AB students push for open textbooks to relieve budget crunch

October 31, 2016

Student representatives from five schools across Alberta have launched the #textbookbrokeAB campaign to showcase the amount of money students are spending on books. One of the movement’s core goals is to get schools to consider using free, open source textbooks, a move that has been adopted on a broad scale in British Columbia. Katelyn Garlough, VP academic of MacEwan University’s student association, says that many students in the province spend as much as $1K on textbooks per semester. Athabasca University professor Rory McGreal, who co-chaired AB’s Open Educational Resource Initiative, said moving to an open system can have significant benefits not only for students, but for teachers who must update their materials regularly to keep up with changing fields. “The big reason is you can update them immediately,” he said. “The world is changing and in most fields of study the changes are coming very rapidly.” Metro