In anticipation of Open Education Week, the DePaul University Library is highlighting a number of steps we are taking to promote awareness of, and engagement with, open access scholarly content and open educational materials. Prominent among these is our advocacy for open textbook adoption. On March 6th, we will host a panel discussion in the John T. Richardson Library for faculty, administrators and staff on the subject of open textbook adoption.
In terms of the student experience, one of the most influential components of the open access and open education movement is the increasing creation and adoption of high-quality open textbooks, defined by the Open Textbook Library as a textbook that “has an open license that makes it free for anyone to use and change [that] can be print or digital.” Open textbooks are rapidly gaining interest largely in response to increasing textbook costs, as the College Board estimates that the average four-year private undergraduate student spent over $1,220 this academic year on textbooks and supplies, with the average cost of a new textbook having increased nearly 40% in the past four academic years. Of course, these rapidly rising costs can negatively impact student academic success and quality of life, as the student struggles to gain access (by paying the full cost, splitting a book with classmates, or engaging in other time- and effort-consuming workarounds) to the materials required to succeed in their classes.
In order to promote the use of open textbook resources at DePaul, our panel discussion on March 6th will combine the perspectives of:
- Pablo Gomez, a DePaul psychology professor who has successfully adopted an open textbook into his class;
- Chris Diaz, Northwestern University’s Scholarly Publishing Librarian and the editor of two monographs that discuss the intersection of textbook affordability and academic libraries: Textbooks in Academic Libraries: Selection, Circulation, and Assessment and Affordable Course Materials: Electronic Textbooks and Open Educational Resources;
- Joshua Kaufman, a Student Government Association member especially interested in issues of education affordability; and
- Scott Walter, DePaul’s University Librarian, who will be moderating the discussion.
The event will occur in the John T. Richardson Library, Room 115 from 11:30-1:00 pm with pizza available at 11:30 and the discussion beginning at noon.