Learning with Technology

for Teaching

A Student’s Perspective on OER and Textbook Cost: $0


The following is a special guest blog post by: Kimo Burgess, Leeward CC student, Student Government Senator Fall 2017 – Spring 2018.

Kimo Burgess profileThere are many benefits when it comes to taking OER or $0 cost textbook courses. When I first entered Leeward Community College several semesters ago, I didn’t realize how outrageously expensive textbooks could actually be. I thought textbooks would generally cost around $20 to $30, but I was flabbergasted to realize that textbooks can cost up to $150 and above. Having to pay for books in addition to tuition is ridiculous. As an average college student, I have to pay for a bus pass that is priced at $250 a semester and tuition that is $2500 every year. The most I have spent on textbooks during one semester was $500. That $500 can be better spent on transportation and even alleviate the cost of living.

OER and $0 cost textbook courses offer many benefits such as financial and academic freedom, the unburden of carrying heavy textbooks, and not having to worry about whether it’s in stock at the bookstore or on Amazon. Though there are benefits with $0 cost textbooks and OER courses, access to computers or an online device can be difficult for some.

When I entered an OER course during my second semester at Leeward Community College, I felt liberated not having to carry a heavy textbook with me every time. It’s efficient and cheaper for professors to go OER. It can be irksome for both the professor and the students if they need a required reading/textbook that can be possibly out of stock in the bookstore or even unavailable at the library. Having Ebooks (electronic books) introduced as course material can make school life a lot more simple and sustainable, too. Ask yourself this question, “Why would I need to buy an expensive book when I can just read it for free?” I hope in the future that Leeward Community College offers more OER courses because it makes college life and work a whole lot easier.



Here are some statistics on Leeward’s Textbook Cost: $0 courses for Spring 2018. Let’s help more of our students, like Kimo, by offering more textbook cost: $0 courses!

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