To address the cost of college textbooks, a Colorado Senate bill has established a council to evaluate the use of academic materials by colleges in the state.
Gov. John Hickenlooper singed the bill, SB 17-258, in May.
Open educational resources are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. This means that anyone can freely copy and use them.
“These resources increase access and decrease costs for college students,” said Tanya Spilovoy, of the WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies. She is a consultant to the Open Education Resources Council.
Similar initiatives have gained momentum in California, New York, North Dakota, Oregon and other states.
“I have used free and open textbooks many times in math courses at Colorado State University-Pueblo and find them a great benefit to my students,” said Jonathan Poritz, a member of the OER Council and associate professor in math and physics.
The OER Council is composed of 14 members — including faculty, librarians and administrators — and represents two-year and four-year institutions of higher education. Members of the OER Council were nominated by their respective campus leaders and provide expert insight and act as advocates for the future of these resources in Colorado.
To learn more about the OER Council and view meeting information, visit http://highered.colorado.gov/Academics/Groups/OERCouncil/schedule.html.
The council must report its findings and recommended initiatives to the Joint Budget Committee and the education committees of the General Assembly by Nov. 20.campuses.