Archived: Open Educational Resources (OERs) – coming soon to a classroom near you!

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How much are you spending on textbooks this year? And how much would you love it if you could say “nothing at all!”?

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada says that undergraduate students should plan to spend between $800 to $1000 on books and other materials. The phrase they use to describe this amount is “a reasonable range”. Yikes. We’re not sure about you, but spending a thousand dollars on books you’ll only need for one semester hardly seems reasonable.

Whether you’re paying out of pocket, or relying on student loans to get you through the semester, the cost of textbooks can burn a big hole in your wallet. While there’s lots of ways to minimize the cost – buy used from a peer or from our Used Book Sale, look online for an electronic copy, rent, or share with a classmate – sometimes even spending $300 on textbooks can seem like an impossible ask. (If that’s the case for you, may we suggest that you contact the Peer Support Centre and ask about our Emergency Student Loan program?)

And, listen – we get it. That money could be going toward rent, or food, or gas. So that’s why we’re so dedicated to making Open Educational Resources (OERs) available to Mount Royal University students.

Wondering what OERs are? Open Educational Resources are essentially free, online textbooks. Access to OERs means access to all your necessary course materials, when you need them – and best of all, for free.

Your Representation Executive Council has been working hard to make sure the government recognizes what a valuable asset OERs are, and to bring OERs to your classes. We’ve even managed to introduce a few OERs this upcoming semester! But we’re not quite there yet; we need students like you to lend your voice to advocate bringing in more OERs.

The high cost of textbooks is a real barrier for many students, especially with current costs of post-secondary education. To provide the best possible education at a reasonable cost, we need your professors, school administrators, and peers all on board to make certain that course materials are accessible, open, and available to everyone. That’s why we want you to stop by our booth on Main Street (beside the Book Store) on September 12 to find out more about how you can support OERs! You can also join the conversation using the #textbookbrokeab hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. We’d love to hear how much you spent on textbooks this year, and what you would’ve spent that money on otherwise.