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February 3, 2017

Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) Initiative

Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative

In collaboration with the University System of Maryland Student Council, the USM’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation is exploring the feasibility of adopting open educational resources (OER).

The mission of the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative is to facilitate faculty efforts to explore the promise of OER to reduce students’ cost of attendance while maintaining, or perhaps even improving, learning outcomes.  M.O.S.T. began in August 2013 as a collaboration between the University System of Maryland's Student Council and the University System of Maryland’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation to launch activities related to the adoption of openly licensed learning materials.  We believe that pursuit of these options shows promise to significantly reduce students’ cost of attendance while also recognizing that text choice for any course is the prerogative of the faculty.  While M.O.S.T. is being lead out of the University System of Maryland, the opportunities being pursued are open to all public higher education institutions across Maryland.

Since its launch, M.O.S.T. has encouraged faculty to evaluate available OER and consider adopting them for use in a course. The Kirwan Center has been working with Lumen Learning (lumenlearning.com) to provide participating faculty with the support they need to locate materials and incorporate them effectively into their courses.  From Spring 2014 - Spring 2018, 89 courses at 19 institutions across Maryland switched to OER, saving students $141 per course on average or approximately $3.4 million cumulatively.