Sunday, September 27, 2009

Florida University Start Free Text Book Initative

Florida University System’s Board of Governors has approved a pilot program allowing students to access some of their textbooks online for free. The pilot program is called Orange Grove Text Plus (OGT+) is a joint initiative of the University Press of Florida and The Orange Grove, Florida’s Digital Repository. The goal is simple - to reduce the cost of books to students.

OGT+ uses open textbooks which are generally licensed to allow anyone to use, download, customize, or print without expressed permission from the author. OGT+ also includes a number of scholarly monographs offered for free online access by the University Press of Florida and collaborating authors. OGT+ offer currently only has 89 textbooks and 21 scholarly monographs free online, but plan to add more titles on a continuing basis. They plan to include a large selection of content from UPF’s backlist of more than 1600 titles and may eventually include books developed specifically for this imprint.

The Students will have unlimited access. Students can also use the site’s one-click ordering to order a paperback copy of the book printed, bound, and shipped directly to their home for about half the cost of traditional textbooks. Instructors can now use OGT+ textbooks in their entirety, linking the online version of their textbook directly into their course web page within their learning management system (LMS). It is intended that instructors will also be able to customize the text and effectively create bespoke mash-ups and each new version of a text book will have its own unique ISBN.

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