SLCC receives national award for using alternative to costly textbooks

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File Photo: Salt Lake Community College

SALT LAKE CITY — A faculty-led team at Salt Lake Community College is receiving national recognition for adopting a digital alternative to textbooks – a move they say has helped students save over $4.6 million.

“This is a huge deal for our students, who often lack the financial resources to purchase expensive textbooks,” said SLCC biology professor Melissa Hardy in a statement sent to FOX 13. “I teach a course for which I still use a department-mandated traditional textbook, and it was heartbreaking this semester to receive emails from students saying they couldn’t afford to purchase the book. One student told me it was a choice between the textbook and buying medicine for his sick child. In contrast, when I teach with free, open textbooks, all my students have access to the course materials on Day One of the semester, and it makes a difference in their success.”

An organization called Online Learning Consortium holds a yearly competition “to discover student-centered learning solutions that advance the world of digital learning for all students,” said Kathleen Ives, CEO of Online Learning Consortium, in a statement sent to FOX.

One such learning solution is SLCC’s “Open SLCC,” which give students access to public-domain textbooks and media, repositories, courses, library assets and other resources.

SLCC’s Open Educational Resources team was one of 10 faculty-led teams selected from among 60 submissions to receive the 2017 OC Digital Learning Innovation Award.