Open Educational Resources Community of Learning

Module 5: OER at Texas State: Managing Textbook Costs Committee

Managing Textbook Costs Committee

In 2019, Texas State established the Managing Textbook Costs Committee. Composed of students, faculty, and staff the committee charged itself with studying the wide array of affordable learning materials activity. They surveyed faculty and students, conducted literature reviews, and explored best practices and various approaches for adopting affordable learning initiatives and engaging faculty and students on the affordability of learning materials at large.


Affordable Learning and Managing Textbook Costs versus Open Education Resources

The committee started with a "managing textbook costs" charge, but early on they discussed how other factors - online lab notebooks, homework environments, supplementary reading, and more - all contribute to the overall cost of learning materials for students. So the committee broadened their charge to "affordable learning materials."

The terms are not delineated from each other but are instead differing levels of concern within the same area, from OER as the most specific to affordable learning materials as the most broad.

  • Leveraging Open Education Resources is one specific way to manage textbook costs and impact the affordability of learning materials, though there are other ways to do both.
  • Managing the cost of textbooks is only one way to impact the affordability of learning materials for students, and not all ways of managing textbook costs use OER. For example, you can assign readings owned by the library which are not licensed as OER but are available at no cost to students.
  • Lastly, you can impact the overall affordability of learning materials without changing the cost of textbooks or using OER. For example, you can commit to not using any homework environments or online resources for which students would have to pay. 

The committee chose to focus on the largest level of concern so as to allow for the widest array of choices for faculty to impact student costs, and to allow for the highest impact on managing the overall cost of learning.


Year One Report

Read the First Year Report on the library's institutional repository.