Textbook Broke

THE CHALLENGE: Cost of Textbooks

Expenses pile up for students. As textbook prices continue to soar, student textbook purchasing is decreasing and we don’t want students to have to choose between doing well in their classes and purchasing textbooks worth hundreds of dollars. So what is your AMS doing about it?

THE SOLUTION: Open Educational Resources (OERs)

The AMS is advocating for the widespread adoption of OERs because they lower barriers to education by being online, freely available, and accessible to anyone. They come in a variety of mediums including open access textbooks, journals, videos, practice sets, and any other course material that can be shared, edited, and redistributed. There are two key benefits to these resources: accessibility and advancement.

Benefits for students: increased accessibility of education

  • Removes financial barriers by replacing expensive textbooks and course resources with free OERs.

Benefits for students and faculty: academic advancement

  • OERs are openly licensed – this means that faculty can continuously modify and keep content updated.
  • Instead of adapting courses around existing resources, OERs can be molded to best fit faculty’s teaching style.
  • Because anyone can edit and distribute open resources, faculty can involve students in the creation and dissemination of knowledge for greater audiences and champion the non-disposable assignment.

How can students get involved?

  • Come see us outside the Bookstore to participate in our #TextbookBrokeBC campaign; check out the AMS Facebook page to keep updated on our events
  • Actually use OERs – you can be the best advocate for these resources by simply using them for your research and to understand your course material better and letting others know about them.
  • Utilize your course evaluations at the end of the semester to let your professors know what you thought about the course materials that they used.

HOW CAN I FIND OERs?

Visit the UBC Open site and check under “Open Textbook Databases”:

  • Find and use Open Educational Resources
  • Learn more about how they’re created

Some examples of UBC courses and departments using open textbooks and OERs (including some OERs developed on campus!):

A few examples of UBC courses using “open pedagogy”:

Students:

  • Come see us outside the Bookstore to participate in our #TextbookBrokeBC campaign; check out the AMS Facebook page to keep updated on our events
  • Actually use OERs – you can be the best advocate for these resources by simply using them for your research and to understand your course material better and letting others know about them.
  • Utilize your course evaluations at the end of the semester to let your professors know what you thought about the course materials that they used.

Want to run or update your own #TextbookBrokeBC campaign?
Contact us at vpacademic@ams.ubc.ca to talk about adapting our campaign materials.