Technology can help people do amazing things. OpenStax College is one of those amazing things. Haven’t heard of it? OpenStax is a nonprofit organization founded at Rice University and supported by some big foundations (ex. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), that creates peer reviewed, high quality introductory textbooks and provides them online free of charge. To anyone. For free. Faculty who select OpenStax titles can also customize them to fit their specific needs. If students prefer a print copy, they can still purchase print copies for a small fraction of what other textbooks cost. Read a Chronicle article about this endeavor, or visit the OpenStax College page for faculty.
We anticipate more conversation surrounding the high cost of textbooks. Just recently two U.S. Senators introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act which aims to encourage the creation of free and low-cost textbooks.