James Paradiso, UCFToday; Reducing the Choice Between a Textbook and Your Next Meal
"With textbooks and other required course materials proven to be costly, UCF faculty, staff and students have come up with creative, yet practical, solutions through the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER), a hub for free teaching, learning and research materials.
“There has always been a need for open educational resources in higher education,” says Nicole Lapeyrouse, a UCF chemistry professor and 2023 Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM) High Impact Award winner. “By adopting or creating OER, you are able to further support students by making your courses more affordable and helping reduce the financial burden on students.”
Isabella Griffin, a student in Lapeyrouse’s Chemistry Fundamentals I course, confirms those benefits.
“The free textbook has helped ease the financial burden associated with being a college student.,” she says. “Sometimes, high prices prevent students from having textbook access — to the detriment of student learning. I greatly appreciate the free and open access to [the Chemistry Fundamentals eBook]. It has increased my ability to access relevant and useful resources related to class.”
“From my own personal experience with not always having access to affordable resources,” says Lapeyrouse, “I wanted to prevent students from having to make a tough call on [whether to] buy the required resources or pay a bill.”
According to the 2022 Student Textbook and Course Materials Survey conducted by Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), 53% of students from Florida’s public higher education institutions indicated they did not purchase a required textbook for financial reasons. Forty-four percent took fewer courses. Thirty-eight percent did not register for a specific course. And 24% dropped a course due to the high cost of textbooks."