Textbook Rebellion – From $120 To $20

05 Oct

LAW student, BUSINESS student, BIOLOGY student, ENGINEERING student… Have you ever complained about the ridiculously priced textbooks while looking for the proper textbooks with your mobile phone ready in front of a wall of used-textbooks-selling ads at university? Have the F-word ever been around your mind while the seller bring the textbook and you find out the textbook was an old edition? -Then you have to say sorry to the seller and start over the calling process again. Usually, the result is that you can’t find any used textbooks in the new edition that you want. Eventually you have to go to the bookstore and F*cking all the way to buy the new edition textbook in the original price.

What a F*ck! Unfair, Isn’t it?!!

Let’s have a look a short price list of the textbooks used by a friend of mine in one semester, majoring in commerce at University of Sydney —Co-op price:





IS Co-op trying to rob the students?

Hopefully, every cloud has a silver lining—

Advances in Open Textbook Publishing Technology

Advances in web technologies have made it possible to democratize the production of open, reusable, remixable textbooks without sacrificing quality. The panelists will actively demonstrate three advances made possible by new web technologies: 1. User-friendly authoring tools that make it easy to produce and adapt remixable open textbooks; 2. An innovative production pipeline that enables beautiful and engaging textbook content to be distributed seamlessly to any student on any device in many formats; 3. New interactive content visualizations that enable students to interact with their books, explore rich data sets without downloading specialized tools, and view beautiful figures in printed media without additional work. The panel will explore examples from Connexions, Siyavula, American Institute of Mathematics, Booktype, P2PU, Quadbase, and FullMarks.

Questions Answered

  1. How do you make creating, sharing, and remixing open textbooks easy, without sacrificing quality?
  2. How do you produce beautiful and engaging textbook content and distribute it to any student on any device in many formats?
  3. How will future textbooks engage students by taking advantage of new web technology and new connections between OER from many providers?

Posted by on October 5, 2012 in #mdia3005, @TextbookFair, z3310337


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11 responses to “Textbook Rebellion – From $120 To $20

  1. iyjp

    October 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    YES. As a law student, I pay up to $700 a semester for my books! Some books are up to $200 at the bookstore and not many people sell their law textbooks because they can be useful later in. Something needs to be done!

    • textbookfair

      October 6, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Something must be done to change the ridiculous textbook selling model to facilitate the university students’ learning process. Textbook Fair campaign is aiming at make Open Textbook (Open Educational Resources) available across Australian universities. Now, Australia’s University of Southern Queensland launches the first OERu prototype. It is a really good and encouraging start to influence other Australian universities to join the OERu team for affordable tertiary education.
      For us university students, what we can do now is to come together to make more students aware of the benefit of OERs, I believe we can make a successful rebellion against the RIDICULOUSLY PRICED TEXTBOOKS if WE come together!
      PLEASE tell your friends to join the campaign team of OERs @TextbookFair LET’S ROCK the campaign to make a difference!

  2. Jiang xue

    October 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    In my first year study, I bought all the textbooks even though I know they are very expensive. And I really want to sell them after the first year, but less students ask me to buy them. So the books can be seen as a waste when they are useless and they costs me a lot! I started to read all staff and materials online after that even if I still like the print books better!

    • textbookfair

      October 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      For you i think a combination of both E-textbooks and print textbooks is the way to go. Instructors require or suggest the part of a textbook that is necessary to be printed out, and for the rest it’s better to allow free access reading online – that is benefit of Open Textbook!

  3. dengshihui

    October 6, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I really love your idea, textbook is so expensive for uni students. We can buy second hand books via bookshop or internet. but textbook have various version every year, although they have same content, I think one of the best way to solve this problem is to contact with uni, if the content is same, just use the same version. The lecturers can also share online version.

    • textbookfair

      October 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      For different editions of textbooks, the course convener has the responsibility to inform all the students who enrolled in the course. But if the textbook was only with minor changes, there’s no need to change the so-called new textbook with only profound change of the cover. Hopefully, if Open Textbooks were available at unis, it would directly allow minor changes online without students spending extra money to buy the so-called new editions.

  4. isabellemitchell

    October 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Interesting cause. Theres a few textbook rental companies out there..pretty viable solution to the issue maybe? Great blog guys!

    • textbookfair

      October 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Textbook Rental could be a contemporary solution. However, how about when the textbook rental company can’t catch up the speed of textbook updates (new editions)? Also, for textbook rental, students still have to spend money on textbook. The aim of the campaign is to make Open Textbook/Open Educational Resources available across Australian universities,which means free consumption of textbooks under the license of Creative Commons of Australia. US has made great progress in OERs for tertiary education. Australian University of Southern Queensland has recently launched OERu prototype. That’s really encouraging. Hopefully, more and more Australian universities will join the team of OERs for quality and affordable tertiary education.

  5. ingredieat1

    October 10, 2012 at 10:35 am

    One thing i’m not going to miss about uni is the overpriced textbooks. I eventually stopped bothering to purchase them because I always shell out several hundred dollars and only end up looking at them once or twice! Would be much more economical if we could access them online at a reduced price or rent them out. I think they need to remember that we are poor university students after all.


  6. theaustralianconcession

    October 17, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I really think this is a great cause and yet another shining example of the financial strains on students.

    This financial predicament follows students almost everywhere – for example: Did you know that you are not entitled to a student concession discount around Australia???

    You ARE entitled to discounts within the state that you study in – but not inter-state. Pensioners and Senior Citizen Card Holders are…so why are students left in the dark?

    Texts books, University Fee’s, Cost of Living and inequality regarding concession prices. Give students a break for peat sake.

    Fair Fares!

    • textbookfair

      October 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

      It pissed me off when I know international student have to pay full price for the transport passes. We are all students that have high achievement in HSC or similar exam to be eligible to study at uni. So why different in the bloody transport? However, I don’t know whether the concession card limits only exist in Sydney. Considering the frequent work strike for fair earnings, it seems to be hopeless to make concession card available for international students.


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