Affordable Course Materials
Textbook costs should not be a barrier to education. One of the biggest expenses students face next to tuition and room & board is textbooks and course materials.
Cost of course materials is a top concern for both students and parents as prices have risen four times the rate of inflation over the past 20 years. Students often increase their educational loan amounts to cover these costs, adding to their debt upon graduation, or choose not to purchase books, affecting their academic performance and retention. Low income, BIPOC, and first-generation students are disproportionately impacted.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are ways you can help reduce text and material costs for your students.
Online Library Resources
Choose e-book titles from our collections; many allow for multiple simultaneous users so that a whole class can have unlimited access. Contact your library liaison for help selecting a title, for purchase suggestions, or questions about use of licensed materials.
Place physical copies of your required or recommended texts on course reserve in the library. Reserves can be borrowed for two hours at a time for use in the library. We purchase select required books and welcome additional copies or titles.
Select materials and create a custom course pack on Brightspace rather than requiring students to purchase multiple books.
- Online education sites offer course notes, reading and assignment ideas, and multimedia components that may have an open license.
- MERLOT II
- Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) is a repository hosted at California State University which contains over 40,000 materials from textbooks to case studies and quizzes, many of which have undergone some level of peer review. Contains both unique resources and materials redistributed from other sites and offers a tool to edit and “remix” existing open resources or to create and share your own.
- OER Commons
- Created by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education and contains nearly 60,000 diverse college-level materials. Includes a tool called Open Author for creating and sharing text or multimedia learning resources.
- Open Textbook Library
- Open textbooks licensed by authors and publishers which can be downloaded and adopted for free without additional permissions or paperwork. Subject areas include business, computer science, education, humanities, mathematics, medicine, and natural and social sciences. From the University of Minnesota and supported by the Open Education Network.
- OpenStax College
- An initiative of Rice University that provides free, faculty-authored and peer-reviewed online textbooks for introductory courses in mathematics, science, and social science disciplines. Materials can be read online, downloaded as PDF/EPUB files, printed, or customized through a resource sharing platform, OpenStax CNX.
- Search open access book titles across multiple disciplines. Tools to clone, revise, remix and distribute openly licensed content to tailor to your needs.
- EdX, OpenCourseWare, Khan Academy and other online course sites
Your library liaison can help with finding a suitable OER to replace or augment your textbook. If you are not able to find a good match for your course, please consider creating your your own. We offer DUNE:DigitalUNE as an open publishing platform and materials published here will be available to scholars and students worldwide.
QUESTIONS & HELP
If you have questions on this, or another, topic, contact a librarian for help!