Next to tuition, the cost of textbooks can be the biggest expense a college student will face. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is in the process of testing a program that could significantly reduce that cost, or even lead to free alternatives to traditional textbooks.
It’s a program in which eleven faculty members worked with Information Technology Services and Library Technology Services to identify or create Open Educational Resource materials to be used in select courses. The college’s Matthew Schmitz says changes in technology have provided faculty access and the ability to create and publish high quality, open educational resources.
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Textbook fees have continually risen, with average annual fees across the country coming in at around $1,200. While SIUE students have benefited from the rental program, this next step could be a game-changer, according to Schmitz.