May 16, 2022

OER: OpenStax is Celebrating a Decade of Free Textbooks By Releasing Ten New Titles This Year

From OpenStax/Rice University:

OpenStax, Rice University’s educational technology initiative, is celebrating 10 years of publishing free, open textbooks by releasing 10 new titles this year.

Since publishing its first textbook in 2012, OpenStax has partnered with more than 60 educational technology providers to support educators across disciplines with their teaching needs. Its open educational resources (OER) have saved more than 22 million students an estimated $1.7 billion.

OpenStax recently expanded its textbook offerings and has several more books in development. The latest publications are Introduction to Anthropology and the Writing Guide with Handbook for English composition courses – bringing the current total count to 50. Upcoming topics include finance, political science, computer applications, contemporary math and world history.

Rice Professor Richard Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax, and his team have worked with OER for over a decade, beginning with Connexions, a repository for openly licensed educational materials founded in 1999, before the effort evolved into OpenStax upon the publication of its first OER textbooks in 2012.

“When we decided to start publishing open textbooks, the landscape looked very different,” Baraniuk said. “Students were spending upwards of $300 for a single introductory physics textbook, and faculty didn’t have a lot of options or flexibility. In the years since, prices for educational materials have finally started to drop, which has been attributed to OpenStax and the larger OER movement, and educators have access to a wider array of resources.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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