Colorado looks at open source materials to cut textbook cost

Author: Associated Press - September 1, 2017 - Updated: September 1, 2017

textbooks(Photoi by Mark Reis/Colorado “Springs Gazette file photo)

A recently created council in Colorado is looking at how the state’s public colleges and universities might take advantage of open educational resource materials to address the high cost of textbooks.

Open educational resources are free to use or released under a license that allows free use.

The 2017 Legislature created the Open Educational Resources Council. Members are charged with overseeing a review of the extent to which public colleges use open educational resources and recommend ways their use might be increased.

The 14-member council is also asked to identify open educational materials that could be used by colleges and create a digital repository.

Mary Shinn of the Durango Herald reports the council must report its findings to legislative committees Nov. 20.

Finding quality open educational resources is one of the main challenges for faculty members, and a repository could help Fort Lewis College staff, said Barbara Morris, FLC’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

“I’m really very excited about the collaboration at the state level. I think it will be very useful to the faculty,” she said.

The college’s bookstore and library staff can help faculty members find free sources for classes currently, she said.

FLC students should expect to pay $1,250 each year for books and supplies, according to the school’s website.

Associated Press