Will digital learning save U. students hundreds on textbooks?

According to a recent Salt Lake Tribune article, a student leadership group at the University of Utah is looking into using “open-source textbooks,” which can be downloaded and used by students for free, as a possible way to save students money, perhaps as much as $500 per year. As most college students will tell you, an extra $500 per year can go a long way.

As noted in the article, one potential obstacle to any such endeavor is the time required by university professors to put together such textbooks. Though one advocate quoted in the article notes that sufficient material is already available for lower-level courses, those materials would have to be updated over time, and upper-level courses still require similar textbooks.

One solution to this issue might be to require university professors to help create and maintain open-source textbooks for the classes they teach as a condition of their employment.

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