Students, professors laud $30 textbooks

Students were more willing to highlight and take notes in the margins of books they bought through the state’s OCL, said Michael Kenyon, math department coordinator at Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash.

“They make much more extensive use of the textbook as a vehicle to improve their learning,” Kenyon said. “They wouldn’t do in a more expensive book because they’re worried about resale value.”

Selling textbooks back to the campus bookstore, Cassels said, barely puts a dent in her yearly book costs.

“You can hardly get anything back,” she said.

Libraries of open college material on the web will grow in the next decade, building onto programs like Washington state’s OCL, open textbook advocates said.

“They’re only going to get better from here,” said Nicole Allen, a spokeswoman for Student PIRGs, “rather than transitioning to another model where publishers can continue ripping students off.”

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