NDUS Open Textbook Institute steps toward free textbooks
Posted on 10/7/2015
VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- An event is underway that is packing a lot of potential into a short timeframe. Faculty, staff, librarians and technologists have come together for the Open Textbook Institute at Valley City State University Oct. 6-8 to hear from experts on the topic of OER and its associated textbooks and how it could have the potential to impact North Dakota students.
Tanya Spilovoy, Ed.D., director of distance education and state authorization for the North Dakota University System, has been a top proponent of OER in the state since 2013. Her efforts helped shaped lawmakers' perspectives on the topic during the last legislative session, and Spilovoy expanded her knowledge base at the Open Textbook Network Summer Institute earlier this year.
"Open textbooks have the potential to lower certain costs for NDUS students," Spilovoy said. "The ND University System has joined the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Network, which consists of more than 75 institutions. The Open Textbook Library at the U-M houses a collection of free textbooks that are both openly-licensed and peer-reviewed. Faculty there have saved more than $500,000 in textbook costs for students."
This week's event is focused on high-enrollment, high-textbook courses to facilitate the largest impact. Spilovoy noted that the aim of the effort is to try and save students money, not to save on operating costs for institutions.
The NDUS is providing this training and associated resources to institutions can have the tools necessary to take ownership of the project in the long-term. The effort is in line with House Concurrent Resolutions from the 2013 session and will provide the tools for institutions to implement free, openly-licensed textbooks and resources.