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The case for Creative Commons textbooks

TitleThe case for Creative Commons textbooks
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBeshears, F.
PublisherInnovation Memes
Access Year2014
Access DateDecember 9th, 2014
Descriptionblog- posted on September 13th, 2014
Date Published09/2014
Keywordsbusiness model, open textbooks, OpenTextbook

This is an article I wrote back in 2005. It starts with a discussion of the high cost of textbooks ($900/year per student), and then considers a very novel idea for financing an open alternative to commercial textbooks. Specifically, it starts by adding up money the British Open University spends on its online courses annually (up to $3 million dollars a course). Then it calculates how much it would cost for a coalition of 1,000 schools to buy out the British Open University. The objective of doing so would be to put 200 of their online courses in the public domain. This would cost the coalition up to $75 million per year in total, or $75,000 per school per year. Finally, it points out that for a school the size of UC Berkelely, which has 23,000 undergraduates, this would work out to $3.26 per student per year.

(Note: This material was presented by the author at the CATS (Community of Academic Technology Staff) Conference at Sacramento State University this March, and at the Syllabus 2005 conference in Los Angeles this July. It has also been published on the CETIS (the United Kingdom's Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standards) website. And, in April 2007, the author presented this article to a sub-committee of the US House of Representatives investigating the cost of textbooks.)

Refereed DesignationDoes Not Apply
Total votes: 318