California Legislation for Open Source Textbooks
Legislation is in the California Senate committee planning to make a digital library for California public colleges. It will create a web resource housing open source instructional resources. Opensource materials are printed under open licenses and can therefore be distributed online at minimum cost.
These resources would be primarily based on the results of a California Open Education Resources Council, a council that would determine the 50 most broadly taken lower division courses and then approve the opensource materials created for those classes. Though the bill did not state how the council would go about deciding which classes to include, and though the focus of classes is very different from college to college, the library is still a positive effort to provide inexpensive materials to all California public establishments.
This legislation, if moved out of committee and passed, would permit academic materials to be more widely disseminated across the California public education system. More importantly it should ease the financial stress on scholars who pay tons of dollars each semester for college books.
The council hopes to answer worries about the standard of open source textbooks. In addition, changing to opensource materials could be a hassle for some professors but this digital open source library will help in relieving one of the most important financial tensions students face.
Beyond simply selecting which courses to provide open-source texts for, the council would create a system allowing publishers and faculty members to apply for funds to author these digital textbooks and other educational materials for the library to disseminate. By having faculty members from the schools work directly in the formulation of these textbooks, the high quality of materials used in college classes would be better maintained. Professors may be compensated for their work, but with the new library system, scholars will not have to pay the premium price that they now do.
Mr. Bob Jones has been working to help scholars find the least expensive college textbooks for over 10 years. For additional information or examples of how a textbook comparison site works visit Bob’s website at www.cheaptextbooks.us.