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Using open source or open access textbooks to reduce costs.

Open Access texts from Creative commons license texts for free use.

With the ever increasing college costs, a lot of which are text book costs, a new way has to be found to reduce these costs. Many book publishers are now developing ebooks but these are not open source too and are almost as costly as the print editions and cannot be resold, shared or even distributed for free once bought.

Open access books are helping resolve some of these problems. Open access does not mean that there is no cost to obtaining these books, but they should be cheaper and more readily available than other traditionally published books.

Some colleges and schools try to reduce cost of textbooks to students by requiting teachers to choose a text early so that students can shop around for cheaper texts, especially on the internet like from amazon.com.

Some entrepreneurs have also developed a textbook rental program where students can rent a text at reduced cost for the semester instead of buying it outright if they only need it for one semester. There are also e-textbook rental service available.

Other colleges have adopted textbook buy-back programs so that students can sell the texts that they don't need any more.

Most students want to textbooks on an unlimited basis from multiple devices, have option for an affordable print edition and also be able to self print one from the electronic devices.

Open Access Textbook is a new idea that can help reduce the cost of textbooks to students. Authors don't have to write a book from scratch and go into great effort doing that. They can revise an old text existing under Creative Commons License to meet his or her needs for a specific use. The author will then determine when and if the book needs to be updated and what is appropriate for the students using that book.

The text under Creative commons license an even be pulled entirely into a Learning Management System (LMS) and the author can add other instructional materials like videos and tutorials that are appropriate and useful for the specific students the text is aimed at.

The Authors work is then shared in the Open Access Environment and this improves online teaching by designing the book to fit the course and not making the course fit the book. The sharing through Learning Management System (LMS) makes it more accessible and cheap or free for students.

Since the book is open access, it can be used an indefinite number of times on different devices and by many people. This will help a lot in reducing the cost burdens that students have to bear when buying text books.


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