We want to share some great news out of San Antonio, Texas. Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo College family, has adopted an openly licensed textbook that was originally published as part of our Open Textbook Challenge. Professor John Dunn, who serves as Department Chair, informed us that a faculty review committee officially adopted Information Systems for Business and Beyond by David T. Bourgeois, Ph.D., as the primary source for theory information in the college’s introductory computer courses (COSC1301, BCIS1305, and ITSC1301) and one upper level course (ITSC1309) starting in fall of 2015 and continuing for at least the next two years.
Palo Alto fills multiple sections of the courses per semester, and counting summer offerings, the text will be used by 2,250 students over the initial adoption period. The open text will replace a legacy textbook priced at over $100 per book, pushing the projected savings to eclipse $225,000.
“This is an exciting development and a big vote of confidence for open textbooks. Let’s hope that this encourages other authors to develop open resources,” says textbook author Dr. David Bourgeois, Associate Professor of Information Systems in the Crowell School of Business at Biola University. In addition to authoring the text, Professor Bourgeois also utilizes the text at Biola with around 180 students per year, for the last two years, who are also saving $100+ per text.
We are of course equally excited about this and other OER adoptions around the country. A growing number of free, faculty created and reviewed textbooks, are available for use on our site and from other terrific providers like OpenStax. If each college adopted just one book the savings would be quite significant. However, now several years into the OER movement, there is no reason why each college cannot adopt multiple free textbooks and save students staggering amounts of money, easily reaching $1 billion dollars in savings. The resources are available now to reach that milestone. Colleges and faculty simply need to make the decision and follow the lead set by Palo Alto, Biola, and others. The reasons not to make the change no longer add up.