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Affordable Course Materials Award

Information about and previous winners of the Consortium Library Affordable Course Materials Award (CLACMA).

In This Guide

Program Sunset

2024 was CLACMA's last year -- at least for the foreseeable future. Over the five years of the program, winners have saved students $579,699 in just one semester. Of course, awardees saved their students money in far more than just one semester for each of their courses! Faculty who make the switch to zero-cost (ZTC) course materials tend to continue using ZTC materials for as long as they teach the course. Many go on to transition additional courses. And many encourage other faculty to consider using ZTC materials as well. Though they have not been precisely quantified, the actual savings impact over time of CLACMA winners at UAA and APU is undoubtedly massive.

In the 2024-2025 academic year, the Consortium Library's Textbook Affordability program will shift focus and funds away from the CLACMA in favor of a mini-grant program. Still in development, the new program will provide faculty with some of the funding they need to adopt, adapt, or create open educational resources (OER) -- before they undertake that work. The Faculty Senate's Library Advisory Committee will review proposals and select awardees. Keep an eye out for a call for proposals opening in August 2024 with a deadline in the middle of the fall 2024 semester.

Call for Nominations

2024 Call for Nominations: 5th Annual $1000 Consortium Library Affordable Course Materials Award (CLACMA)

Have you adopted Open Educational Resources (OER)* or, in some other way, significantly lowered the cost of course materials or textbooks in this current semester or in a previous one? Or do you know a colleague who has?

If so, consider nominating yourself or colleague(s) for the 5th Annual Consortium Library Affordable Course Materials Award of $1,000. We intend to present numerous awards in 2024. For collaborative projects, each contributing member is eligible to receive up to $1000. The purpose of the award is twofold. First, we’d like to recognize faculty who have made sustainable and substantial cost reductions for students. The second purpose is to encourage faculty to get the cost of their course materials as close to zero as possible.

In an environment of rapidly-rising costs in higher education, easing the financial burden felt by students is critical to their success. A significant part of that burden is the increasing costs of textbooks and course materials. In addition to the financial benefits for students, affordable content encourages a better educational experience in which all students have access to materials on the first day of class, regardless of their financial circumstances. Switching courses to no-cost materials (like OER) has been found to increase retention, improve GPA, and ease the pathway to graduation (Colvard, et al.). The use of OER also increases opportunities for creative pedagogical approaches by instructors.

Faculty may directly reduce textbook costs for students by forgoing commercial textbooks in favor of OER, Consortium Library resources, freely available web-based materials, instructor-designed course materials, and other low- or no-cost resources. The Library Advisory Committee and the Consortium Library support these efforts, which have resulted in student savings of a minimum of $470,000 over a semester.

To nominate yourself or others, complete the nomination survey by March 1, 2024. Preference will be given to applicants who haven’t previously received this award. Prior winners may receive the award again (up to three times total) for substantive revisions to course(s), new course(s), or other impactful work. Individuals may win one award per year.

The committee will consider the following:

  • Specific cost savings to students, reaching as close to no cost as possible.
  • Sustainability and scale of impact, including number of students impacted.
  • Course materials used.
  • How the course was changed or improved.

Related Program: OER/ZTC Certificate

On a related matter, are you interested in transitioning your course(s) to OER or other no-cost materials? Consider completing UAA/APU Consortium Library's OER/ZTC Certificate program which provides faculty with the essential information needed to consider transitioning courses away from commercial products to OER or ZTC (zero textbook cost) course materials.


* OER refers to “teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use” (SPARC).

Guide Owner

This guide is maintained by D'Arcy Hutchings.