Free the Textbook!

If you are or ever have been a college student, you know that textbooks are expensive. Affordable Learning Georgia estimates that at the current rate, students in the University System of Georgia would spend a total of $1,400,000,000 on textbooks. With student loan debt already a major issue in our country, it goes without saying that this type of expenditure needs attention. So – what is the higher education industry, particularly in Georgia, doing to address this issue?  

The answer is Open Educational Resources, or OERs, which are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching and learning. Many colleges and universities are making efforts to transition to the use of OERs in their classes as opposed to traditional textbooks, which provides a zero-cost textbook option to students. Our state is paving the way for this movement, with programs like Affordable Learning Georgia, which has set a goal of providing faculty in the USG with a zero-cost textbook option for each of the System’s top 50 lower division courses.

At eCore, we are proud to offer open educational resources in over half of our curriculum. We continue to work with faculty to develop and implement Open Educational Resources throughout the entire eCore curriculum.

March 9 – 13, 2015 is International Open Education Week. In celebration of Open Education, we would like to express sincere and tremendous thanks to the eCore faculty who have worked to create and adopt open (free) textbooks and materials to make learning more affordable and possible for students throughout the University System of Georgia and beyond.

eCore has many points of pride regarding open resources.
Many faculty are working currently with eCore and Affordable Learning Georgia, OpenStax and the University Press of North Georgia to create and implement even more Open Educational Resources.

An OER Event:

Dr. Sarah Mergel (eCore ENVS Instructor), Dr. Andy Meyer (VPAA of Dalton State University) and eCore Senior Instructional Designer, Ashleigh Paulk will be part of a panel presenting an OER webinar on Thursday (March 12)  at 12 PM noon. 

If you can join them online, registration is free at

BIG thanks and cheers to the textbook heroes!! 

Christy Talley-Smith
Director of Curriculum and Instruction
USG eCore


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