When considering the adoption of open educational resources (OERs) I have heard instructors express concern regarding the quality of the materials – stating a preference for commercially published materials because they are peer-reviewed. That excuse is losing merit on a number of fronts as educators, together with public and private organizations, work together in addressing these concerns.
We recently learned that the openly licensed Precalculus textbook authored by Carl Stitz, Ph.D. (Professor of Mathematics, Lakeland Community College) and Jeff Zeager, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Mathematics, Lorain County Community College) has been approved by the American Institute of Mathematics. Stitz and Zeager have released their textbook using a Creative Commons License.
The text is available free for students to download in pdf format, as well as at a very reasonable price for the print version from Lulu.
In a recent report by U.S. PIRG, entitled “Affordable Higher Education: Fixing the broken textbook market…
- 65% of students surveyed reported they had decided against buying a textbook because it was too expensive.
- [despite this fact] … 94% of students who had forgone a textbook were concerned doing so would hurt their grade in a course.
- Nearly half of all students surveyed said that the cost of textbooks impacted how many / which classes they took each semester.
In an era where the focus in on completion and student success, we can no longer ignore the impact the high cost of textbooks has on our students and college affordability.
OpenStax College, an initiative of Rice University offers free open licensed peer-reviewed Textbooks in several general education subjects including: Physics, Sociology, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Statistics, Economics, Macro-economics, Micro-economics. More textbooks are in the queue including: Chemistry, Pre-calculus, History, and Psychology.
The OpenStax textbooks are licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 license