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The Open Education Initiative At UMass Amherst: Taking a Bite Out of High Cost TextbooksThe high cost of commercial print textbooks is a major concern for both students and their parents. To address these concerns, the Provost’s Office and the University Libraries of the University of Massachusetts Amherst launched the Open Education Initiative in the Spring of 2011. The OEI is a faculty incentive program that encourages either the creation of new teaching materials or the use of existing low-cost or free information resources to support our students’ learning. Now in its second phase, the Open Education Initiative has generated a total savings of over $200,000 for students in classes that utilize open educational resources, library materials or faculty generated content. The third round of grants will support faculty teaching large general education courses who are interested in pursuing non-traditional educational resources as an alternative to the traditional textbook.