Required materials, like textbooks, can represent a significant cost to students. Textbook prices have increased over 1,000% since 1977, or more than 3 times the rate of inflation (Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 2015).
According to research on open textbook pilots conducted by Student PIRGs (Open Textbooks: the Billion Dollar Solution, 2015):
Instructors can directly influence the cost of education for their students by adopting low- or no-cost course materials, like OER.
* Source: Texas Higher Education Reporting Board (http://www.60x30tx.com/media/1412/student-fin-aid-in-texas-report.pdf)
** Source: Texas One Stop (https://onestop.utexas.edu/managing-costs/cost-tuition-rates/cost-of-attendance/)
The Senate of College Councils has produced several pieces of legislation in support of OER and other forms of free and affordable course materials.
If you're a student interested in learning more about OER or getting involved with advocacy efforts, these resources will get you started. Contact Ashley Morrison, Tocker Open Education Librarian, for more information or support.
What is open education, anyway? Start with the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)'s primer.
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