VCU Libraries understands the importance of selecting the right course materials and the burden textbook costs place on students. The Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative supports instructors as they work to transition to zero textbook cost courses, using either open educational resources or library-licensed content.
Our Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian, Jessica Kirschner, leads the library initiative, which assists faculty as they:
Though this is focused on faculty, the work is done with student concerns and wants in mind. We prioritize championing your thoughts when meeting with faculty. Your input is key to constructing an initiative that works to the benefit of your education.
Often times, students feel alone and ill-prepared to tackle the problem of high textbook costs. The Open and Affordable Course Content Initiative is here to offer solutions to this prevailing circumstance.
We talk about the burden of textbook costs on the Textbooks as Social Justice page.
Affordable Course Content describes any free, low-cost, or openly licensed educational resources that can serve as alternatives to high-cost resources. At VCU libraries, we support free and openly-licensed content in our efforts to reduce textbook costs as much as possible.
We do so in two ways: through the use of our library resources and through open educational resources
Open Educational Resources and Library-licensed resources are not only free for students, but allow for collaborative, flexible learning in and outside of the classroom.
With the cost of textbooks impacting student success, from which courses students choose, to how well they do in those courses, open and affordable course content can serve as an effective intervention, ensuring all students have access to the materials they need to be successful in their chosen academic path.