Open Educational Resources

The price of a college degree continues to rise. In addition to tuition and fees, course materials, such as textbooks, add to the cost of a student’s education.

In January 2018, the University’s Student Government Board passed a resolution supporting expanded use of Open Educational Resources (OER) and open textbooks as an alternative to expensive textbooks and to decrease the burden of student textbook costs.

In response to the resolution and with an eye on textbook affordability at Pitt, a standing committee was formed.


OER Standing Committee

The standing committee in the Office of the Provost will provide a targeted and sustained OER awareness program.

For more information on the standing committee’s origins, goals, and progress, read the 2023 Report to the Provost: Provost’s Standing Committee on OER.

What Is an Open Educational Resource?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are any format of teaching, learning, and research materials that are no-cost and have been released under an open license.

Open Textbooks are just one example of OER, where experts author texts in their respective disciplines, making them freely available in digital format or providing an option for an at-cost print version.

For more information, see the University Library System Guide on Open Educational Resources.

Nancy Tannery Grant for Open Educational Resources

Assistant Provost Nancy Tannery was the inaugural chair of the Provost’s Standing Committee on OER. She was a passionate advocate for OER and addressing student textbook financial burden at Pitt. The Nancy Tannery Grant for OER funds projects authoring, adapting, and/or adopting OER for use in University of Pittsburgh courses. This grant is funded by the Office of the Provost at Pitt.

For a list of past awardees, view Nancy Tannery Grant for OER Awardees.

View a selection of past projects that have received funding from this grant program in our OER Commons collection.

Course Attribute: Open Educational Resources

University of Pittsburgh students now have the ability to identify classes using open education resources in the Pitt Class Search.

If you are using an open education resource in your class, consider adding "open education resources materials" to the class attributes field when entering your class information.