Feb 18, 2019 | edocr |
University System of Georgia initiative to provide students more affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks 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 students. 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 research and teaching interests are user interface (UI), mobile and web applications, data visualization, and business intelligence. He shares lecture notes, tutorials, and labs in document and slide formats on edocr, where he is able to update material as needed and organize it into collections - two features that enticed him to publish on edocr over slideshare . He also values features of usage tracking, embedding, and free downloading. With edocr, Professor Zheng can share his materials publicly at no cost, and with the embeddable document viewer the content can be easily accessed by students on his personal website. You can view Professor Zheng’s ALG effort here http://zheng.kennesaw.edu/teaching/alg.cshtml and his collections on his edocr profile here: https://www.edocr.com/user/jgzheng For more information on Affordable Learning Georgia visit www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org
Dr. Jack Zheng, Associate Professor
Department of Information Technology
College of Computing and Software Engineering
Kennesaw State University
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