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Libraries to host workshop focused on lowering textbook costs

WVU downtown library

Are you an instructor who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs for your students’ academic success? WVU Libraries will host an Open Textbook Workshop and Textbook Review March 4 at 10 a.m. to help instructors explore possible open textbook solutions to this growing financial issue. The one-hour virtual session will help instructors learn more about what open textbooks are available in their field and how to incorporate them into their curriculum. WVU librarians Hilary Fredette and Martha Yancey will lead the workshop. 

Over the past few years, 60% of students surveyed said they delayed purchasing textbooks until they received their financial aid and 70% chose not purchased a required textbook because of cost, according to the Open Education Network, a group that studies how the high cost of course materials impede students’ academic success. 

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide faculty with content that can be customized for their course. Open textbooks are complete and authoritative, adopted by many faculty across the country and licensed to be freely used, edited and distributed.

Also, during the pandemic, Open Education Resources can provide access to learning materials and eliminate roadblocks for students.

“Please remember that students may be experiencing greater financial stress than usual if they’re not able to work due to the coronavirus,” said Martha Yancey, Libraries Open Educational Resources Committee chair. “You might want to consider investing your time in trying resources and tools that will continue to be free to you and your students after the crisis is over.”

After the workshop, there will be an opportunity to write a short review of an open textbook, which will benefit other faculty considering adopting open textbooks. A $200 stipend will be awarded for participation and a written review.

Complete the online application by Feb. 26. Capacity is limited and open textbooks are not available for all subjects. Preference is based on textbook subject availability.

If you have questions about this workshop or open textbooks, contact Yancey at 304-293-5039 or or visit the open textbook webpage.