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Textbook Alternatives


There are a number of reasons why you may want to think about alternatives to the textbook you usually use. These may include:

  • Cost: The rising cost of textbooks and related online publisher content is often an insurmountable barrier to our students.
  • Content fit: Textbooks may provide useful content in one area of the course but not others, or provide too much information outside the scope of the class. 
  • Content organization: Textbooks may present concepts in ways that are confusing to students or that don’t reflect the course structure.

Using open textbooks, articles, videos, podcasts, and other media to replace or supplement your textbooks can engage students and ease their financial burden. This guide is intended to provide information and some available resources for incorporating alternative texts into your course.

Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are resources shared among educators with open use licenses.  OER can be whole courses, textbooks or just sections of text that can be used in your own courses or as alternatives to publisher content. More information and resources for finding OER content can be found through this link.

Library Content

Librarians are available to help in finding relevant content and in developing reading and viewing lists.

  • Curated lists and links of online journal, magazine, and newspaper articles
  • Streaming video content
  • Course reserves for physical books, articles, and media

Free Open License Media

Open license media (images, music, and video) can be used as content for your courses and also by students for class projects.