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De Anza College’s myPortal shows which courses have free course materials

March 4, 2018

De Anza College’s myPortal and searchable schedule of classes page has a new feature that shows which courses use free course materials.

This feature took into effect as mandated by Senate Bill No. 1359, which requires all California community colleges to clearly communicate to students on course schedule pages online, which courses exclusively use open educational resources or open-source digital course materials.

Open Educational Resources coordinator, Lydia Hearn calls this the Affordable Textbooks and Materials Project. “The entire purpose of the low-cost textbook initiative is to attempt to find as many ways as possible to cut back material costs for students,” she said.

Open Educational Resources’ main postsecondary educational goal is to reduce the cost of college and increase pedagogy by making textbooks and other course materials freely available for students.

Given all the free material available, English professor Diana Fleming said it surprises her that some instructors are still assigning textbooks as expensive as $200 or $300.

Karen Santiago, 21, journalism major said Open Educational Resources’ initiative is of great services to students like herself. “I think it [Open Educational Resources] will benefit me,” said Santiago. “I have to pay for so many books and they’re not cheap. They’re sometimes over $100 dollars. Plus, I have to pay for tuition and course materials. Everything adds up.”

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