Open Textbook Initiative
On September 27th 2016, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a statewide Open Textbook Initiative during a press conference at Rhode Island College (RIC).
The initiative challenged Rhode Island’s higher education institutions to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years using open licensed textbooks. Seven higher education institutions have pledged to support the Governor’s challenge by working with faculty to identify open licensed textbooks that would fit their classes.
Open Texbook Partners
The Rhode Island Office of Innovation coordinates the Open Textbook Initiative in partnership with RIC’s Adams Library and Roger Williams University. Additionally, librarians from all Rhode Island higher education institutions represent their school's commitment and spearhead efforts on their own campus. See below for a list of the full Steering Committee.
Additional partners and their efforts include:
The Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner and the Office of Innovation
Providing micro-grants for faculty to support the review and transition to openly-licensed textbooks.
The Open Textbook Network
Providing training and implementation support for higher education institutions participating in the RI Open Textbook Initiative.
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition)
Providing training to academic librarians to support faculty in identifying openly licensed educational resources.
The Open Textbook Steering Committee plays a critical goal in guiding the ongoing work to make Rhode Island an Open Textbook state.
Dragan Gill (Co-Chair), Rhode Island College
Lindsey Gumb (Co-Chair), Roger Williams University
Sarah Evelyn, Brown University
Meagan Joseph, Bryant University
James Salisbury, Community College of Rhode Island
ROsie Hopper, Johnson & Wales University
Tom Thibodeault, New England Institute of Technology
Peter Rogers, Providence College
Emily Coxe, Rhode Island School of Design
lisa richter, Salve Regina University
Peter Larsen, University of Rhode Island
Exorbitant textbook prices have become a barrier to student success. Over the last decade college textbook prices have increased by 88%. In addition, traditional textbooks carry restrictive licenses that prevent innovation by faculty and schools. That is why we need openly licensed textbooks, which can be freely distributed online and updated and improved by faculty. Hundreds of high-quality openly licensed textbooks are available, and greater use of these books could help Rhode Island students save money, learn more, and graduate faster. Digital textbooks can also address accessibility requirements, such as text-to-speech and translation supports.
Rhode Island College kicked off the initiative by announcing their faculty’s transition to open licensed textbooks in all sections of Biology 108, the largest biology course at the college, saving students roughly $100,000 over the 2016-17 school year.
Learn more with the following resources:
“Governor says open-textbook initiative will save RI college students $5 million,” Providence Journal, September 2016
“Rhode Island launches textbook savings initiative,” Inside Higher Education, September 2016
“Rhode Island Open Textbook Initiative to save students $5 million,” Campus Tech, September 2016
“Rhode Island figured out how to eliminate the biggest way college students are ripped off,” Business Insider, October 2016
“Rhode Island OER Celebrates First Birthday with Savings of $870K,” Campus Tech, September 2017
“Cutting the cost of college textbooks,” op-ed, Governor Gina Raimondo, Brown Daily Herald, October 2017
“Five questions with Lindsey Gumb,” Providence Business News, October 2018