The cost of college textbooks continues to increase and the economic burden is of great concern to students. The College Board estimates that the average student in this country spends around $1,200 a year on books and supplies. A single book can cost as much as $200. Between 2002 and 2013, the price of college textbooks rose 82% — nearly three times the rate of inflation, according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office.
What can faculty do about the high cost of textbooks? Here are some questions and suggestions to consider:
*Acknowledgements to Donald A. Barclay for the above questions and suggestions.
Barclay, Donald A. "No Reservations: Why the Time Has Come to Kill Print Textbook Reserves." College and Research Libraries News 76, no. 6 (June 2015): 332-35.
Keeping Up With...Affordable Course Content -- Association of College and Research Libraries
Empirical research on the impacts of OER Adoption - Open Ed Group “Review” webpage
OER Outreach for Newbies - ACRLog (Sarah Crissinger, Davidson College)
5 Things You Should Read About OER
Babson/Pearson Report (2014) Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education This report is the source of data regarding why faculty aren’t using OER. Top reasons include: Lack of awareness, difficulty locating OER etc.
The following two reports present findings regarding the impact of textbook costs on student purchasing behavior and its impacts.
For institution-level specifics, the following training and resource materials are highly recommended.
Open Education Campus Action Plan (SPARC)
Becoming Open Ed Leaders (1 hour recorded webinar)
Keynote addresses from the 2015 Open Textbook Summit
ASERL Webinar: Your Invitation to Join the Lib-OER Community: Lessons from the Field (1.5 hour recorded webinar)
OER Commons - Virginia OER Project