Textbooks: The bane of a student’s experience—at least when it comes to the price! The unfortunate truth is that more and more students are choosing to refrain from getting required textbooks for the simple reason that the prices are too high.
What’s an instructor to do when a textbook is necessary for a course? Here are some things instructors can do to help make required textbooks more affordable.
Rent, Refund, and Return
Where possible, choose textbook options that allow students to either rent the textbook, or when purchasing it, allow for refunds and returns. Depending on the scenario, these options allow students to either pay less on the initial purchase or recover a portion of the cost later.
It should be noted that while these options are cost-saving measures, they do not allow for students to retain access to the textbook material beyond the course’s length.
Use Open Education Resources
Not all material needs to cost money. Depending on the course subject, finding free material can be possible. One option is through Open Education Resources (OER), such as OpenStax and JSTOR. There is also often underused material accessible through university libraries, including millions of electronic journal articles and e-textbooks available for students to use.
These are both valuable resources that shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked! And consider the following bonus: while some material, such as material from the university library, may not remain accessible to students after completion of the course, much of the material—particularly OER—will be there for whenever students need it.
Simplify the Situation
In an attempt to have all the best material, it is not uncommon for instructors to assign more than one textbook, bringing the price of education even higher. It’s important to consider whether all of those textbooks are really necessary.
Simplify. Choose the resources that students really need. If additional material is needed beyond the initial textbook, consider whether there are open resources, such as those mentioned above, that will fulfill the purpose.
Beyond simplifying the number of textbooks, consider simplifying what comes with the actual textbooks. Bundles and ancillary materials are often unnecessary and have the misfortune of increasing the cost without truly increasing the benefits.
Choose High Quality for Excellent Prices
Of course, sometimes a situation simply requires a textbook with no easy alternatives. With just a little research, instructors can find quality textbooks, often e-textbooks, for reasonable prices.
MyEducator is one such source. At excellent prices, MyEducator breaks all the conventional rules for textbooks: updated, lifetime access for students; no extra costs for ancillary material; freely customizable courses. All this, at reasonable prices students can afford.
After all this, textbooks might still be the bane of a student’s experience, but it doesn’t have to be because of the cost!