2012-03-06 Open Education and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis

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Textbooks are one of the fastest growing college expenses in the United States, with prices rising more than four times the rate of inflation and individual books costing $100-200 a piece. This …

Textbooks are one of the fastest growing college expenses in the United States, with prices rising more than four times the rate of inflation and individual books costing $100-200 a piece. This webinar will delve into the issues behind the high cost of textbooks and how open education is gaining momentum as a solution, incorporating the latest research and success stories from across the country.

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  • Although the problem has continued to grow worse and worse, it’s actually starting to get better in the short term because students have more ways to save.
  • • Open textbooks are like traditional textbooks in many ways. • They are written by experts and reviewed, same kind of material. • Hard copies are even sold in bookstores.


  • 1. Open Education and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis Open Education Week March 2012 • #openeducationwk Nicole Allen The Student PIRGs www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks nicole@studentpirgs.org twitter @txtbks studentpirgs.org
  • 2. “Student loan debtoutpaced credit card debtfor the first time last yearand is likely to top a trilliondollars this year.” studentpirgs.org
  • 3. Textbookscost HOWmuch??? studentpirgs.org
  • 4. PopularCalculusTextbook studentpirgs.org
  • 5. PopularPhysicsTextbook studentpirgs.org
  • 6. PopularEcon 101Textbook studentpirgs.org
  • 7. The current system is broken studentpirgs.org
  • 8. Course materialsand supplies cost $1168 per year - College Board studentpirgs.org
  • 9. Textbooks vs. Inflation Prices are rising 4 times250%200% Textbooks150%100% 50% Inflation inflation - Student PIRGs 0% 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009 studentpirgs.org
  • 10. 26% of tuition@ public 4-year72% of tuition@ comm. College - GAO studentpirgs.org
  • 11. 7 in 10students surveyedhadn’t bought arequired text dueto cost - Student PIRGs studentpirgs.org
  • 12. Publisher Practices 6th Edition $224.95 used 5th edition $81.78 studentpirgs.org
  • 13. Publisher Practices Statistics with CengageNOW Personal Tutor CD, Student Study Guide, InfoTrac 2- Semester Printed Access Card $213.95 studentpirgs.org
  • 14. Publisher Practices only $142.95 studentpirgs.org
  • 15. Publisher Practices studentpirgs.org
  • 16. Market Failure studentpirgs.org
  • 17. Normal Market Producer Consumer studentpirgs.org
  • 18. Market Failure PublisherStudent Professor studentpirgs.org
  • 19. Another Market Failure Rx Drug CompanyPatient Doctor studentpirgs.org
  • 20. “More ways to save than ever before” studentpirgs.org
  • 21. Used Books• 75% the new cost in the bookstore• 60% of the new cost online• Buy from from friends, classmate s studentpirgs.org
  • 22. Renting• 40% of the new cost per semester• Online or on campus (new)• Up-front savings, no buyback blues studentpirgs.org
  • 23. E-Books• 50% of the new cost (in print)• Usually a 180-day subscription• Some limits on printing and access studentpirgs.org
  • 24. E-Readers• Many different devices available• Cost $379- $1000+• Additional cost for content studentpirgs.org
  • 25. Average Savings E-Readers 39% E-Books 52% Rentals 61% Used Books 25%Source: www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks/research studentpirgs.org
  • 26. Student Preferences 25% 34% Prefer Rent All digital 66% 75% Keep Some Prefer printSource: www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks/research studentpirgs.org
  • 27. Maximum Savings Rentals 33% E-Books 8%E-Readers 1%Source: www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks/research studentpirgs.org
  • 28. We can do better than that. studentpirgs.org
  • 29. OpenOEducationalEResourcesR studentpirgs.org
  • 30. “Educational materialsoffered under a license allowing the public to freely use, adapt anddistribute the content” studentpirgs.org
  • 31. Homework OER Textbooks studentpirgs.org
  • 32. What does “open” actually mean? studentpirgs.org
  • 33. Open Licensing Standard Open Public DomainAll Rights Some Rights No RightsReserved Reserved Reserved studentpirgs.org
  • 34. Open LicensingRights: Conditions:• Freely use the • All: Credit the author work • Some: Share under• Adapt, remix, revis same license e the content • Some: Use must be• Create and not for profit distribute copies studentpirgs.org
  • 35. Open LicensingSystem of standardized open licenses www.creativecommons.org Attribution Attribution No Derivs (BY) (BY-ND) Attribution Share-Alike Attribution Non- (BY-SA) Commercial (BY-NC) Attribution Non- Attribution Non- Commercial Share-Alike Commercial No Derivs (BY-NC-SA) (BY-NC-ND) studentpirgs.org
  • 36. Open Textbooks studentpirgs.org
  • 37. Open Physics TextbookOpenStaxCollege.org studentpirgs.org
