5 Professors Who Use Free and Open College Textbooks

By Jessica Lyons


1. Professor Erik Christensen

Physics professor Erik Christensen, of South Florida Community College, first started using an open source textbook for his general physics with calculus class about two and a half years ago. In a testimonial on, he said 'Once I took the plunge I've never looked back. I find it extremely adaptable and it suits my teaching style perfectly.' While the textbook Christensen used to use for his class cost about $178, the new open source book only costs $13.

2. Dr. Lisa McDonnell

Dr. Lisa McDonnell, an associate professor of law and sociology at St. Petersburg College, also gave a testimonial about her open textbook sources. When she was a student she said she at times had to sell some of her belongings to afford her books, which is why she felt for her students when they expressed similar problems. She discovered the open textbook movement while doing some online research and eventually found a book to implement in her sociology class. McDonnell said that her students have loved it and expressed appreciation for her using it.

3. Professor Danielle Budzick

Cuyahoga Community College professor Danielle Budzick is a recent recipient of a College Open Textbooks' Adopter Communities' Small Grant. Budzick, along with colleagues, is focusing on a Business Communications for Success textbook. The book originally cost $132.60 and the goal is to create a free book. According to a presentation about the grant recipients, this could result in savings of $60,000-$103,200 each semester.

4. Dr. Brian Beitzel

Dr. Brian Beitzel is an associate professor of educational psychology at the State University of New York, Oneonta. He, along with colleagues, is also a recipient of a College Open Textbooks' Adopter Communities' Small Grant. According to a webinar presentation of the grant winners' projects, Beitzel's project seeks to create 'open modules for teaching education psychology and posting in OER (open educational resources) repository.'

5. Professor John Gallaugher

According to a 2008 Inside Higher Ed article, Boston College professor John Gallaugher stopped using textbooks in 1998 in favor of online materials and his own materials. The cost of the book he used for an intro graduate class was $150. He has since put together the open textbook Information Systems: A Manager's Guide to Harnessing Technology, which is available through Flat World Knowledge.

Find out how the organization Flat World Knowledge fits into the open textbook movement.

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