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, October 11, 2016

Rutgers Launches OER Initiative

Rutgers University, Camden, NJ, has joined the growing list of institutions turning to open educational resources (OER) to address the issue of rising costs for course materials. The Open and Affordable Textbook (OAT) project is offering grants to faculty and department groups as an incentive to replace traditional textbooks with free or low-cost alternatives.

The project, funded by the Office of Information Technology and administered by Rutgers University Libraries, will award grants of $1,000 to 12 groups from across the entire system. The university estimates the program will save its students as much as $500,000 in the first year.

A class in aggregate economics has already started putting together an open textbook. The required printed textbook has a new list price of $89.99, with the e-book version available for $69.99. Using the library’s Springer e-book collection, a PDF version of the book can be accessed for free and the paperback copy can be purchased for $24.99.

“We are committed to helping our students succeed, and one of the barriers to their success is the 1,000% increase in textbooks over the last 40 years,” Krisellen Maloney, vice president of information services and university librarian, said in a release. “We look forward to working with grant recipients to help them identify free or low-cost alternatives for their courses.”

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