Help lower student barriers with open textbooks

If you are concerned about how the high cost of textbooks affects students, you are invited to explore solutions at an Open Textbook Workshop at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in Room 4090 at the Knight Campus in Warwick. After the workshop, you’ll be asked to write a short open textbook review, and you could receive a $200 stipend for your work.

Did you know:

  • The College Board estimates the average undergraduate budgeted $1,249 to $1,364 for textbooks and supplies in 2015-16.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at four times the rate of inflation.
  • Seventy percent of students will choose not to purchase a required textbook because of cost.
  • Sixty percent of students delayed purchasing textbooks until they received their financial aid.

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their course. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks used by many faculty across the country, and are licensed to be freely used, edited and distributed.

What you can do: The Open Textbook Workshop is a two-hour session where you can discover open textbooks in your field. The workshop will be led by David Ernst, creator of the University of Minnesota’s Open Textbook Library, and Sarah Cohen, managing director of the Open Textbook Network.

After the workshop, you’ll be asked to write a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library. Your review will benefit other faculty considering open textbooks, and you will be eligible for a stipend if you can review an open textbook that would be appropriate for a class you teach or in your discipline.

RSVP by 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17. Capacity is limited, and open textbooks are not available for all subjects. Preference will be based on textbook availability.