OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 9:45am - 10:40am
Creating No-textbook Courses in Information Technology

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One of the largest expenses for university students is the cost of textbooks. This is particularly true in the STEM areas. Data shows that course textbooks cost more and more every year. Textbook costs have risen 812% since 1978 and 73% since 2006 – which is four times the rate of inflation. The College Board recommends that students budget at least $1200 per year for textbook costs. Over 1/3 of students use their financial aid for textbook costs. The average computer science textbook costs $180. USA Today published that "out of more than 2,000 students surveyed, 65% said they did not buy a textbook at some point during college because of the cost. Of those, 94% said this choice made them concerned about their grade."


In order to help alleviate some of these textbook costs, the State of Georgia has been offering to faculty Affordable Learning Grants across all majors. Several faculty in the Information Technology Department of Kennesaw State University were awarded an ALG grant during the 2015-16 academic year for redevelopment of four database courses using no textbook. In 2016-17 several IT faculty members were again awarded an ALG grant for redevelopment of information security courses and an ethics course. One of the positive things for faculty developing a no textbook course is that once the course has been developed, any changes can be done incrementally to keep it up-to-date. For a course that gets a new textbook, the faculty member has to make extensive changes to the course, and repeats that process with every new textbook. The results from student surveys concerning the database no-textbook courses were very positive.


Becky Rutherfoord

Department Chair Information Technology, Kennesaw State University

Thursday October 12, 2017 9:45am - 10:40am PDT
Terrace D - F