By Candy Ho
We’ve all got at least a few of those past course textbooks that have been collecting dust on our bookshelves or even in our basements; expensive paper weights – in the literal sense.
According to an article written by Max Hill, Features Editor for The Peak student newspaper, an increasing number of today’s students are finding ways to avoid amassing their own textbook collections by not even purchasing them in the first place. The impetus, he claims, is due to the perceived high prices of texts – some of which many students don’t feel will be worth their investment. Instead, he notes that over 50% of SFU’s students are turning online to the ever burgeoning private used/loaned textbook market.
However, Hill argues that a new movement is quickly gaining traction that may even thwart the best efforts of those looking to ‘recycle’ their texts to recoup some funds. Government agencies like BCcampus are “compiling a collection of free and readily available open textbooks designed for classrooms in BC and across Canada” – that’s right; they’re completely free.
From the flexible education perspective, this not only means that faculty members can adopt and adapt open textbooks to suit their courses; but also, students can avoid the “to buy or not to buy” dilemma as they can access open learning resources right from the get go.
For more information about the BC Campus Open Textbook Project, please visit: http://bccampus.ca/open-textbook-project/.
For more information on the Simon Fraser Student Society’s petition for an open textbook program, please visit: http://www.sfss.ca/university-relations/open-textbook-program-petition