In a press release (pdf) issued yesterday, the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) announced the completion of the second group of the 81 highest-enrollment college courses. Available as open education resources (OER), these courses and their constituent materials are built for re-use and sharing, in and out of the classroom. Indeed, the Saylor Foundation adapted a number of courses from SBCTC’s “Phase I” group of 41 in an early partnership for the Foundation.
An updated white paper from the “Make Textbooks Affordable” campaign from Student PIRGs lays bare the savings:
- Savings to students to date: $5.5 million ($2.8 million in the 2012-2013 academic year)
- Washington State investment in courses: $1.8 million
- Average textbook savings per course, per student: $96
- Average materials cost per course, per student: $12
In short, the numbers appear to add up: a small investment in materials results in disproportionate savings for students; the savings-to-cost ratio will continue to rise with increased adoptions of these courses and learning materials.