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Session 77: Holy Textbook Prices, Batman! Spring 2015 update

Page history last edited by mary.mcglasson@... 5 years, 9 months ago

Use this link if you missed last week's panel discussion on Textbook Alternatives!

"College textbook prices have increased faster than tuition, health care costs and housing prices..."

- Tyler Kingkade, "College Textbook Prices Increasing Faster Than Tuition And Inflation." The Huffington Post. 1/4/13.

 


 

STRATEGY I: Alternatives to the Traditional Textbook

 

1. OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES (OERs):

"Open Educational Resources are freely accessible, usually openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, educational, assessment and research purposes."

- definition excerpt from Wikipedia

 

OER sources within Canvas:

  • OCW search app
  • MIT Open CourseWare app

 

For more information on Canvas Apps, check out Session 58: There's an App for That! Adding apps from the Canvas App Center is pretty straightforward - here's all you need to do:

  1. Log in to your Canvas course (http://learn.maricopa.edu)
  2. Click the Settings link at the bottom of your COURSE navigation on the left-hand side of the screen. NOTE: the fact that you use COURSE Settings, rather than GLOBAL Settings, indicates that you add apps on a course-by-course basis.
  3. In the Course Settings area, click the "Apps" tab at the top of your screen. 
  4. In the Apps Center, just scroll through and click on the icon of any app you wish to investigate!
  5. When you click on an app icon, you will see a screen with more details about that particular app. If you decide you want to try it, just click the "Add Tool" button.

 

OER sources outside Canvas (this list is by no means exhaustive, so feel free to search further on your own!):

 

  •  

 

Free eBooks (largely, these are "classics" - fiction and nonfiction - where the copyright expired long ago. You may find some current books from folks who want to contribute to the OER movement.)

 

  • Open Library has a large collection; some books can be downloaded and you can keep them, but others are on loan (for two weeks). Upside? It's FREE! IF the textbook that you use is just basic theory that hasn't changed much over the years, this can be a good bridge for students who are tapped out from paying tuition, and can't afford the book right away. Downsides...?
    • The textbooks I found were oooooooold versions (one example I found used the supply of and demand for pagers as an example).
    • The book I looked at was a page-by-page scan of the original physical copy of the book, and a highlighted copy, at that!
    • Need to download Adobe Digital Editions (free download) in order to read the ebook on my computer. This only took a couple of minutes, but it is one more step...

 

  • Internet Archive there are some more recent books here, and you are to choose from either the ePub format (smaller file for downloading, but loses formatting) or the PDF format (larger download file, but keeps formatting).
  • Free Kindle ebooks
  • Project Gutenberg has a more limited collection, and probably the same books you could find elsewhere, but quite a variety of download formats to choose from.
  • ManyBooks also has a relatively slim collection of books, and like Gutenberg press, probably books you could find elsewhere, but in a wide variety of formats.

 

 

Take a look at this PDF if you'd like to see examples from each of these "Free eBooks" sites!

 


 

2. CGCC Library eResource Collection: 

eResources that have been paid for by the college (including electronic versions of books, magazines, and journals), and can be integrated into your courses.

 

Integrating Library eContent  

Pages 2-3 of this handout address the ebook content available through the CGCC Library. IMPORTANT NOTE: this handout shows the steps to integrate eContent so that you or your students will be able to access it even when you are not using a CGC campus networked computer.

 

How do I find the Library eResources?

 

 


 

3. CREATE YOUR OWN MATERIALS!

You know, creating your own materials isn't as hard as it sounds - it's just a matter of finding the right tools for you.

 

eBooks authoring tools:

Here is an eBooks software chart that you may find useful, from Chelsea Stark on Mashable:

 


 

  • iBooks Author - the free software to create the books is Mac only, and the actual interactive book that you produce is currently usable on the iPad only (although I've read rumors that the new Mac operating system will allow these to be used on a Mac computer, as well). However, you can save your book in the more general EPUB format - it will lose the interactivity, but the non-interactive portion of the content will be readable on most devices.

 

 

 

  • SkyReader - although this is for interactive children's books, this cross-platform software looks really interesting!

 

Creating other media:

Here is a sampling of tools across varying artistic and technology comfort levels that we shared in Session 55 (Digital Storytelling):

 

 

TOOLS

 

CONTENT LIBRARY AVAILABLE

 

 

FIND IMAGES ON THE WEB

 

CREATE YOUR OWN ART

 

 

SIMPLE/NOVICE

Storybird: create your own

picture books!

Glogster (there is a free version,

or a paid EDU version): create

electronic posters

Animoto

Photovisi

Fotoflexer

Timeline tools:

Timetoast, Dipity, Capzles

 

Screenchomp (iPad)

 

INTERMEDIATE

VideoScribe

Wideo

Windows MovieMaker

Infographics tools:

infogr.am, Piktochart

 

Windows MovieMaker

 

ADVANCED

 

iMovie

Camtasia

Prezi

iMovie

Camtasia

Prezi

 

CLICK HERE for a Digital Storytelling sample page.

 


 

STRATEGY II: Sources to Help Your Students Find the Best Textbook Deal

 

There may be several book purchase options available for your students, depending on the needs of your class. Communicating the possible options so that you and your students are crystal clear as to what will meet the requirement of the course is very important not only from a teaching standpoint, but it is also FEDERALLY MANDATED!

