The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Students Push for No-Cost Course Materials

Not surprisingly, college and university students love the idea of free, open-source course materials. Some students, notably at the University of Minnesota, are trying to persuade more faculty to assign open materials.

According to the Minnesota Daily campus publication, the Minnesota Student Association plans to set up a task force to preach the open-source gospel. The task force will contact professors individually to make them aware of open educational materials, in particular to explain what’s available in the university’s open-textbook library, which launched in 2012.

Last year, the student association was active in legislative efforts at the federal and state level to support open materials with grant programs, but those bills petered out. Now the association hopes the personal approach will encourage more faculty to use free materials instead of asking their classes to buy or rent books.

Campus grass-roots efforts like this are likely to sprout up at more institutions in response to student dissatisfaction over the cost of course materials.

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