This post was contributed by Jessie Milligan, Information Resources and Instructional Librarian, Southwestern Oregon Community College.
About 25 faculty members in Arts & Letters, Social Sciences, Math and Sciences recently attended a division meeting that included a brief presentation by a librarian on the issue of textbook affordability, OER solutions, and an update on what other community colleges in Oregon are doing.
A two-hour workshop for faculty at Southwestern also was held to discuss OER and look at some of the resources available on the web.
Southwestern will be joining other community colleges in working on a resource list this summer.
Kyriakos Kypriotakis, in SOCC’s math department, has used OER since 2012. He writes:
I taught the first year calculus course and I used WeBWorK to assign homework. That same year I adopted an open textbook for college algebra courses (Stitz and Zeager’s Precalculus). The following year, I started using MyOpenMath to assign homework for that courses instead of WeBWorK.
The traditional textbook used by the department sells for ~$90 used and ~$180 new. At a low estimate of 5 sections per year, with an average of 25 students per section, Kyriakos’s students have saved $11,250 to $22,500 each year, and a total of $45,000 to $90,000 since he made the switch.
Next fall Kyriakos plans to adopt an open textbook for statistics (David Lane’s Online Statistics Education), which enrolls approximately 110 students per year. Since the current textbook costs ~$25 used and ~$120 new, this change will create an additional savings of $2,750 to $13,200 per year.
Both of the textbooks that Kyriakos uses are reviewed and approved by the American Institute of Mathematics.