A sampling of free, online textbooks through OpenStax.

Millersville University recently announced that it is one of 11 schools chosen to participate in the 2019-2020 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Program to encourage the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks on campus.

“The cost of textbooks has been skyrocketing for years, creating a barrier to student success in the classroom,” says Dr. Daniel Wubah, president of Millersville University. “Our Open Educational Resources (OER) working group at Millersville is focused on eliminating that barrier by encouraging faculty members to participate in the Open Textbook Initiative. This partnership with OpenStax gives us another tool to support our students by decreasing costs and to support faculty as they adopt and use the digital materials.”

Millersville University was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax after a rigorous application process that included demonstrating a willingness to drive adoption of OER. Institutional partners will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of schools advocating widespread use of OER at their schools. On average, the institutions who join as institutional partners increase the number of students impacted by OER by 158% after completing the first year of the program. To date, the program has resulted in $19.6 million dollars of additional student savings from OER.

Dr. Dan Albert, assistant professor of chemistry, OER adopter and OpenStax Partner Lead says “We are excited to partner with OpenStax to further promote the use of freely available OER textbooks and materials at Millersville.  The potential of OER to not only lessen the burden of textbook costs but also increase equitable access to high-quality learning materials is an important part of helping our students achieve success.”

Open educational resources, including the free, peer-reviewed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. According to the 2017 Babson Survey, open resources are growing in popularity – almost 50% of faculty reported that they are aware of OER, and OpenStax textbooks are being adopted in introductory courses at rates that rival traditional books.

For more information on Millersville University’s open educational resource initiative, visit https://www.millersville.edu/cae/open_textbook_initiative.php.

About Millersville University:
Millersville University of Pennsylvania is a top-ranked, public university located in the northeast region of the United States. It is committed to offering students a high quality, comprehensive university experience of exceptional value. Dedicated to providing nationally recognized programs that embrace the liberal arts, Millersville offers academic opportunities that are supported by outstanding faculty who are accomplished scholars and practitioners. Founded in 1855 as the first Normal School in Pennsylvania, Millersville University is one of 14 universities within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

About OpenStax:
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free, high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks and affordable educational technology designed to improve learning outcomes. For more information, visit OpenStax.org.

 

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