Zero Textbook Cost Initiative

The Zero Textbook Cost Initiative supports instructors in their efforts to adopt and create zero cost course materials. Faculty are provided with a stipend up to $1,000 to:

  • Review an open access textbook
  • Adopt zero cost course readings
  • Or adopt and adapt zero cost resources for their courses

Priority will be given to those teaching in general education courses and/or multi-section courses.

OER Level Incentive Type Support Stipend Stipend Requirements Time Commitment & Support
Level 1: Awareness OER Review only $200 An instructor finds and reviews an OER for the Open Textbook Library (OTL). Applicants should expect to spend around 3 hours searching for and writing a review to be posted via the OTL.
Level 2: Adoption OER adoption $500 An instructor or group of instructors adopts an existing OER that requires little to no modification of the course design. Applicants should expect to spend at least 5 hours modifying their course at this level. The OER program team is able to provide assistance where possible.
Level 3: Adoption & Adaptation OER adoption & adaptation $1,000 An instructor or a group of instructors adopts an existing OER that requires revision and course redesign. Applicants should expect to spend at least 20 hours modifying their course at this level. Applicants will meet with the OER program team at least once to discuss progress and troubleshoot issues.

What materials count toward OER adoptions?

Adopting no-cost materials can take on various forms and/or be a combination of these forms.

  • Open Educational Resources—open textbooks
  • Open Educational or Freely Available Resources--non-textbooks (copyrighted materials do not apply)
  • Library Licensed Content—eBooks, articles, streaming video, or other.
  • A Combination of These


Open to all faculty members at IU Southeast.

Project Timeline

  • November 2023 – January 2024: Discussions with faculty about program, including Sparkshops (short Q&A sessions)
  • January 31st: Applications due for stipends
  • Mid-February: Award winners notified
  • Mid-February – April 2024:
    • Find and customize new course materials or review an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library (OTL)
    • Participate in at least one consultation with ILTE and one consultation with Coordinator of Collections and Online Resources Mitchell Scott to discuss their progress and troubleshoot issues (required for adoption and adaption; recommended for adoption)
  • May 1st: If reviewing OTL textbook, faculty submit review
  • May 6th: Faculty member submits updated syllabus with new no-cost required materials
  • June 2024: Award winners’ stipends are paid
  • Fall 2024: Faculty teaches course(s) supported with OER stipends
    • After implementation, faculty must ensure ADA-compliance and copyright compliance and then share any new resources created
    • Faculty complete a final assessment and provide feedback on the effectiveness of new course materials
    • OER adopters will receive an annual letter from Library Director, Kate Ziady, that outlines the amount of money they have saved students with this adoption. As long as the course remains no-cost, the library director will provide a yearly update of cost-savings.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Completeness of the application and level of interest in program
  • General education courses and/or multi-section courses will be given priority
  • Potential student savings and the cost of existing materials
  • Application furthers access and opportunities for diverse and underserved student populations


Reach out to us by email at with any questions about the Zero Textbook Cost Initiative.

Indiana University Southeast

4201 Grant Line Rd.
New Albany, IN 47150
(812) 941-2333

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