Textbook Affordability at the Student Success Assessment Summit

2 minute read

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I had the pleasure of presenting on a panel at the Ohio Student Success Assessment Summit this morning on the topic of textbooks and open educational resources. Specifically, I was talking about the plans and desires of the University System of Ohio to help faculty help students with the escalating of costs of learning materials. My talk (below and on SlideShare) gives a background of the problem in the context of the State of Ohio, principles upon which a working plan for statewide support is forming, and strategic themes

[caption id="ssas_presentation_embed" align="aligncenter" width="604" caption="Presentation slides"]

An audio track for the presentation will follow later. The SlideShare version now has the embedded audio recording from the presentation.

Some Things, In Retrospect, I Wish I Had Mentioned

In talking about the CourseSmart option to further reduce the cost of commercially produced materials (the second bullet of slide #20), OBR will be subsidizing the additional discount to test the 35% price level for digital editions of textbooks. If you are an instructor at an Ohio school teaching a high-enrollment course and are interested in participating in this test, please get in contact with me or Steve Acker.

I didn't have time to talk about the various sources of open educational resources -- that would be an entire presentation by itself. Some places to start are:

  • Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources and the Community College Open Textbook project: These complimentary initiatives are undertaken by interested community colleges and faculty with an interest toward expanding the development and use of open educational resources, including textbooks. A variety of textbooks are available through these efforts (http://oerconsortium.org/ and http://www.collegeopentextbooks.org/).
  • Wikibooks: This site allows for the joint creation and customization of textbooks and other educational resources (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page).
  • Flat World Knowledge: This commercial site offers online access to free textbooks as well as the ability for students to download black and white, color, or audio versions of texts at reduced prices. Flatworld Knowledge supports editing procedures that allow faculty to add and delete materials to the textbooks (http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/).
  • Connexions: This site allows for the creation and dissemination of modularized educational resources including textbooks following the Open Educational Resources Model (http://cnx.org/).
  • BookBoon: Texts available on this site are financed by in-book advertisements (http://bookboon.com/us/student).
  • Global Text Project: This site offers a variety of free text materials (http://globaltext.terry.uga.edu/).
  • Textbook Revolution: This site offers a variety of free text materials and is open for contributions by faculty and others (http://textbookrevolution.org/index.php/Main_Page).

This is just a short list; you'll find many more places where open educational resources are featured by going through these sites.

The text was modified to update a link from http://bookboon.com/us/student to http://bookboon.com/us/textbooks on January 28th, 2011.