Face to Face with Free and Open Materials

or, The Economics of Individual Non-purchasing Decisions

Undeniably clever titling aside, the news is this: Peter Tsigaris, Associate Professor of Economics at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia (who, disclaimer, also happens to consult for us), is using Saylor.org materials next term to support his Introductory Microeconomics course.

“I did not order a textbook for the course, saving my students at least 120 dollars for a popular, new-edition book,” says Dr. Tsigaris. “We will use the Saylor online open access material instead! My lectures will complement the information…[W]e can have more class interaction and use many more classroom experiments to illustrate the theory.”

This is a perfect illustration of the way that free/open courses and materials can go a long way toward supporting traditional institutions, educators, and students, as well as those on a less-traditional path.

It’s also the kind of practical, small-group, face-to-face experimentation we love to see with Open Educational Resources! Although we often speak of “OER” and “online” in the same breath, the benefits scale down just as well as they scale up.

Teachers, students: How are you using free and open resources in the classroom or in your studies? What experiments are playing out in the halls of Academe? We’d love to hear your stories!

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