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Open Education

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY, United States
Official Website @universityofky

Type: Public 4-Year, Research University
Annual Enrollment: 29,203

  SPARC Member  

OER Webpage
OER LibGuide


As the flagship institution in the Commonwealth, the University of Kentucky (UK) offers over 200 academic programs through 16 colleges and professional schools. With an enrollment exceeding 30,000, UK students come from 117 countries, every state in the nation, and every county in the Commonwealth. To support student success and faculty’s pedagogical needs, UK Libraries invited instructors to apply for the Alternative Textbook Grant Program in the past five academic years. A total of 49 proposals from 11 colleges have been selected to receive grants in order to replace commercial textbooks with alternative textbooks, which may include open educational resources (OER), free online content, and/or licensed materials from the UK Libraries collections. In addition to awarding grant funding, UK Libraries provides instructors with assistance in finding, evaluating, and gaining access to alternative textbooks. Moreover, UK Libraries has collaborated with the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching on campus to host workshops and introduce instructors and graduate students to OER.

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 Staff Location:

OER Programs

Alternative Textbook Grant Program

The University of Kentucky Libraries invites faculty to apply for a grant in support of replacing traditional commercial textbooks with affordable learning materials. A total of 10 grants will be awarded to successful applicants who propose to use open textbooks, free course content, UK Libraries’ licensed information resources, and/or newly created open content as alternative textbooks for their courses.

Program Type:

Duration: 04/2016 - 03/2020

Program Webpage:

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

Primary OER Strategy: OER Adoption

Secondary OER Strategies: OER Adaptation, OER Awareness, OER Curation, OER Pedagogy, OER Publication

Unit Housing the Program:

Source of Program Funding:

Funding from Library Departments:

Total Program Funding to Date: $ 85,500

Total Student Savings to Date: $ 1,140,510

Incentives Offered by the Program:

Conditions: Recipients are required to openly license and freely share resources created or adapted

Total amount of incentive grants awarded to date: $ 85,500

Total number of incentive grants awarded to date: 49

Typical amount of each grant: $ 1,500

Other Resource

OER Events

Open in Action: Open Educational Resources Contribute to Student Success

Amid the concerns about the costs of higher education are the escalating prices of textbooks. According to the Census Bureau, the costs of college textbooks have risen 812% from 1978 to 2012. To alleviate students’ financial burdens, educators have switched to library resources and/or openly licensed peer-reviewed materials (open educational resources, OER) in place of traditional textbooks. In addition to being free of charge to students, OER allow instructors to customize the content to suit their pedagogical needs and provide students with up-to-date information on the subject. In fact, the past few years have witnessed a rise in the use of OER in higher education. Studies demonstrate that OER have helped students save thousands of dollars in the course of their university careers. As a result, students can spend the savings on enrolling in more courses and complete their programs.

To celebrate Open Access Week 2016 (October 24-30), the University of Kentucky Libraries hosted a panel discussion about the use and impact of OER. The panelists were Jeff Gallant (Affordable Learning Georgia), Leila W. Salisbury (University Press of Kentucky), and Allison Soult (University of Kentucky).

Date: Oct. 27, 2016 - Oct. 27, 2016

Event Type:

Event themes:

Scope: OER (open course content)

Approximate Attendees: 50

Event Summary
News Coverage

OER Resources

Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources) Guide

This guide is about University of Kentucky Libraries' Alternative Textbook Grant Program. It also provides an overview of free online textbooks and offers assistance with finding, evaluating, adapting, and creating them.

Resource Permissions:

Resource Citation:
University of Kentucky Libraries. (2020). Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources) Guide.

Point of Contact

Adrian K. Ho
Director of Digital Scholarship, Department of Digital Scholarship