Dr. Jack Zheng, Associate ProfessorDepartment of Information TechnologyCollege of Computing and Software Engineering Kennesaw State University
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University System of Georgia initiative
to provide students more affordable alternatives to
A college education is expensive. Attending a local college or university
requires students to budget for tuition, fees, and transportation. An
out-of-state student can add out-of-state tuition fees, room and board, and
personal living expenses to that budget. Then there are the books.
The College Board, a not-for-profit organization that helps students prepare
for and have access to higher education, estimates the average full-time,
in-state undergrad at a public college spends $1,298 per year on textbooks
and course materials. That’s over $600 per semester on textbooks and
single-use access codes that most students are required to have to
participate in the course. Unless you are one of Professor Jack Zheng’s
Dr. Jack Zheng is a proponent of open and free learning materials. An
associate professor of IT at Kennesaw State University, Professor Zheng
has been an active participant in University System of Georgia’s Affordable
Learning Georgia initiative, and has transformed almost all his classes to
use open and free learning materials. These resources not only lowers
textbook cost, but they also have a number of advantages over traditional
textbooks, especially in the IT industry.
1. Many learning resources are more dynamic and interactive. Going
beyond just static text and pictures, the resources are presented in various
rich media and interactive technologies, including videos, interactive labs
with live feedbacks, online quizzes, etc.
2. The resources are sustained well by the instructor and always reflect the
latest trends and industry development. Students can always refer to these
collections of resources even after graduation.
Affordable Learning Georgia has saved over 200,000 students $31.3
million dollars since its inception in 2014 and continues to award Textbook
Transformation Grants to expand its efforts.
Professor Zheng’s resear