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Open Educational Resources (OER)

How to find, evaluate, use, and adapt OER materials for use in the classroom to help reduce textbook costs.


This pages summarizes some of the recent events and programming around OER at USC.

USC Undergraduate Student Government support


In 2015, the USC Undergraduate Student Government (USC-USG)  spearheaded a university-wide initiative to cap the price on General Education course required textbooks.

Later that year, Daily Trojan's article connected the work of USC-USG with AB-798 California Textbook Affordability Act of 2015 that aims to ensure affordable alternatives to pricey textbooks including OER. While the Act only applies to public institutions receiving federal funding, the article pointed out the opportunity of USC as a private institution dedicated to ensuring success for all students.

Events schedule and handouts

Grant project guidelines

CLOSED - Call for Proposals: Open Educational Resources Grants for USC Faculty

USC Libraries and USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching welcome proposals from faculty seeking to adopt open educational resources (OER) in a Fall 2018 course. The program will include three consultations with a CET instructional designer and sessions with a USC Librarian to discuss the options for OER.

The USC Libraries has funded this grant program to advance USC's use of OER in the curriculum. OER are freely accessible, openly licensed textbooks, documents and media that may be used for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes. There is a movement towards adopting OER to lower the cost of course materials for students in higher education, as evidenced by the 2015 California Textbook Affordability Act and by the introduction of the Affordable College Textbook Act in Congress. USC can become the leader of private institutions focusing on economic inclusion and opportunity for students. Selected participants will be awarded a $500 grant upon completion of the project.

Grant Program Goals
1. Support faculty in the inclusion of OER, such as textbooks, across disciplines.
2. Lower cost of class materials for students.
3. Faculty will be able to:
                - Identify OER repositories and other sources for OER
                - Critically evaluate OER for quality and relevance
                - Incorporate OER into their course(s)

Application Guidelines and Requirements
Participants are required to attend an on-campus workshop on OER in February. The workshop will cover OER resources, project workflow and available support. Participants will also be required to meet with a USC Librarian (at least twice) to identify appropriate OER for selected courses. The selected course materials will serve as course textbooks and/or to support specific assignments. The OER will have to replace a student-paid textbook or course material since one of the goals is to lower the cost of class materials for students. Participants will then have three meetings with a CET Instructional Designer to ensure course design follows best practices. Meetings and the selection of resources will be held during Spring 2018 for implementation in Fall 2018.

Applicants must be a current USC faculty member to be eligible for this program, and plan on being
the instructor of record for the course in Fall 2018. Applicants must also indicate on the application
that they have the support of their department chair to participate.

Before submitting your application, please review the existing library guide on OER:

Eligible faculty may apply by completing this online form:

A completed application is due on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 (by 5pm PST). CLOSED

For questions, please contact Caroline Muglia ( or Melanee Vicedo (