SPARC Projects

Connect OER

Open Education

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA, United States
Official Website @TempleUniv

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 37,485

  SPARC Member  

OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


Temple University is a public institution that was founded in 1884 by Russell H. Conwell. The University's official motto is Perseverantia Vincit (Perseverance Conquers). It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 28,609 and a graduate enrollment of 9,377. It offers 540 academic programs, including 153 bachelor's, 167 master's and 64 doctoral programs. Professional degrees are offered in the schools of medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy and podiatric medicine. Its setting is urban, and the campus size is 384 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar.

It is one of four state-assisted Universities in Pennsylvania, meaning is it a quasi-public institution that receives a portion of its annual budget from the state government. A vast amount of information about Temple University, including its trustees and officers, mission and vision, students, alumni, community engagement, finances and more is available in the Temple University Factbook, available at

OER activity at Temple University is primarily facilitated by Temple University Libraries. Since 2011, the Libraries has contributed $10,000 per year to a fund that provides awards to faculty who adopt an open or alternate textbook. Since that year, 72 faculty have participated in the Textbook Affordability Project. In 2016 the University formed its Textbook Affordability Task Force, which submitted multiple recommendations to the University administration to further efforts to create affordable learning materials for Temple University students. To date, several of those recommendations have been adopted. A current initiative at the University is to increase adoptions of open textbook among introductory level courses.

Campus Details

Campus Entities Most Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Library Departments Active in Efforts Advancing OER:

Academic Subjects With Greatest OER Traction:

Mechanisms to Support OER Included in the Following:

OER Programs

Textbook Listening Tour

The goal of the Textbook Listening Tour was to create an opportunity to engage faculty in conversations about their textbook behaviors - how they discover them, select them and make use of them - or if they are not using traditional textbooks - and why. Rather than try to "sell" faculty on adopting open textbooks, we decided to have a conversation and just listen. In partnership with the Teaching and Learning Center and the Office for Undergraduate Studies we created a set of open-ended questions and then traveled to different academic departments to conduct the Listening Tours. Our Scholarly Communications Specialist and the subject specialist librarians for the department attended each Tour stop. The project resulted in a report for the provost on the state of textbook use among these selected departments. We find these Tours quite enlightening and they lead to new opportunities, so we will continue them in the next academic year.

Program Type:

Duration: 11/2017 - Present

Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Primary OER Strategy: OER Awareness

Secondary OER Strategies: OER Adoption, OER Pedagogy, OER Adaptation

Unit Housing the Program:

Program Partners:

Source of Program Funding:

Incentives Offered by the Program:

Other Resource

Textbook Affordability Project

In 2011, Temple University Libraries originated the award-based program designed to support faculty who wished to stop using commercial textbooks in order to adopt either an open textbook or some set of alternate learning materials (e.g., OER, open web content, licensed library content, etc.). Using $10,000 per year from the Library budget, faculty apply once per year, in March/April, to receive an award. Recently, the Project has been modified to offer 20 awards of $500 each instead of 10 awards of $1,000 each. In the first 6 years of the Project, 57 faculty across multiple disciplines have participated. The Library estimates that approximately $500,000 in savings have accrued to Temple University students. While the Project is primarily managed by the Library, it receives non-monetary support from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, the Provost's Office for Undergraduate Affairs, the campus store and the student government. Faculty are required to submit an evaluation report on their Project at the end of the semester in which the project occurs. Qualitatively, the results demonstrate that students show improvement in engagement with the learning material, do as well as or better than students did with a commercial textbook and express sincere appreciation to faculty who eliminate textbook costs.

Program Type:

Duration: 04/2011 - Present

Program Webpage:

Scope: Affordable course content, including cost-free course content and OER

Primary OER Strategy: OER Adoption

Secondary OER Strategies: OER Awareness, OER Curation, OER Publication, OER Review/Assessment, OER Pedagogy

Unit Housing the Program:

Program Partners:

Source of Program Funding:

Funding from Library Departments:

Total Program Funding to Date: $ 60,000

Total Student Savings to Date: $ 500,000

Incentives Offered by the Program:

Total amount of incentive grants awarded to date: $ 57,000

Total number of incentive grants awarded to date: 57

Typical amount of each grant: $ 1,000

Point of Contact

steven j bell
associate university librarian for research and instruction; library administration