College textbooks are expensive. Some can range anywhere from $100 and upwards. The prices of college textbooks are why the Center for Teaching Excellence came and talked to SGA about advocating for Open Educational Resources.
“Something we know students are interested in [is] bringing their costs down,” Teaching and Learning Specialist Phil Smith said. “I’m sure you all can relate stories of paying hundreds of dollars for text books that you may have hardly used.”
Smith said that Open Educational Resources are free textbooks for students and teachers.
“It means that professors can take one of these textbooks that already exists and just use it like they would a commercial textbook,” Smith said.
According to a slide show made by Smith, ETSU students pay $1,532 a year on textbooks. To help lessen the cost on students, Smith has been trying to spread word of Open Educational Resources by word of mouth.
“We’ve been trying to promote this with faculty and students as well,” Smith said. “You have the power to influence faculty and administration.”
Smith said that the funding for the Open Educational Resources comes from the Sherrod Library Student Advisory.
“This was very much a student lead initiative,” he said.
Smith said Open Educational Resources had a workshop for faculty to show faculty the library of textbooks and get them to write reviews for the textbooks.
“The idea is like ‘Hey faculty, look at this open textbook,'” Smith said. “They write a review, we give them a little stipend for their time and effort, and they think ‘Oh, maybe I should use this textbook.’ In fact that’s what happens 45 percent of the time. I think we had about 20 faculty come last week, so if the statistic holds, we’re hoping eight or nine will end up adopting an open textbook.”
Student Government Association Senator Lydia Jones thinks that Open Educational Resources would be useful.
“I’m in a business finance class right now, and we only use the book,” Jones said. “It would be really helpful there, saving you a couple hundred dollars.”
For Open Educational Resources, students can head to the Sherrod Library website and click on the research lab where they will find a link to Open Educational Resources.