  • 38. Open Calculus TextbookOpenTextBookStore.org studentpirgs.org
  • 39. OpenEcon 101 TextbookFlatWorldKnowledge.com $35 pdf studentpirgs.org
  • 40. Open TextbooksCriteria 1: Quality• Covers similar content, with exercises and illustrations• Written and reviewed by experts• Used at Harvard, Caltech, UCLA… studentpirgs.org
  • 41. Open TextbooksCriteria 2: Cost• Freely available online to everyone• Downloadable and printable at a low cost• Hard copies typically cost $20-40 and can be sold at the bookstore studentpirgs.org
  • 42. Open TextbooksCriteria 3: Fit• Open license allows instructors to adapt the text to fit the class• Update in real time (but no unnecessary new editions) studentpirgs.org
  • 43. Maximum SavingsOpen Textbooks 80% Rentals 33% E-Books 8% E-Readers 1%Source: www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks/research studentpirgs.org
  • 44. Savings from switching to open textbooks. Physics Calculus Economics 185 Students 150 Students 90 Students $24,575 $20,115 $10,114 4 Years Tuition Down Payment $75,000 401(k) At Iowa State On First Home after 40 yearsSource: www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks/research studentpirgs.org
  • 45. PublisherStudent Professor studentpirgs.org
  • 46. PublisherStudent Professor studentpirgs.org
  • 47. What’s the catch? studentpirgs.org
  • 48. What’s the catch? There isn’t one.** Obviously there are still some challenges. studentpirgs.org
  • 49. OER ModelsIndividuals• Wider distribution of work Robert Beezer• Sabbatical projects “The world didn’t need another linear algebra book. It needed a free• Personal motivation one.” linear.ups.edu studentpirgs.org
  • 50. OER ModelsInstitutions• Pool resources with Community College other colleges with Consortium for OER similar needs More than 200 colleges working to review,• Provide support to create and promote OER. faculty who use OER oerconsortium.org• Pass OER policies studentpirgs.org
  • 51. OER ModelsInstitutions• Pool resources with University of Minnesota other colleges with Creating an online similar needs catalog of reviewed open textbooks, and• Provide support to providing support to faculty faculty who use OER open.umn.edu• Pass OER policies studentpirgs.org
  • 52. OER ModelsInstitutions• Pool resources with UMASS Amherst other colleges with Libraries similar needs Provided small grants to faculty to help• Provide support to transition to OER, saved students $72,000 faculty who use OER per year! open.umn.edu• Pass OER policies studentpirgs.org
  • 53. OER ModelsFoundations• Grants or prizes to OER authors• Support the development of sustainable models studentpirgs.org
  • 54. OER ModelsGovernment• Invest in “generic” WA recently launched OER content that OER library for its 81 can be localized largest courses. The 1st year will save• Require open license students $1.3 million. for all taxpayer opencourselibrary.org funded resources studentpirgs.org
  • 55. OER ModelsGovernment• Invest in “generic” US Dept. of Labor OER content that created $2 billion can be localized grant program to improve job training.• Require open license The first wave of for all taxpayer grants required a CC BY license on all funded resources materials created. studentpirgs.org
  • 56. OER ModelsPublishers• Lots of room for Non-profit publishing improvement on effort (Rice Univ.) traditional model Grant funding and support from for-• Business models profit partners. built around books OpenStaxCollege.org rather than on them studentpirgs.org
  • 57. OER ModelsPublishers• Lots of room for Commercial open improvement on textbook publisher traditional model Revenue (incl. royalties) from• Business models selling optional print copies, study aids. built around books rather than on them flatworldknowledge.com studentpirgs.org
  • 58. Student PIRGscampaign 2003-2012 studentpirgs.org
  • 59. Exposing the ProblemCampaign Activities• 8 studies on various elements of the issue• 1,000+ media hits over the last 8 years• Congressional investigation studentpirgs.org
  • 60. Organizing FacultyCampaign Activities• 700 prof letter on new editions• UCLA math dept negotiated 25% cut• 23-campus Calstate faculty resolution studentpirgs.org
  • 61. Price Disclosure LawsCampaign Activities• Passed laws in WA, OR, CT, AZ, CA (sort of)• Passed federal law in 2008, took effect Jul 1, 2010 studentpirgs.org
  • 62. Price Disclosure Laws Higher Education Opportunity Act • Publishers must disclose prices to professors • Publishers must offer books unbundled • Colleges must list books during registration studentpirgs.org
  • 63. Promote AlternativesCampaign Activities• 3,000 profs signed statement endorsing open textbooks• Student “marketing” force met with over 2,000 professors• Open textbook catalog studentpirgs.org
  • 64. studentpirgs.org
  • 65. Questions/Discussion studentpirgs.org
  • 66. Open Education and Solving the Textbook Cost Crisis Open Education Week March 2012 • #openeducationwk Nicole Allen The Student PIRGs www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks nicole@studentpirgs.org twitter @txtbks studentpirgs.org