Senators Push For More Open Textbooks
Career College Central summary:
Congress is mulling a proposal that would promote the use of free online educational materials nationwide — an action higher education advocates say is crucial to combat the rising costs of textbooks. U.S. Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., introduced a bill last month to implement open-source textbook programs, a move that follows the University of Minnesota’s increased use of the platform. Traditional textbook prices rose more than 80 percent from 2002 to 2012, according to a June report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The bill would establish a grant program to help develop open-source textbook programs at universities across the country, similar to the University’s open textbook library created by the College of Education and Human Development.
Since last year, 11 CEHD faculty members have used open textbooks in their course curricula. The move saved students about $145,000 over three semesters, according to CEHD director of academic technology David Ernst.
Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition Chairperson Matt Forstie said the University is on the forefront of the movement to deter textbook costs, but it should consider expanding open textbook libraries elsewhere.
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