Welcome to Open MU! Open MU is the new home for all things related to Textbook Affordability at Marymount University. We designed this site to help faculty explore our options for mitigating the affordability barrier on behalf of our students and we’re so glad you’re here!
The cost of textbooks and their accompanying materials is an often overlooked, significant barrier to college access. In fact, according the the US Public Interest Research Group’s (PIRG) 2020 Fixing the Broken Textbook Market report, textbooks are one of the highest out-of-pocket costs for students. Marymount students, like their peers at other institutions, frequently forego purchasing their textbooks even though they know that it will negatively impact their learning and ultimately their course grade.
OPEN AND AFFORDABLE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Compassionate, innovative educators have banded together to create solutions to the textbook affordability problem—openly licensed, free textbooks and related materials, often referred to as Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are digital, free to students, and available in a wide variety of formats (text, video, audio, interactive simulations, etc).
At Marymount, we also consider resources that the university purchases on the students’ behalf, such as library books, databases, and streaming media, to be another tool that educators can employ to combat the affordability problem. Such resources are often referred to as Open and Affordable Educational Resources. We aim to employ this broader, more inclusive framing of alternative resources so as to welcome faculty who teach in areas that don’t yet have relevant OER into the textbook affordability conversation and, of course, to benefit our students.
Open MU is a hub and a showcase of the ways that MU faculty, staff, and administrators are working together to reduce the textbook affordability burden our students bear. You’ll find links to curated OER, professional development and funding opportunities, helpful articles, and more, so be sure to check back frequently.