Skyepack Harnesses Open Educational Resources to Offer College Course Material to Students for Just $35 | eLearningInside News
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-03-14
"While traditional textbook publishers have been hiking their costs in recent years, a Purdue-affiliated company is changing that story. Skyepack works with professors to curate their educational material for their course. With the help of open educational resources, they aim to provide it to students for just $35.
It used to be that, when a professor put together the material they will cover in a given course, they had to tango with the publishing industry. They could either assign textbooks, anthologies, or other works outright. Or they could put together a coursepack of material using licensed segments of copyrighted materials for which their students would be charged accordingly. (Or they could use some combination of the two.) But picking and choosing your educational material takes a lot of work and time that could be otherwise spent conducting research. It’s much easier for a professor to simply pick a textbook and go from there. The main problem with textbooks from the publishing industry is they’re expensive. A recent report from Student PIRGs found that, in the past decade, textbook costs have risen four times the rate of inflation. It’s not uncommon for a professor to ask students to pay hundreds of dollars for the educational material.
“Primarily we are focused on providing students with affordable course content,” said Skyepack CEO Brady Kalb. “We have a team of instructional designers. When we start working with a faculty, we’ll pair with someone on the instructional design team. The instructional designer’s job is to first understand the learning objectives of that course, the topics that are being taught, the teaching methodologies and pedagogies that the instructor is using, their assessment strategies, and the specific needs of the student population....”