Tennessee Open Education

Stack of books

Tennessee Open Education exists to promote college student access and success in Tennessee by increasing the adoption, adaptation, curation, and creation of inclusive, accessible, and high-quality open and low-cost instructional materials. 

Open Education Week 2024: March 4th - 8th 

Open Education Week is an annual celebration, sponsored by OE Global, highlighting various ways that Open Education is making a difference to education.  This year, THEC is partnering with various entities to provide resources, trainings, and information related to Open Education. Please see the list below for access to resources and consider the full schedule of OE Week events.

In celebration of Open Education Week, Affordable Learning Kentucky, an initiative of Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education, is hosting a virtual symposium on Monday, March 4, from 10:00-4:15 (EST) for faculty, instructional designers, and librarians who want to learn more about Open Education. 

The event will provide an in-depth look at trending topics in open education including open pedagogy, social justice, AI, and accessibility. Even if you can’t make it to the sessions, you can register for the free zoom summit and receive a link to the recordings after the event.

View Full Session Details

Registration Linkhttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvdOirrTorGtx7Z1L8J8GfLZwnjHAbpWw7#/registration

Topic: Creating Supplementals for your OERs

Session Decription: Great! You have found an OER that works for your class, but where are the supplemental materials?!  Short answer, you create them! Bill Turner, the STCC OER Facilitator, will explain how to use Respondus 4.0 ( a lesser-known tool we all have access to) and other free ways to create your quizzes for D2L (PAWS).

Event Date & Time: March 4, 2024 - 1:00p-2:00p

Intstructor Name: Bill Turner

Teams Link: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YjRiNjk5MDctMWU4MC00NjcyLTk1MzAtZmVkNDI0NmYxOWE3%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2256bebae4-ab54-4607-9300-22d0d72c2f5a%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22b1e915bd-d044-4503-8b84-6d73e77a3bc8%22%7d

Registration Link: https://southwest.bridgeapp.com/learner/training/48bc2a85/sessions/4611/enroll

Topic: Using LibreText to Remix 

Event Date and Time: March 5, 2024 -1:00p-2:00p

Session Description: The LibreText OER textbook platform makes it easy to customize an existing OER textbook to make it your own. This can include adjusting its content to be more consistent with your presentation, adding new content of your own, and mixing in content from other OER sources. Bill Turner, the STCC OER Facilitator, will explain the benefits and demonstrate how to use "The World's Most Popular Online Textbook Platform.

Instructor Name: Bill Turner

Registration Link: Click Here

Topic: Navigating the Future: The Sustainability of OER Initiatives – Facilitated Conversation

Event Date & Time: March 6, 2024 -11:30a-12:30p

Session Description: The event, Navigating the Future: The Sustainability of OER Initiatives, aims to explore the barriers, successes, and developing strategies for future-proofing OER initiatives. Register now for this upcoming Zoom conversation and check out other events from around the world in celebration of Open Education Week.

Topic: Open Educational Resources and Practices Webinar

Event Date & Time: March 6, 2024: 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST (12:00 – 1:00 PM CST)

Presenter: Rachel Fleming – University of Tennessee, Chattanooga 

Session Description: Rachel Fleming defines critical practices of Open Education, highlights key resources, and outlines several open initiatives in Tennessee.

Registration Link: https://tennessee.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkf-mqpjooGNd-2c7NUEekL1rUojNQrgcY 

Topic: 2024 Missouri A&OER Conference on Affordable and Open Educational Resources

Event Date & Time: Thursday March 7 - 9am-4pm (CST)

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Virginia Clinton-Liselle

Conference Schedule: https://guides.library.missouristate.edu/c.php?g=1351792&p=9977087Registration

Registration Link:  https://mooer2024.sched.com/

Topic: Cost Savings and Beyond: Demonstrating Impact and Effectiveness with Open Education

Event Date & Time: Thursday March 7, 2024 - 3:00 pm (EST)

Session Details: Join a panel of open education experts including Dr. Michael Mills, Amy Hofer, Cheryl (Cullier) Casey and Allia Service as they explore critical questions around how to demonstrate the impact of open education.

Registration Link: Click Here

Topic: Open for Student Success: A Georgia State Univ. Library Symposium

Event Date & Time: March 8, 2024 - 9:30am-4:30pm

Session Description: In celebration of Open Education Week 2024, this free online event will offer attendees an opportunity to learn from professionals working with Open Educational Resources (OER) in higher education. OER are learning, teaching, and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license. This practice of sharing makes OER powerful tools for supporting educational affordability, access, representation, and student graduation rates.  The symposium will take place via WebEx on Friday, March 8 from 9:30am to 4:30pm and is open to all college-aged individuals who may be interested.

