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Okanagan College professors' approach to textbooks easing student costs

Okanagan College professors are helping turn a new page in the rising costs of post-secondary education by giving students free access to online textbooks.

Open Education Resources, also known as OERs, are high-quality textbooks that are available in digital format and at a low cost to print.

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The latest provincial statistics show Okanagan College ranks sixth in the province for open textbook adoption. By fall 2018, the college reported 147 courses that have adopted open textbooks, helping 2,875 students to save $437,212.

Many professors have committed to continue using and expanding their use of online textbooks at each of the college's campuses in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm.

“It is fabulous to see initiatives like this become a reality,” said OC's Vice President of Education Andrew Hay. "Student success is of the utmost importance to Okanagan College and the combination of better student learning with reduced costs is most welcome.”

Andre Dominguez, a student who uses the free online textbooks, explained that the financial help is a big win for the students.

“The e-textbook has been a real asset because I can access it anywhere I go, both on mobile or on my laptop, and the fact that it was free is extremely helpful,” said Dominguez. "Expenses accumulate for college and it takes a toll on your bank account which brings unwanted stress that affects your personal and academic life.”



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