Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How Can Professors Lower the Cost of Textbooks?


We're often asked how professors can lower the cost of the course packs they create and the textbooks they use (besides the obvious, which is, of course, using AcademicPub) so we've come up with a handy guide:



Avoid Unnecessary Bundles

Bundling, the practice of including often unneeded materials (such as access codes, CDs, and other supplements) can significantly increase prices, try to avoid these whenever possible and only stick to necessary supplements.

Use OER Content

Benefits – Free, customizable, great for introductory level courses.
Cons – Not always vetted, not yet enough out there often tough to find advanced materials.

Allow for Digital Delivery Options

Using e-books can save lots of money over print editions. This is mainly because of the lack of printing costs and dynamic delivery options.

Educators should remember, though, that not all students are ready to fully give up on print, and given the price of tablets and other e-reading devices, it’s good to make sure there’s a paper option too.

Only Use the Content Needed

Teachers shouldn’t assign an entire textbook if only three chapters are needed!  If professors are using chapters from multiple books, they shouldn’t assign every book, instead, they should consider:

Mixing and Matching

Picking the right content from multiple sources can ensure lower costs for students. Instead of choosing or building a textbook dependent on using only copyrighted or open content, educators should consider a book that has a mixture, using traditionally vetted content where necessary and open content where appropriate.

So, hey, Professor, take articles and chapters from multiple sources while cutting out the filler, your students will thank you.


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