Registration Link: https://forms.office.com/r/KxgHRWDsyR

Topic: Open Education Chat: Connecting Tennessee's Champions

Event Date & Time: March 8, 2024: 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST (2:00 – 3:00 PM CST)

Moderator: Ashley Sergiadis – East Tennessee State University

Session Description: Are you passionate about supporting open education and making textbooks more affordable on your campus? Whether you're a librarian, instructional designer, administrator, instructor, or anything in between, we'd love for you to join us for a friendly chat with other Open Education Champions in Tennessee. Let's connect and share ideas!

Registration Link: https://etsu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUtd-Ggqj4tHdKXj8RHsDasdK5h8N81nIiB


Campuses across the state have embarked on efforts to lower the cost of materials through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are education materials that can be freely downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students. Research demonstrates that students enrolled in courses where OER are used in lieu of traditional course materials save money and perform just as well, if not better, than control groups enrolled in courses with traditional materials.

Learn below why OER is important, how you can get started with OER today, and how you can help promote and support OER on campus and across the state.

The Council of Chief State School Officers, CC BY 4.0. Music by The Zeppelin by Blue Dot Sessions, CC BY NC 4.0.

How can you get started with OER today?

  • Watch the Introduction to OER webinar presented by the TN Textbook Affordability Task Force 
  • Gather the learning outcomes for your course. Keeping your course outcomes in the forefront will help make it easy to select and align content for your course.
  • Discover OER for your course. High-quality OER are already available for most General Education courses through organizations like OpenStax, Lumen Learning, and the Open Textbook Library.  You can also browse open textbooks, individual lessons, and media through resources gathered in the Creative Commons Directory.
  • Connect with the Tennessee OER Community. Join colleagues in conversation on the THEC Textbook Affordability Listserv.

How can your institution help promote and support OER?

1.    Raise faculty and student awareness of the benefits of OER.

  • Host an annual “Open Education Day” at your school or university, or encourage participation in global Open Education Week events.  Consider hosting a viewing of the Introduction to OER webinar to convene interested faculty and open campus discussions.  See “Watch the Introduction to OER webinar” above. 
  • Provide OER information to learners. Require OER Course designations in course catalogs so learners know prior to registration which course use OER (see examples from CUNY and San Jacinto CC).
  • Identify key performance indicators to showcase improvements when courses / degrees adopt OER (common indicators include improvements in student outcomes, drop and/or withdrawal rates, credits taken per semester, student debt, and time to degree).

2.    Empower your institution to drive an Open Education strategy.

  • Update existing strategy documents to include open educational goals and adopt an institutional OER policy (see the OER Policy Development Tool, the global OER Policy Registry, and North American OER policies and projects for examples).
  • Launch an Open Education Task Force comprising learners, faculty, accessibility experts, deans, bookstore, financial aid, library, instructional designers, eLearning, etc.
  • Facilitate an OER Grant Program that focus on shifting the highest enrolled courses from closed content to OER (see examples at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and Tennessee Board of Regents).

3.    Empower faculty to create, share, and support Open Education.

  • Reward sharing. Adjust promotion and tenure policies to reward the creation, adoption, and maintenance of OER as curricular innovation and service to the academic profession.
  • Make it easy to share OER. Join a global OER repository and/or make the process of sharing clear and simple for your educators. Require institutionally-funded resources to be openly licensed.
  • Ensure educators have the legal rights to share and CC license their work in contracts between the institution and faculty (see policy example from Creative Commons New Zealand).

TN Open Education Hub

TN Open Education Hub is an online space where instructors across Tennessee can share the various materials (textbooks, lesson plans, handouts, lecture notes, videos, supplemental reading, interactive assignments, etc.) that they develop to assist Tennessee students in their learning.

The goal of the TN Open Education Hub is to create a widespread community of practice, to collaborate in our instructional development, to share effective resources and practices, and to facilitate deep and effective student learning.

The “Hub” contains both a repository of no-cost and openly licensed instructional resources that are created and used at postsecondary institutions in Tennessee and working groups, or spaces where materials can be collaboratively developed and refined.

Library Collection Materials

From physical textbook lending and library reserve programs to course materials comprised of library-licensed collections and subscriptions, faculty across the state are saving students money by aligning their course learning outcomes with thousands of library-housed e-books, videos, and online scholarly journals.

Book Loan & Book Grant Programs

For courses using physical textbooks, book loan programs can help students by providing copies of textbooks for free to use throughout the semester. Book grants provide qualified students with funds to help subsidize the purchase of textbooks and course materials.

Inclusive Access Programs

Inclusive access programs are contract buying or direct billing programs that result from a partnership with university bookstores and publishers and provide digital textbooks to students below market rate on or before the first day of class.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

According to the Hewlett Foundation, “Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”

Z-Degree Programs

The courses in z-degree programs use OER and other no-cost resources to offer an entire degree program without any required instructional materials costs.

