Letter to the Editor: We need to educate faculty about tools that already exist to heighten student quality of life

General Opinion Graphic

Liam Hays-Ekeland

To the editor,

Lots of us students grumble and complain about the cost of textbooks, but few are aware of the solutions to this problem that already exist. I am talking about Open Educational Resources; learning materials that cost a fraction of what traditional textbooks cost. In many cases, the only cost to using these is the paper you will have to print them on. 

Speaking from experience, I can attest to the quality of learning these resources provide students when they are used by professors. I have taken all of my biology courses here at Oregon State with professors who took advantage of open textbooks. The total cost of these course materials amounted to under $50, which is a fraction of the astronomical prices my roommate pays for his physics textbooks. Additionally, these courses offered a curriculum that was designed with Oregon wildlife in mind, which made it exciting and relevant to me as a student. That is why I think that Oregon State should adopt grants that would cover the time and cost for faculty to switch over to using more open textbook resources.

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Students are tired of being taken advantage of by publishing companies. We need to use our voices to educate faculty about tools that already exist to heighten student quality of life.

Liam Hays-Ekeland

Sophomore studying Philosophy