drawing, computer and booksEnglish instructor Kate Watts cringes when she imagines students shelling out upwards of $80 for a textbook. She had the same reservations many faculty members have about free, open-sourced, online material. But she did her research, asked experts, consulted with colleagues and found solutions to save her students money.

The online textbook Watts uses in her English course isn’t perfect, but neither was the expensive alternative. The open source format allows her to pick and choose the portions of the text she wants to focus on, and she can plug in alternative material as she sees fit. » More …