Task Force

Tennessee public institutions nominated experts and advocates from their campuses to advance course material affordability statewide. Learn more about Task Force outcomes and next steps here.

Participant Institution Role
Nancy King Sanders    Austin Peay State University Vice Provost for Student Achievement
Christie Hamilton Dyersburg State Community College Nursing
Mike Bowen Dyersburg State Community College Economics
Wayne Corlis Dyersburg State Community College Business
Ashley Sergiadis East Tennessee State University Sherrod Library
Phillip Smith East Tennessee State University Center for Teaching Excellence
Larry Bailey Jackson State Community College VPAA
Patrick Davis Jackson State Community College Dean of Academic Support
Cheryl Torsney Middle Tennessee State University Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Kimberly Godwin Middle Tennessee State University Instructional Designer
Suzanne Mangrum Middle Tennessee State University Library Collections and Management
Christine Summers Motlow State Community College Professor of Business
Laura Burridge Nashville State Community College Associate Professor of English
Tricia Crawford Northeast State Community College Associate Professor of Sociology
Kellie Mzik Pellissippi State Community College Speech
Larry Vincent Pellissippi State Community College Music
Leslie Adamczyk Pellissippi State Community College Associate Professor of Chemistry
Lisa Brown Pellissippi State Community College Nursing
Mary Ellen Spencer Pellissippi State Community College Library
Mary Monroe-Ellis Pellissippi State Community College Mathematics
Susan Mosteller Pellissippi State Community College Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Trish Collins Pellissippi State Community College English
Jennifer Townes Southwest Tennessee Community College Director, Teaching Academy
Jimmy Jones TCAT Chattanooga Master Instructor, Motorcycle & Marine Engine Tech
Gwen Bean TCAT Shelbyville Master Instructor in our Administrative Office Technology
Amy Moreland Tennessee Board of Regents Director of Policy
Robert Denn Tennessee Board of Regents Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Kristina Krau Waymire Tennessee Board of Regents Director of Student Initiatives
Nicola Wayer Tennessee Board of Regents Director of Instructional Design & Training
Julie Roberts Tennessee Higher Education Commission Associate Chief Academic Officer
Ryan Korstange Tennessee Higher Education Commission Director of Academic Affairs
Diane Berty Tennessee Independent College & Universities Assc. Vice President
Anita McGaha Tennessee State University Director of Disability Services/Doctoral Student Edu. Leadership - Higher Edu. 
Arlene Nicholas-Phillips Tennessee State University Doctoral Student, Educational Leadership - Higher Ed.
Cheryl Seay Tennessee State University Director, Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Robbie Melton Tennessee State University Dean Graduate and Professional Studies
Jane Jackson Tennessee State University Professor of Business
Sharon Holderman Tennessee Technological University Coordinator of Public Services - Volpe Library
Karen Weddle-West University of Memphis VP Student Academic Success
Leigh Cherry University of Tennessee System Coordinator for Student Success Initiatives
Rachel Fleming University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Collections Initiatives Librarian
Elizabeth Spica University of Tennessee, Knoxville Student, UT College of Law
Jennifer Gramling University of Tennessee, Knoxville Director of Online Programs
Rachel Caldwell University of Tennessee, Knoxville Scholarly Communication & Publishing Librarian
Randy Davis University of Tennessee, Knoxville Associate Director, VolShop
Shirley Streeter University of Tennessee, Knoxville Assistant Director, UTK Vol Shop
Steve Smith University of Tennessee, Knoxville Dean of UT Libraries
Sheri Waltz Volunteer State Community College Department Chair, Communications
Ashley Frazier  Walters State Community College Assistant Professor of Biology
Connie Earls Walters State Community College Director, Office of Retention Services


The Tennessee Textbook Affordability listserv is a discussion list intended for Tennessee higher education faculty and administrators interested in:

  1. Sharing ideas, resources and best practices pertaining to course material affordability,
  2. Distributing campus, state, and national events and opportunities related to course material affordability--feel free to use this list to invite colleagues across the state to participate,
  3. Soliciting feedback and guidance on OER and textbook affordability issues from colleagues at neighboring institutions.

To ensure relevance and manage listserv traffic, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Posts to the list should fall within one or more of the three categories above.
  • When starting a new post, choose a clear and concise subject line that describes the topic.
  • When replying to posts, please only respond to the group if the response is relevant to the group. Otherwise, respond to the sender.
  • Generally speaking, posts should deal with one topic at a time.
  • If you are seeking some sort of general information, like recommendations or how-tos, volunteer to gather all the responses, recommend that others contact you directly, and then summarize the responses for the list. This will help keep list traffic more manageable.
  • Include an email signature with your first and last name so that others know who you are.


Affordable instructional resources are available at these searchable repositories: