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Affordable Learning @ TTC: Math

Highlighting various Initiatives using no cost and/or lower costs alternatives to textbooks.

David Flenner

David Flenner currently serves as the Math Coordinator for TTC.   Since adopting the first free OER Textbook (MTH 120) in Spring 2019, he has led the department in adopting free textbooks for most of the Math courses.  

What led you to inquire or start looking into OERs?
"About 12 years ago, when the college was active with Achieving the Dream, I had an idea to begin a process of writing an opensource textbook based on the concepts devised with opensource software. I had planned on present at the annual AtD conference about the concept and try to bring other faculty interested in such a concept together to bring free and open education resources to light".

In retrospect, would you have done anything differently, or do you have any suggestions on how we could motivate other areas to embrace OERs?

I just wish that we had done this earlier. The advantages to the student are many: they can load a pdf on their laptop or phone and “bring” their pdf book to class without lugging a 30 lb backpack, and the cost-savings are enormous. The advantages to the faculty are: fewer edition changes mean fewer times that you have to edit notes or homework assignments for new arrangements of material, having an easily accessible pdf of the book means you can mark it up easily on the computer and have access to it everywhere instead of lugging it around. And knowing that students have saved a little bit of money that can go to rent, to food, or to their children rather than an industry-stifling corporation lets me sleep a little easier at night".