Document Type

Article

Department or Administrative Unit

Library

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to describe a project that aims to give students a choice to complete their general education requirements without purchasing a textbook.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 26 faculty, teaching in the new general education curriculum, at Central Washington University were given stipends to eliminate expensive textbooks and use free to the student resources such as open educational resources (OER) or library resources. The data was collected on student savings and student and faculty satisfaction with the program.

Findings

Many paths were created through the general education curriculum, so a student may easily finish these requirements without purchasing a textbook. The data from this case study coincide with the literature on the subject. Faculty found it fairly easy to replace their required textbooks with pedagogically sound, free resources. Students were relieved to have some financial relief and found the resources to be good. The student’s biggest complaint was that faculty often use very small portions of expensive required textbooks.

Research limitations/implications

This is a case study and the results are limited as such. This is one university and one general education curriculum. Also, if an academic library wants to replicate this case study, some funding is required.

Practical implications

Students struggle financially and alleviating the costs of textbooks is one-way librarians can ease that burden.

Social implications

Students struggle financially and alleviating the costs of textbooks is one-way librarians can ease that burden.

Originality/value

There have been some case studies written about OER, where 8 or 10 courses are replaced. There are studies written about zero-textbook-cost degrees at community colleges, but this case study explores a textbook-cost-free general education program at a state university.

Journal

Reference Services Review

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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