University offers course material online, cuts student costs

Summary:To cut student costs, course book materials will be offered in a free online format by UC this fall.

From this fall, the University of Cincinnati (UC) will be offering digital access of course materials to students for free.

Available to approximately 5,000 students who are enrolled in a psychology basics course, their core materials will be supplied by the university online free of charge in an online format, with other purchase options available if a student prefers the material to be downloadable and compatible with a particular device.

If students want the material in an electronic format, it is possible to purchase files that are compatible with mobile devices including laptops, smartphones and tablets for $35, a black and white print version for the same price, or a colour version for $70. The price has been agreed with supplier Flat World Knowledge on a fixed 4-year contract. UC Associate Professor of Psychology Charles Ginn said:

"Under this pilot project, we can now be certain that course content materials are available to the students, because price is no longer a factor. Due to rapidly increasing costs, more and more students are deciding not to purchase assigned textbooks.

At some community colleges and other institutions of higher education, some students even postpone the pursuit of their degrees because the cost of textbooks equals or exceeds the cost of tuition."

Apart from allowing easier access to different formats of the text, the university believes that it will also benefit students with disabilities.

Where traditional print media may represent a challenge for some students with visual impairments, by offering versions that can be accessed through electronic devices, reading and navigation will hopefully become easier.

(via Campus Technology)

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Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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