Rice University's OpenStax website shows the categories: anatomy/physiology, physics, sociology, biology, concepts biology, statistics, pre-calculus, algebra/trigonometry, algebra, economics, macro-economics, micro-economics, chemistry, U.S. history, and psychology.

GRCC replaces almost $590,000 in textbooks with free digital versions

Through its new partnerships with the OpenStax program and other providers of free digital resources, GRCC has replaced almost $590,000 in textbooks with free or substantially less expensive versions.

In February, GRCC joined Rice University’s OpenStax program, which provides free, high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks. This semester, more than 90 GRCC class sections — including biology, math, business, theater, English, history, physics and chemistry classes — used the open-educational resource, or OER, texts.

The total cost of the commercial textbooks that GRCC replaced with OER versions is $589,828. Actual savings to students varies, depending on whether they would have bought a new or used textbook or if they would have rented — or gone without — one. With OpenStax, students may use the texts online for free or pay a significantly reduced cost for a printed version.

OpenStax research shows that 90 percent of students opt for the free online textbooks. That would mean that students in GRCC’s OER class sections saved more than $570,000 during the fall semester alone.

GRCC has been working to make more students aware of open-education resource textbooks. Students can now run searches for OER class sections when setting up their schedules. Professors and adjunct instructors are also sharing information about the program.

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