Chico Affordable Learning Solutions

Steve Stewart

By replacing the expensive ($131.24 in Amazon) standard Introduction to Geography textbook by Getis et al (2010) in his "Spatial Concepts" (SOCS 301) course, with older editions of that book, 2 or 3 editions back, students in Stewart's course realized huge savings. For example, the 10th edition of the book could be purchased for as little as $4.00. Since the basic content of the text doesn't change that much, despite the frequent editions, Stewart provided the necessary content updates to his students who purchased the older editions. This however, did mean a lot of extra work for him as the instructor. In addition, two weeks during the summer, prior to the course, Stewart constructed a large test bank of questions that could be used for any edition of the book. The test bank was “fiercesomely large, to prevent cheating.” Stewart also hired a graduate student to convert questions from the different editions of the book, and help deal with grading once the course started in the fall.

Stewart also saved his students money by using journal articles from the Economist that were available at no cost through the Meriam Library's database subscriptions. The library's license agreements with publishers allows faculty to place links to the articles from periodicals like the Economist in learning management systems like BlackBoard Learn at no cost to students.

Finally. the book, Unquenchable, by Robert Glennon (2009) that was used in the course,  was made accessible to students in the class as an eBook from the Meriam Library eBook collection, at no cost to students.

Getis, A., Getis J., & Fellman, J., (2010), Introduction to Geography, 13th edition
Poster (JPG)

Steve Stewart's Project Summary

Initial proposal idea for replacing current textbook or lowering textbook cost.
To investigate the feasibility of utilizing used textbooks or copyright-cleared specific chapters from textbooks as a method of actualizing cost saving for students.

Savings, if you can estimate, to students overall.
130 students have saved approximately $15 each from Unquenchable as an online book = Savings $1950.00
130 students will save approximately $85 each from using a textbook 2-3 versions back = Savings $11,050
130 students will be able to access articles from The Economist via Bb Learn.  Copyright clearance savings approximately $20 each.  = Savings $2600
Total Savings = $15,600 every semester
How you are complying with copyright law if using copyright protected materials?
The online copy of Unquenchable is cleared via the university library license.
The students buy the used textbook so there are no copyright issues.
Periodicals like The Economist can be legally accessed by the student via BBlearn.

How you are addressing accessibility of course materials?
I have not specifically checked with Jeremy Olguin of Accessibility Resource Center (ARC); however, it is my understanding that posting materials on Bb Learn complies with the accessibility requirements.

Name of co-helper(s), Librarians and/or ITCs
Lots of thanks to James Tyler for assisting with locating and providing links for The Economist and other articles.

Steve Stewart