University System Of Maryland To Test Open-Source Pilot Program

Fatimah Waseem | The Diamondback | September 3, 2013

A student-driven initiative plans to turn the page on skyrocketing textbook costs by promoting an affordable, online educational resource that’s picking up steam across the nation: open-source textbooks.

Starting this fall, the University System of Maryland Student Council will pilot a program to allow interested faculty members in high-enrollment, entry-level classes to use open-source textbooks. The system, published under a publicly accessible copyright license, allows professors to customize textbook material from a pool of online resources, videos and graphics.

Interested faculty teaching lecture-sized introductory courses at this university and other university system institutions will take this semester to learn about the features of open-source textbooks in guided workshops. In the spring, the council will analyze the effectiveness of the program by examining student satisfaction, academic achievement and faculty willingness to use the resources.