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Open Education at UTA: Textbook Heroes

In late September 2017, Inside Higher Ed reported on a survey that linked high textbook costs in higher education to poor grades. The research, commissioned by an e-textbook provider, supports a growing body of evidence that suggests the use of open and affordable course resources can positively impact student success, resulting in higher course grades and lower drop, failure, and withdrawal rates.

Anecdotal evidence collected over the last year at the University of Texas at Arlington confirms that the high, and frequently surprising, cost of course resources poses a significant barrier to our students. This video series highlights our students’ experiences and showcases solutions from UTA’s Textbook Heroes—educators whose use of open and affordable resources has lowered financial barriers and contributed to more equitable access to education.

Episode 1: Defining the Problem

The cost of college textbooks has risen more than three times the rate of inflation for all good and services. UTA students share how they have been impacted.

Episode 3: Drs. Kim Breuer and Alex Hunnicutt

UTA's Department of History, featured in episode three, has saved students over $388,700 since Summer 2016 through adoption of an open textbook. The free resource is used in all online sections of History 1311 and 1312.

Episode 2: Dr. Allan Saxe

Dr. Allan Saxe has saved UTA students over $561,000 since Fall 2010 by using public domain materials in his courses.

Episode 4: Dr. Bonnie Boardman

An educator in the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering uses video tutorials from the university's Lynda.com subscription to transform her classroom into a lecture-free, active-learning space, saving students nearly $3,500 in one semester.