Open-source textbooks could cut college costs | The Post 2013-03-26


"With college textbooks costing 800 percent more than they did 30 years ago, some lawmakers are making the first steps to help put more cash in students’ pockets. Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, a self-called advocate of House Concurrent Resolutions 3009 and 3013, which study the use of open textbooks and urge college campuses to embrace e-textbooks, said that the goal of the resolutions aren’t to get rid of printed textbooks, but to slowly fade away from using them. 'My goal is to encourage alternative options and make 25 percent of our coursework in the state of North Dakota utilize open-source textbooks which would increase to 50 percent in the next 10 years.' Open-source textbooks are licensed under an open-copyright license and would be made available online to be used for free by anybody seeking them. 'They embrace collaborative learning; it’s sort of like Wikipedia,' Beadle said. 'However, after a certain time they would no longer be editable and would instead be published, making them credible and granting them academic integrity.' Although both resolutions were unanimously passed by the North Dakota House and the Senate floor, there isn’t currently any legislation being considered in Ohio for open source textbooks. 'We are always looking to explore and consider options that would lower the cost of education for students,' said Jeff Robinson, acting director of communications at the Ohio Board of Regents. 'If textbooks online can get us there we will certainly consider it.'  Jesper Beckholt, a junior studying English and women and gender studies said she is passionate about open-source textbooks. 'I think they would save money for college students and another plus is since they are open-source, the information is available to everyone.' Beadle said the next step is to partner with more states, including Ohio, as well as organizations that will put policies in place. 'States are cutting higher-education budgets which lead to tuition increases,' Beadle said. 'I think it is time that colleges and states pay attention to students and consider alternatives which will truly benefit the students. Not only are open-source textbooks more affordable, they are a way for textbooks to be updated easier and more frequently.'"


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Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »


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Date tagged:

03/26/2013, 15:21

Date published:

03/26/2013, 11:21