OpenStax College will provide more than 1 million students a free textbook

openstax-college-textbookThis fall, over 1 million students will have access to the free textbook, Principles of Economics, provided by OpenStax College.

Founded in 2012, OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization developed by Rice University and supported by numerous foundations, which provides free textbooks and learning materials.

The organization has produced six textbooks that have been downloaded over 480,000 times, estimating students have saved about $8 million.

The organization, which has been adopted by hundreds of educational institutions, works with educators to write and peer-review each textbook.

(Next page: Why OpenStax is expanding)

“We are expanding our library now because the need has never been greater,” said spokesman David Harris. The issue of affordable textbooks is a reality that forces students to make hard choices. “Student debt now surpasses $1 trillion, seven out of ten college students are choosing not to purchase texts, and the costs of texts, including economics, are now well above $200.”

“Our goal was to create a text that balanced these perspectives and allow students to make their own informed decisions about macro and microeconomic issues,” Mr. Harris continued, “This took a great deal of collaboration with reviewers and editors around the country.”

Principles of Economics is a 39 chapter textbook intended for two semesters. Topics include basic concepts such as demand and supply, financial markets, and current events from the great recession to the Affordable Care Act. Students can download digital copies or order print versions.

OpenStax College offers supporting materials to accompany the textbook. Educators can download an instructor’s manual and PowerPoint slides. The organization also partnered with Sapling Learning and Wiley to develop online homework problems and tests for students.

One challenge for the new organization has been reaching its market, Mr. Harris said. “However, the reception to the text has been terrific and the community is certainly spreading the word. In addition, we plan to attend economics conferences and partner with organizations who can get the word out.”

OpenStax College plans to release additional free textbooks later this year, including content on chemistry, psychology, pre-calculus and U. S. History.

Learn more about OpenStax College here https://openstaxcollege.org

Jaccii Barmer is an editorial intern at eCampus News.


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