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Affordable and open textbooks: An exploratory study of faculty attitudes
Harley, Diane · Lawrence, Shannon · Acord, Sophia Krzys · Dixson, Jason

PublishedOctober 2009
JournalCalifornia Journal of Politics and Policy
Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 1–21

The textbook industry is in significant flux fueled by evolving technologies, increased availability of online open content and curricula, active used textbook markets, and a rash of textbook rental start-ups, just to name a few of the factors at play. Open Educational Resources (OERs)—materials distributed for no or minimal cost—may have become commonplace enough that a credible infrastructure for open textbooks, one that mainstream faculty would accept, can be imagined. Our research explored faculty perceptions and found that any discussion of textbook affordability solutions must take into account that most faculty are independent decision makers when choosing a text or other curricular materials. Students represent a plethora of learning backgrounds and goals and want flexibility and choice. Purely electronic solutions will not be universally embraced in the near term. Students need the safety net of a printed text and the positive pedagogical practice of engaging with the text by "writing in the margins." Even if there were a wider array of high-quality open textbooks available, they will likely be only one of many players in the market.

Keywords Joint Task Force on Textbook and Reader Affordability · policy · research · Student PIRGs · textbooks

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