
Materials available for students for less than $40 total per course, per semester. Although priority will go to applicants that completely eliminate textbook fees, applications that commit to reducing the textbook cost for students but still have minimal costs incurred for essential materials may still be eligible for funding. (Note: low-cost materials must also be readily accessible. If a book is inexpensive but out-of-print, this can still present a significant barrier to students who are required to read it.)