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Affordable and Open Educational Resources

Highlighting Affordability in the Schedule of Classes: Course Notes

What are Course Notes?

Course Notes are a system for labeling sections in the schedule of classes in a way that students will know the course materials are low-cost or no-cost.

How to Get Started

If you teach courses using no-cost or low-cost materials, please use or ask your course schedulers to use the standardized codes for your course sections. Below are the CourseLeaf/People Soft codes and the text of the notes as it will appear in the course schedules:

  • 0282: This section uses zero-cost course materials/textbooks ($0)

  • 0283: This section uses low-cost course materials/textbooks (under $50)


If you are looking for open or affordable course materials, including library eBooks, suitable to replace commercial materials in your class, please visit Finding OER, email, or schedule a consultation with the UofL  Affordable Learning Coordinator.


The Initiative

The University of Louisville Libraries developed and approved an Affordable Learning and Open Educational Resources (OER) initiative in 2023 to advance student success, improve retention rates, and increase educational opportunities across various demographic groups. 

In Fall 2023, the Affordable Learning and OER Workgroup focused on developing, implementing, and promoting zero-cost and low-cost course notes, the use of which was piloted in Spring 2024, and the results have been impressive:

  • 147 class sections across over 20 programs are using zero-cost and no-cost course notes;



    Number of

    Course Sections

    Number of


    Anthropology (ANTH) 6 122
    Bioethics 3 2
    Business 2 25
    Communications 8 107
    Entrepreneurship 3 38
    History 6 120
    Humanities 18 358
    Law 6 187
    Liberal Studies 2 38
    Linguistics 2 5
    Master of Business Administration 6 144
    Microbiology and Immunology 7 29
    Management 7 202
    Marketing 6 63
    Social Work (MSSW) 1 18
    Pan-African Studies 2 15
    Philosophy 29 524
    Public Health (PHMS, PHPB, PHPH) 11 114
    Physiology (PHZB) 3 32
    Sociology (SOC) 9 149
    Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies 10 106
    Totals 147 2398
  • cumulative student savings are over $206,000 (a calculation based on the average cost of textbooks in 2023, which was $105.37 according to the Education Data Initiative)

The Affordable Learning and OER Workgroup (ALOW) looks forward to the continuation and expansion of the use of zero-cost and low-cost course materials noted in Summer and Fall 2024 and subsequent semesters and years.

U of L student savings. Estimated textbook savings according to course-marking data for Spring 2024