Skip to Main Content
Banner Image

Open Education at UTA

UTA is committed to ensuring course materials are both accessible and affordable for our students. Accomplishing this requires comprehensive and timely reporting of course resource adoptions by instructors and program administrators. Prompt reporting enables transparent communication with students so they can better plan for the cost of their education, empowers the campus store to leverage used and rental materials that make resources more affordable, and allows students with disabilities to access necessary resource accommodations without delay. 

Texas law (SB810 and HB1027) requires transparency in communicating course material costs for public higher education institutions. Read more about SB810 on our Texas Toolkit for OER Course Markings. As a result, students at UTA can search and filter courses in MyMav to identify courses that are marked as having free or low-cost course materials. To make this information available to students, instructors must mark their courses with the "free" or "low-cost" course attributes each semester. This page provides guidance to instructors on how to find those attributes in MyMav

UTA defines free and low-cost as follows:

  • Low Cost Educational Materials: Total cost for course resources is no more than $25 (per student)
  • No Cost Educational Materials: Total cost for course resources is $0 (per student)

In addition to marking courses with free or low-cost course materials in MyMav, resources should also be reported to the UTA Bookstore via Follett Discover. Information about this process is also listed below.

Reporting Free or Low-Cost Resources

Courses are now given the Low Cost or No Cost Course Materials attributes directly in MyMav. Each instructor is responsible for marking their courses as soon as possible after resources have been selected for the course.

How to mark a course as Low or No Cost in MyMav (for Instructors)

  1. Log in to MyMav and go to the Faculty Center.
  2. Find the "My Schedule" page.
  3. For each section you are assigned to teach, select a course cost attribute from the dropdown menu under the "Course Materials Cost" column. A screenshot of the My Schedule page is included below, showing the "Course Materials Cost" column on the far right of the My Teaching Schedule table.

 My Schedule Page

(Click the image to view it larger)

All resources, regardless of cost, should be reported to the UTA Bookstore. Materials for Low Cost courses should be reported as usual using the Follett Discover tool (see the Reporting All Other Resources box below). 

If you are using OER or other No Cost course materials, you may also report them to the bookstore using Follett Discover. This helps students more easily find the correct course materials and helps them avoid paying for unnecessary print copies.

Some OER resources (such as OpenStax and Khan Academy) can be found by searching Follett Discover as usual. After searching for the title of your resource, select the OER tab to see the No Cost resource options. The screenshot below shows the Follett Discover search results screen with the three tab options highlighted - Publisher Materials, Supplies, and OER.

(Click the image to view it larger)

If you can't find the OER resource you plan to use in the Follett Discover search, you may add your own materials. Click through to the Adopted Course Materials page for the correct course, and scroll down to the Add My Content button. The screenshot below shows the Add My Content on the bottom left of the screen.

(Click the image to view it larger)

In Add My Content, you can link to an existing resource (e.g., a Mavs Open Press textbook) or upload files. You will also be given the option to make the resource available to other instructors searching in Follett Discover. Standard copyright restrictions apply, so you should only choose to share resources for which you hold the copyright or that are openly licensed.

Reporting All Other Resources

If the total cost per student for all required resources in a course exceeds $0, report your resource use directly to the UTA Bookstore using the Follett Discover tool located in Canvas. Adoptions may also be submitted via email, over the phone, or in person.

The Follett Discover tool is located in the left-hand navigation column in each course in Canvas, as shown below.

If the tool link does not appear in the left-hand navigation column in your course, please follow these steps:

  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the left-hand navigation column and click "Settings."
  2. Click "Navigation" at the top of the settings page.
  3. Scroll down to find "Follett Discover" in the lower list of hidden items and drag it to the upper list.
  4. Be sure to click "Save" at the very bottom of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to report my resource use to the bookstore? My students are going to purchase required resources online instead of through the bookstore.

Yes. All materials required for UTA courses should be communicated via one of the methods described above. Failure to provide this information leaves the university at risk of noncompliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act. It also results in communicating inaccurate information to students during registration.

Reporting to the bookstore in no way requires students to purchase from the store. However, it does ensure that students who must purchase materials from the store are able to do so. Students who wish to purchase elsewhere are free to do so. Excluding the store does students a disservice in the following situations:

  • Course materials for some students (e.g., student athletes and veterans) are purchased by another organization; in this case they are frequently required to purchase directly from the store.
  • Some students prefer to use the bookstore due to convenience and proximity to their classes; it is easier to pull course booklists to ensure purchase of the correct materials.
  • Many students value the opportunity to "preview" required resources by visiting the store, where they can touch and flip through the materials before making a purchase.

Should my course be tagged with the free course attribute if I "recommend" rather than "require" use of a commercial resource?

The Low Cost and No Cost Course Materials attributes refer to required resources. However, regardless of the language used to describe it on a syllabus, any resource that is referenced in course readings or is necessary to complete a course assignment is a "required" resource. Course instructors are encouraged to limit descriptors to "required" and "optional" resources; there should be no penalty for students who opt out of purchasing "optional" resources.

The textbook I use for my class is available through the library. Can I use the Low or No Cost Course Materials attribute?

The Low or No Cost Course Materials attributes should be used when all students in the course may access the materials for less than $25 or $0 respectively. Consider how the resource is available through the library before applying the course attribute. If the book is available as an ebook that allows unlimited simultaneous users, all students in the course would be able to access it at any time for no cost. If only one or two copies of the book are in the course reserves or the ebook allows only one user at a time, some students may not have the opportunity to access the no-cost option.

This point also applies to Low Cost Course Materials. Check with the UTA Bookstore to confirm that the typical price for the resource is less than $25. Even if a few used copies of a resource sell for less than $25, some students may not be able to find the resource at a price below the Low Cost threshold.

Should course costs other than educational resources be added to the total course material costs?

Course costs are divided into three categories. Only educational resource costs will be considered for the purposes of applying free and low-cost course attributes. All items should be clearly marked in the course syllabus.

Educational Resources

Educational resources are print and electronic materials required to successfully engage with content and submit assignments in a course. Items such as textbooks and other reading materials, multimedia, software, access codes, and course bundles are examples of educational resources. If students are required to purchase access to a specific platform or associated clickers, these costs should be included in the total cost of educational resources for the course. Resource costs should be calculated using the list price for new resources.

Equipment & Supplies*

The cost of items such as calculators, tablets, graphing paper, or art supplies should not be included in the cost of educational resources.

* Please Note: Any courses that use equipment and supplies (e.g., calculators, drawing paper) should be reported to the UTA Bookstore so they may stock the appropriate equipment for students.


The cost of participating in required course experiences, such as museum or other site visits, should be disclosed in a publicly posted syllabus but is not considered an educational resource.