Textbook heroes

  • RMIT textbook heroes – Trevor Stone (Introduction to Programming), Julian Lee (Global Processes) and James Harland (Discrete Structures in Computing) saved their students around $85,000 in textbook costs in 2019 by specifying a free open textbook.
  • Craig Wright, School of Exercise and Nutrition Science, Deakin University

Craig and colleagues responded to students’ feedback about how they couldn’t afford a major anatomy textbook for their first year Exercise Science course (HSB107) by introducing the OpenStax free “Anatomy and Physiology” textbook as an option to the existing commercial text. The free text has been widely used by students ever since. At over 1400 pages, the book would be 2 large volumes if printed. The online versions give students the ability to have all the information from the first day of class without having to buy a physical version. Students can however print out sections of the free text with no restrictions. The OpenStax book also has no time limits to online access – they can take it with them through their course to graduation and beyond, and use it as a professional reference book.

  • Mathew Ling, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Deakin University

Lecturer in Psychology (Unit Chair – HPS111 – Fundamentals of Human Behaviour)

Mathew and colleagues removed an expensive commercial textbook from the required reading lists as part of a major unit overhaul where they replaced the text with a range of free online resources including numerous scholarly journal articles. Doubtful colleagues said 100 level students wouldn’t read journal articles, but with appropriate scaffolding and support, students in HPS111 proved to be up to the challenge.


back to top