Textbook Alternatives Save Thousands For MGA Students

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 12:24 PM
Categories: Pressroom | School of Information Technology

Macon, GA

Middle Georgia State College continues to help students avoid the high cost of textbooks.

The School of Information Technology has received the institution's second Affordable Learning Georgia grant to replace traditional textbooks with free alternatives. In this case, the School of IT received $28,700 to develop web-based tutorials and applications that will be hosted at Middle Georgia State to support three IT courses – web development, web programming and web development environments.

"The free alternative materials for the web development course should be available by fall 2015, with the materials for the rest of the courses available by spring 2016," said Dr. Kevin Floyd, program director in the School of IT. "We expect to save our students about $27,000 a year in traditional textbook costs for those courses."

Floyd noted that the alternative web-based materials will be available free to the public, so any IT professional anywhere in the world could benefit.

Affordable Learning Georgia is an initiative of the University System of Georgia to promote student success by providing affordable textbook alternatives. In fall 2014, the initiative awarded grants to four other Middle Georgia State faculty members - Molly Kimsey and Loleta Sartin in the School of Education and Dr. Julie Lester and Dr. Christopher Lawrence in the Department of History and Political Science - to attend training provided by Affordable Learning Georgia, modify their curriculum and research and locate open-content textbooks and other free resources to use instead of traditional texts that must be purchased.

Over the course of a year, an estimated 630 Middle Georgia State students will take "Critical and Contemporary Issues in Education," a class that traditionally uses a $196 required text. That's $123,480 in total savings to students. An estimated 420 students will take "American Government," which traditionally requires an $89 textbook. That's $37,380 in total savings.

Besides reducing textbook costs, Affordable Learning Georgia is enhancing GALILEO, Georgia’s Virtual Library. The Affordable Learning Georgia Textbook Transformation Grants are intended to pilot different approaches in USG courses for textbook transformation including adoption, adaptation, and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or identification and adoption of materials already available in GALILEO and USG libraries.

For more information about Middle Georgia State’s latest Affordable Learning Georgia grant, contact Dr. Kevin Floyd at kevin.floyd@mga.edu.