Textbook Alternatives Recap

Mario Rosas

Mark Morvant discusses textbook alternativesIn case you missed it, Dr. Mark Morvant, the executive director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at OU, lead a discussion about textbook alternatives on November 27th. The goal of the discussion was to open a dialog with faculty and students about open access and low cost course materials and how these materials can lower the costs of attending OU for students.

It is estimated that only 7 out of 10 students purchase textbooks, mainly because of the high price tag. At OU, we are estimating  total textbook costs in a STEM course is as high as $350,000 – $500,000 at an average of $200 per student. Textbook prices have risen 22% over the past four years and in most cases, the editions don’t really have much to offer in terms of new material but new editions are still being churned out every 2-3 years.

At the discussion, Dr. Morvant spoke about alternatives that included aggregating open access and/or low cost content into an iTunes U course and D2L or creating an iBook for supplemental course materials like course packets. Embracing these digital initiatives creates a more multimedia rich and engaging learning experience for our students.

If you’re interested in learning more about using open access or low cost course materials to lower the costs for your students, visit the Center for Teaching Excellence – Alternative Textbooks page to get involved.


Mario A. Rosas is an Academic Technology Consultant and Home Improvement Aficionado. He can be found in Copeland 101 or Pepe del Gados.


Mario Rosas
Mario Rosas

Although not from Muskogee, Mario is an Okie. Born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma he learned his craft in the Visual Communications program at OU and spent his free time studying Computer Science. As an award winning graphic designer, Mario brings a keen visual sensability to the table. His strong visual aesthetic coupled with his front-end web development capabilities give him a unique perspective that is centered around the user’s experience. Mario is a champion for great design. He stays active with the School of Art, he’s a member of the Oklahoma AIGA board and has helped create a network for creative professionals on the Norman campus called Campus Creatives. He is currently most interested in how we can use technology to engage students in the classroom in order to provide the most meaningful education experience possible. When he isn’t straining his eyes looking at a computer screen he enjoys closing them for some much needed sleep, home improvement, board games, cooking, music and coaching little league baseball.

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