New ‘Open Book’ Partnership to Make College Textbooks More Affordable, Accessible, Adoptable
RALEIGH, N.C., Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ — WebAssign, the leading provider of powerful online homework for college professors and students, announced this week it has formed a partnership with two open source content repositories – Connexions, a Rice University-based global repository of educational content, and Orange Grove Texts Plus (OGT+), a joint initiative of the University Press of Florida and The Orange Grove.
The partnership aims to make college textbooks more affordable and allows for the adoption of open textbooks without having to forgo the online homework support that professors typically need to manage their course. This is the latest example of the Open Education Resource (OER) movement that is seen as an accessible and affordable solution to mitigate the high costs of textbooks, which are rising 6 percent on average every year.
The initial open textbook from the new partnership is titled, Collaborative Statistics, 1st Edition, authored by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean of DeAnza Community College in Cupertino, Calif., and available through Connexions and OGT+. The online and downloadable e-book is supported by homework questions and student learning resources through WebAssign, and its cost to students is only $25, in stark comparison to traditional pricing of course materials between $100 and $200.
“Since our beginnings at North Carolina State University 14 years ago,” said John Risley, CEO of Web Assign, “we have addressed the needs of the academic community by providing a robust online homework platform that supports more than 600 math and science texts from every major publisher. We see the current interest in open textbooks as meeting a new academic need that we are happy to support as comprehensively as any other textbook.”
According to Susie Henderson, co-director for Orange Grove Text Plus, WebAssign is providing her open textbook users and adopters with quality learning resources at “incredibly affordable prices.”
“The accessible and affordable nature of open textbooks will generate student interest,” Henderson said. “Moreover, the peer review support of Orange Grove Text Plus, combined with the customized homework and testing offered by WebAssign, will convince faculty that affordable does not equate to ‘cheap’ or ‘second class’.”
WebAssign allows instructors to assign questions from the Collaborative Statistics textbook in a secure, online environment. Question variables, numbers, and words have been randomized so that each student receives a unique version of the question. Each question is linked to an appropriate section of the eBook to create a complete learning experience.
For more information about WebAssign, call (800) 955-8275 or visit http://www.WebAssign.net.
WebAssign is the leading provider of online instructional tools for faculty and students. WebAssign partners with all major textbook publishers to offer customizable precoded questions from over 600 math and science textbooks along with tools that allow instructors to create their own questions. Students enter their answers online, receiving immediate scores and instant feedback on their performance. Each year more than 1 million students use WebAssign at over 1,500 educational institutions. WebAssign is located on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.
About Orange Grove Texts Plus
Orange Grove Text Plus (OGT+) is a joint initiative of the University Press of Florida and The Orange Grove, Florida’s Digital Repository of free instructional resources for Florida’s teachers. In an effort to reduce the cost of books to students by offering texts that are affordable, accessible, and adaptable to reader preferences, OGT+ delivers access to a wide range of textbooks in a choice of electronic or bound book formats, priced at 40 to 50 percent less than similar textbooks purchased at retail or online outlets.
Connexions is an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web. Our Content Commons contains educational materials for everyone – from children to college students to professionals – organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger collections or courses.