College textbooks cost too much. If you’ve watched the news or read a newspaper in the past few years, you are aware of this. If you are the parent of a college student, or a college student yourself, you, and your wallet, know this firsthand. The soaring cost of college textbooks is well-documented. Since 2006, the prices of college textbooks have increased […]
The Textbook Costs and Digital Learning Resources (TCDLR) Committee released this final report a few weeks ago at the last meeting of the Reengineering Task Force. I co-chaired the committee with the wonderful Dr. Mark Estepp, President of Southwest Virginia Community College. The committee was charged with the following tasks:
- examine VCCS administrative practices and policies that unnecessarily add to the cost of academic textbooks,
- explore how networked digital technology can best be leveraged to lower the overall cost of textbooks, including using open educational resources,
- investigate ways which currently licensed electronic resources can be used in electronic “course packs,” as a substitute for textbooks, or for the supplementary material often required for a course of study,
- identify opportunities for interested VCCS faculty to explore using openly licensed resources in their courses,
- examine the current relevance of printed textbooks in an age of interactive, web-based content, digital publishing, and
- recommend strategies and policies for creating an institutional culture that embraces and practices openness, transparency, collaboration, and sharing.
The report contains a number of recommendations for lowering the cost of course materials across the VCCS. I am really proud of what this group accomplished, much of it before the release of this report, including the 17 college VCCS Collaborative Bookstore contract with Follett to textbook reduction metrics in the annual evaluations of VCCS presidents. In fact, in many ways the final report is a bit anti-climactic.
Still, you should red it. You can read or download a copy of the report below: