New textbook concept helps students save on costs


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – There’s a cost involved when it comes to getting your education.

It’s something students Karlee Gable and Demarcus Daniels know very well.

Especially when it comes to paying for books.

“This semester I probably spent around 200,” Gable said. “I guess 175, 200, which I think is honestly on the lower end of what most people spend.”

“$372.42 actually,” Daniels said.

But those totals are about $150 less than they could have been.

That’s thanks to getting one of their communication textbooks absolutely free.

It’s a concept Indiana State University Instructor Brian Johnston says is much more than meets the eye.

“Open Education Resource is not just about a textbook cost saving initiative,” Johnston said. “It’s kind of a radical shift in how we even think about higher education and the costs that are related to them.”

Professors are behind this concept.

They write the chapters and provide the resources.

Then the book is provided online for students to download to their computer, tablet or even cell phone.

Johnston says there are more benefits other than it being free.

“For instance, demands for professionals in communication are changing all the time,” Johnston said. “It used to be, you know, don’t be on Facebook. Now, you have to be on Facebook, you have to be on LinkedIn. So we can make content changes as the marketplace changes.”

And for students Gable and Daniels, the verdict is in on the book and so far so good.

“All throughout the text there’s interactive, like there’s links taking you to different websites that are really helpful,” Gable said. “So just different sources that can better help you understand the material.”

“I would recommend it to every professor, every instructor to push towards this goal,” Daniels said.

It’s estimated this textbook change overall saved students close to half a million dollars.

If a student wants to get a printed version of the book, it only costs $20.