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Open Educational Resources

The Open Education Initiative @ UMass Amherst

Official press release

The high cost of commercial print textbooks is a major concern for both students and their parents. To address these concerns, the Provost’s Office and the University Libraries launched the Open Education Initiative in the Spring of 2011. The Open Education Initiative is a faculty incentive program that encourages the use of existing low-cost or free information resources to support our students’ learning. Information Literacy will also be emphasized, creating opportunities for students to develop and practice the skills of critical thinking, reasoning, communication, and integration of knowledge and perspectives. 

Now in its third phase, the Open Education Initiative has generated a total savings of over $1,000,000 for students in classes that utilize open educational resources and library material. For more information please contact Marilyn Billings at

Read the ARL Report


These presentations were used at conferences and workshops to talk about the OEI program and OERs.

Open Education Initiative Information Session Spring 2014

Presentation for the information session for OEI grant applicants on Spril 2014. Includes an overview of OERs, copyright and Creative Commons, and the OEI grant parameters. Useful for those running a workshop for people interested in teaching with open education resources.

The Open Education Initiative, Faculty Senate Spring 2014

This is a presentation made to the Faculty Senate Meeting at the University of Massachusetts Amherst regarding the Open Education Initiative (OEI). It includes an overview of the why and how of the OEI grant, some examples, and its successes/challenges. Useful for those talking to administrators about the open education movement.

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