Auditor’s Report: Textbook Affordability

August 15, 2008

The California State Auditor’s office has released its August 2008 report titled: “Affordability of College Textbooks.”  Noteworthy is that this report gives a nod to the efforts of Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources to reduce the cost of textbooks and supports the need to address articulation issues.

Chapter 4 of the Report addresses open educational resources and California State University’s Digital Marketplace as solutions.  The chapter summary states: “With the development and implementation of open educational resources and the Digital Marketplace, students at California’s public colleges and universities could soon obtain free or relatively affordable educational materials. Offering no‑cost, online educational content that is similar to that of traditional textbooks, open educational resources could change the ways in which instructors and students access instructional and research materials.  The Digital Marketplace, a Web‑based project conceived by California State University (CSU), would allow faculty to substitute digitized educational materials for traditional printed textbooks, and instructors could select either free or fee‑based materials. The California Community Colleges (community colleges) support both initiatives, which are in the early stages of development, the University of California (UC) is in the process of collaborating with the community colleges to increase the use of open educational resources, and CSU is investing resources to advance the Digital Marketplace. If fully implemented, these strategies will likely change the role of campus bookstores and decrease textbook costs for students.”

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