Find Open and Affordable Course Content

While there is no one place to find all open and affordable course materials, we’ve compiled two online guides to thousands of resources providing high-quality open and affordable course materials.

Get Started

Our two online guides are great places to start:

  • Find Open Course Content, which includes textbooks, case studies, curricula, and other open educational resources, all free to anyone to use and customize
  • Find Affordable Course Content, which may not be customizable, but which is usually freely available to your students through JMU or statewide licenses or subscriptions
photo of man using computer

Our Get Started Using Open Textbooks workshop will help you to start exploring open textbooks available for your courses. After you complete the workshop, you will be eligible to write a review of an open textbook and receive a $200 stipend

Prefer learning from a book? We recommend Best Practices in Designing Courses with Open Educational Resources, a practical guide for finding and teaching with OER. You can read the ebook or borrow our print copy.

What’s the Difference Between Free Course Materials and Open Educational Resources?

This website focuses on open educational resources, but OER are only one type of course material that is zero-cost for students. If you’re looking for ways to reduce or eliminate textbook costs, you can also assign articles, books, and videos from JMU Libraries collections and subscriptions; these often do not have an open license, but they are free to you and your students. You can also seek out high-quality, zero-cost content from reputable sources on the internet.

JMU Libraries offers additional services that can lower or eliminate textbook costs, including Course Reserves, copyright help for faculty, and scanning of articles and book chapters. Learn more.

Benefits of Open and Affordable Course Content

With OER, students can:

  • Spend less money on course materials
  • Access course content from day one until well after the course is over
  • Enjoy more dynamic learning experiences and materials when faculty choose to tailor and update their OER course content 

Faculty can:

  • Ensure equitable access to course materials for all learners
  • Customize content to meet the needs of the context and curriculum
  • Enhance learning and improve student success 

Get Energized

More JMU faculty are using OER each year! Check out these success stories of other JMU Faculty Using OER.

Get Funding

Grants and stipends are available to compensate you for the time involved in researching and adopting new materials. Thanks for taking the time to explore open and affordable materials for your courses!

Get Help

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact Liz Thompson, our Open Education Librarian.

Learn More

Visit our Open and Affordable Guide to learn about licensing, copyright, and more. Or check out some other easy steps you can take to lower textbook costs for students.

The benefits of OER on this page were adapted from VIVA’s Understanding Open and Affordable Course Content page, which is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.