Survey: ND college professors know 'open source materials,' but some have questions

Oct 19, 2015

A survey of North Dakota faculty shows most have heard of “open source educational materials” – textbooks and other things available on line at little or no charge.

“Open source” could save students a lot of money in textbooks.

Tanya Spilovoy is the director of distance education for the North Dakota University System. She’s heading the open source project in North Dakota.

"If you dig down a little bit further, they know all the details about it," Spilovoy said. "Our faculty have heard of it. It's a great start."

Spilovoy says in that survey, faculty have also talked about barriers to using the open source material.

"Faculty feel like it would take a lot of time and effort to re-do their classes, and find resources that fit the curriculum," Spilovoy said.

Spilovoy says the University System has partnered with the University of Minnesota – to help faculty choose what they want to use in their classrooms.

"They've developed a comprehensive library of open textbooks that are freely licensed," Spilovoy said. "That means they can use, adapt and adopt these resources, and can change it to fit their needs. And it's free."

The University System recently held a workshop on open source materials. It was held at Valley City State University.