 

 

The Federal Education Opportunity Act seeks to "[e]nsure that students have access to affordable course materials by decreasing costs to students and enhancing transparency and disclosure with respect to the selection, purchase, sale, and use of course materials."  Primarily this mandate means that we need to provide all of the specifics regarding course materials to students in the schedule when they are registering for classes, information which is typically provided by your academic divisions when the schedules are built. However, there are considerations for you as the instructor:

 

  • Be sure that you are perfectly clear on the options that are open to your students.
  • You cannot require your students to purchase anything extra, or pay any additional fees, that were not published in the class schedule at the time that registration opened. This means no additional software programs, or subscriptions to video sites, or anything of that nature - the full cost of the course MUST be disclosed to the student at the time of registration.
  • Class/course notes may indicate the required books, but may not be up to date or show more than the number of required books. When multiple book options are available for the student to choose from, such as new, used, rental, student editions, etc, it can actually appear to the student as though all of these options are required.
  • STEER CLEAR of situations which represent a conflict of interest! For example, what would you do if you were a student who was forced to purchase the professor's own (for-profit) book/resource materials? Or if you discovered that your instructor required a certain publisher's materials, and worked as a consultant for that publisher on the side?

 

1. IF YOUR STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO GET A BRAND-NEW BOOK or CUSTOM BOOK...

    For example, if the students will need a particular book edition or textbook-specific code to gain access to software that they will be using for the class...

 

Informing your students in the course notes, an email prior to class start, on syllabus, or in Canvas can provide savings and stop inappropriate purchases before semester start.  

 

Consider the following, if you require...

 

BRAND-NEW BOOK CUSTOM BOOK
  • be clear on the title and edition, as ISBNs can vary
  • state if previous editions are acceptable or not
  • state if an etext options is available
  • state if access code/software is needed
  • provide details about the book, i.e. specific course/section number, instructor name, access code, bundle, loose leaf, color, size, etc.
  • be aware that international editions may exist as students may inquire
  • inform students if book is shrink wrapped and opened, returns may not be accepted 
  • be clear on the title, edition and ISBN
  • state if other editions are acceptable or not
  • state if an etext option is available
  • state is an access code/software is needed 
  • provide details about the book, i.e. specific course/section number, instructor name, access code, bundle, loose leaf, color, size, etc.
  • provide purchase location/website
  • can students combine a used book and purchase access code separately
  • inform students if book is shrink wrapped and opened, returns may not be accepted 

 

 

 

2. IF YOUR STUDENTS ARE ABLE TO GET A USED BOOK...

    If a used copy of the book is perfectly fine for your class...

 

THE MARICOPA DISTRICT IS CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED TO FOLLETT, SO YOU MUST LET STUDENTS KNOW THAT THE CAMPUS BOOKSTORE IS A SOURCE FOR TEXTBOOKS - but be aware that students will likely seek out other sources, as well.  The CGCC bookstore carries new, rental (paper and digital) and used textbooks.  On the bookstore website, after selecting course and section, you will find the book options they are currently for sale, along with Follett's pricing information.

 

Students often check eBay and Craigslist for textbooks, so you may get communication from them to verify that they have the correct book.  Additionally, there are several websites that aggregate information of textbook prices from various book sale websites. Aggregators include, new, rental (paper and digital options) and used textbook prices. Cheapest Textbooks and Campus Books both provide this information in an easy readable table format.  You can find other aggregators by searching "textbook aggregator" in your favorite search engine.

 

Consider the following, if a used book is an option...

 

USED BOOK
  • be clear on the title and edition, as ISBNs can vary
  • state if previous editions are acceptable or not
  • state if an etext options is available
  • state if access code/software is needed
  • provide details about the book, i.e. specific course/section number, instructor name, access code, bundle, loose leaf, color, size, etc.
  • can students combine a used book and purchase access code separately 
  • be aware that international editions may exist as students may inquire
  • inform students if book is shrink wrapped and opened, returns may not be accepted

 

 

3. IF YOUR STUDENTS NEED TEMPORARY ACCESS...

    If students just need access until they can get their own copy of the book (often students are strapped for cash as semester start-up)...

 

Did you know that you can leave a copy of the textbook for your course at the Reserve Desk in either of the campus libraries? Materials in RESERVE READING can be checked out with a CGCC ID and typically have 2-hour loan for use IN the Library (cannot leave the premises).

 

The CGCC Pecos and Williams Campus’ Libraries have RESERVE READING collections that contain courtesy copies of textbooks and related texts, typically provided by the instructor (or by the lead faculty for your discipline area).

 


 

Welcome to the Maricopa Millions OER Project | Maricopa Community Colleges

 

DID YOU KNOW... that Maricopa has its own OER Initiative?

Join us for Session#78: OER Roadshow! to learn more, and keep an eye on the Maricopa Millions project!

 


 

 

Click here to complete the workshop evaluation!

 

 

What does Domo eat?

Domo eats any of Mary's baked goods,

and he also eats faculty members who don't give their feedback about the Technology Tuesdays series! ;-)

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