Initiatives: Open Educational Resources

Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative

Open educational resources (OERs) are any openly licensed instructional materials that are also typically available at little or no cost. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for instructional purposes.

The Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative began in 2013 to provide a statewide opportunity for faculty and institutions to explore the promise of OERs to reduce students' cost of attendance while maintaining, or perhaps even improving, learning outcomes.  The M.O.S.T. initiative launched the High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program in 2017 to enhance the Kirwan Center's OER efforts by targeting high-enrollment courses with existing quality OER at 2- and 4-year Maryland public higher education institutions.


The M.O.S.T. initiative has saved students over $3.4 million in textbook costs since Spring 2014.

Our Work in Open Educational Resources

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May 29, 2018

As part of a first wave of new services, the M.O.S.T. initiative has launched the M.O.S.T. Course Hub to support Maryland faculty in finding easy-to-adopt, high-quality OER.

Started in 2013 as a collaboration between the University System of Maryland’s Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation and the system-wide student council, M.O.S.T. was charged in 2017 by the state legislature with supporting and scaling the adoption of “openly licensed, fully accessible” instructional materials across Maryland public higher education institutions.

March 6, 2018

The University System of Maryland’s (USM) William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation announced the award of 29 mini-grants to faculty at 18 public higher education institutions in Maryland to support the adoption, adaptation and scaling of open educational resources (OER).  Funded by the Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative’s High-impact OER Mini-Grant Program, the grants represent a mix of high-enrollment courses in mathematics, the sciences, the arts, and the humanities at 2- and 4-year institutions, with a potential to save approximately 6,500 students over $1.2 million in Fall 2018 alone.

December 8, 2017

The Maryland Open Source Textbook (M.O.S.T.) initiative, led by the University System of Maryland’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, is .seeking proposals for its 2018 High-impact OER Mini-Grant program to strategically support Maryland public institutions’ efforts to adopt Open Educational Resources (OERs) as a means to greatly reduce textbook costs and address college affordability for students.  Building on the prior success of the M.O.S.T. initiative and the first round of mini-grants, this funding program will target OER adoption in “high impact,” high enrollment courses for which high-quality OER already exists.  Two types of mini-grants will be awarded: 1) Adopt/Adapt OER ($500 - $1,500) and 2) Scaling OER ($1,500 - $2,500).  

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