Open Educational Resources (OER)

Textbooks - The problem defined

The escalating costs of textbooks

The average cost of college textbooks has risen four times faster than the rate of inflation over the past 10 years. That has caused 65 percent of students to skip buying required texts at some point in their college career because of a lack of affordability. (Kristoff, 2018)

Relative to the consumer price index,  in real terms college textbook prices have increased by 90% while recreational book prices have fallen by more than 35%. (Perry, 2016)

CPI - college textbooks versus recreational books 

The high cost of textbooks is negatively impacting student access, success, and completion. According to a 2016 study, 66.6% of respondents did not purchase the required textbook, leading to 37.6% earning a poor grade and 19.8% failing a course. Due to the high cost associated with textbooks, students reported that they occasionally or frequently take fewer courses (47.6%); do not register for a course (45.5%); drop a course (26.1%), or withdraw from courses (20.7%). (Florida Virtual Campus, 2016)

Textbooks - Solutions from the Regis Library

The Regis Library is often able to provide institutional access to appropriate materials for use as required readings in university courses. While materials in the library's collections are not free and typically are protected by copyright, it may be that the library has secured the necessary permissions to distribute and share the work widely.The library works with a multitude of publishers and information vendors to secure access to materials under varying licenses. This results in a wide spectrum of use case scenarios and potential restrictions toward access, particularly with regards to electronic books in our collection.  When searching the library's collections for works suitable for use as course textbooks, we advise course developers consult with a librarian in advance to determine if a specific work in our collection (more specifically, the means and level of access to the work) is appropriate for the intended use. 

Textbooks - OER solutions

A growing body of literature is emerging that demonstrates adoption and use of OER textbooks and instructional materials can reduce costs, support learning objectives, and positively impact student achievement, retention, and degree completion.(Jhangiani, Dastur, Farhad, Le Grand & Penner, 2016; Piña & Moran, 2018, Hilton, 2016; Winitzky-Stephens & Pickavance, 2017)