Two more math classes will be using Open Education Resources, or free digital textbooks, at Lane’s main campus.
The move towards OER stems from the high cost of textbooks. According to College Board, a website geared toward undergraduate student success, almost 40 percent of tuition at a two year community college is spent on textbooks. OER provides resources that are largely accessible, openly licensed documents, therefore they are able to be shared for free as an alternative to expensive course material.
Lane is one of many schools making the switch to OER. Some argue that OER fails to globally connect students to the same resources. Supporters argue that OER gives students a larger database with which to find course-specific information.
Lane has a total of 63 classes currently offering OER curriculum, including five math courses. Other classes using this new format include music, acting, writing and economics, among others.
The new math classes will include timed quizzes on Moodle, and homework taken out of a free e-book that can be printed for around $7. Most actual math books for normal college courses could cost anywhere between $150 to $250.
Due to heavy demand these classes tend to fill up fast. The list of OER classes can be found on Lane’s website.