Did someone say free textbooks?

In an effort to reduce textbook costs, Madison College Libraries are partnering with faculty to bring alternative resources to their learners. Open Educational Resources (http://libguides.madisoncollege.edu/OER) are high quality free or low-cost educational materials that are openly licensed, thus, can be shared freely. They are still written by faculty and peer-reviewed as other textbooks are, it is only their licenses that differ.

Open Educational Resources can be anything from textbooks, course readings, educational games, or other learning objects used in and out of the classroom. Since they are primarily shared online and thus, digital, usually the only cost associated with them comes from printing them out.

Although Open Educational Resources are fairly well established throughout the United States, Madison College is just starting to understand its potential. Currently, Madison College can boast the following statistics:

  • 7 courses in 5 different programs use Open Educational Resources.
  • 16 faculty members use OERs.
  • 582 potential students will see benefits this fall.
  • $82,000 will be saved this fall (estimated from new book prices and full enrollment).

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