Minnesota State Mankato joins OpenStax:
A network of free course materials
Mankato, Minn. – August 15, 2020 – Minnesota State University, Mankato today announced it is one of 12 schools chosen to participate in the 2020-2021 OpenStax Institutional Partnership Network. As a participant in the network’s first-year program Minnesota State Mankato will work actively to build and execute a strategy that will encourage greater use of free, flexible textbooks among its faculty and students.
Minnesota State University, Mankato was chosen to participate in this strategic partnership with OpenStax by demonstrating an eagerness to drive adoption of open educational resources (OER). Free to access and fully modifiable, OER provides students and educators with fair and flexible teaching and learning materials.
Participants in the OpenStax Institutional Partner Network’s first-year program will receive individualized consulting from OpenStax and join a cohort of colleges and universities advocating widespread use of OER at their schools. On average, the institutions who join as the network increase the number of students impacted by OER by 158% after completing the first year. To date, the program has resulted in over 20 million dollars of additional student savings from OER.
“IT Solutions and Library Services have been partnering for the past few years to support OER development and use in the classroom,” says Library Services Prof. Bobby Bothmann. “OER are an essential tool in achieving day-one access to course content, providing content that is inclusive, and closing the achievement gap for marginalized students.”
Interim Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Matt Cecil states “textbook costs are a major concern for students and their families. In the right courses, Open Educational Resources can be one way to reduce costs for students without negatively impacting course quality.”
Open educational resources, including the free, openly licensed textbooks offered by OpenStax, eliminate cost barriers for students and allow unrestricted, immediate access to learning materials, increasing the likelihood for students to complete their courses successfully. In addition to the immediate benefits to students, open educational resources are offered under a Creative Commons license, allowing instructors to modify textbooks to better serve their unique teaching and evolving student needs.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,297 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free, high quality, peer-reviewed textbooks and affordable educational technology designed to improve learning outcomes. For more information, visit OpenStax.org.