News

OU pushes online material as textbook alternative

From staff and wire reports
June 19th, 2013

Some college students go without required textbooks.

Students are saving money on textbooks because of a program that puts more college course material online, according to University of Oklahoma officials.

The first year of the Textbook Alternatives Initiatives has saved students about 25 percent of the typical $1,400 yearly cost of textbooks, according to OU President David Boren’s office, a cost that Vice Provost Kyle Harper said is often too high.

“The price of textbooks in many cases is absurd, and the value added by new editions and other ways that publishers find to make students buy books doesn’t add that value that would justify that cost that they ask,” Harper told the Tulsa World.

The push to put more material online came after a study found that up to 70 percent of OU students aren’t buying books because of the cost, which associate chemistry professor Mark Morvant said is rising about 8 percent a year.

Morvant, who is also the executive director of the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence, is leading the online effort. Morvant said he was shocked to find out that a new textbook for one of his organic chemistry classes costs $252, and that many students weren’t buying it because of the high price.

“My students couldn’t afford it,” he said. “I was quite upset.”

In general, OU faculty members have been open to the idea of going online, he said.


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