COLLEGE STATION, TX — What if top quality books, notes and other educational resources were made available for free by the professors who teach university courses?
Texas A&M University has embraced that idea as a way to reduce the cost barriers to college.
The free online learning resources will save Texas A&M students more than $1.5 million in textbook costs. Students are also able to access the resources immediately, resulting in higher grades, the university says.
"The students have access to the textbooks on day one of the course. They're not waiting a few weeks to buy a textbook, and that helps them in the first test, the first lab, the first homework session, and if they start off well in these courses, they tend to do better. Their grades are higher on average. More are completing the courses and not dropping out," said Dr. Bruce Herbert, Director of Scholarly Communication at Texas A&M.
Faculty can continuously update texts and illustrations rather than waiting years for new editions of textbooks to be published.