Faculty members play an important role in minimizing textbook costs for students. Here are some actions you can take to help reduce the cost of educational materials for your students.

  • Replace expensive course materials with library resources. Ebooks for the Classroom+ is an excellent resource to find over 400,000 ebooks that USF students can use at no cost.
  • Save time with Curriculum Builder. Integrated in Canvas, this tool allows faculty to search library content and immediately populate reading lists with minimal effort, in the process eliminating copyright costs associated with services such as ProCopy.
  • Use Course Reserves at the Library. The USF Tampa Library routinely purchases copies of textbooks for courses with enrollments exceeding 75 students. Instructors may place their personal copies of books and other materials on Reserve for students to use during the semester. Faculty can request that additional items be placed on Course Reserves through the online form.
  • Adopt an Open Access Textbook. USF is new member of the Open Textbook Network an organization that is helping to develop expertise with open access textbooks at USF. Open access textbooks are openly-licensed digital textbooks that are offered for free online.  These materials allow anyone to read, copy, distribute, or modify the content at no cost.
  • Limit the use of adaptive learning technology such as WileyPlus, Connect, and MyLab. These mandatory online tools add significant, fixed costs, and have no resale value for students.
  • Avoid adopting custom textbooks. Used and ebook versions of custom texts are rarely available and are often course specific with little buy back value for students.
  • Use the same textbook. Before requiring a new edition, review the text to ensure that the difference in material is substantial enough to warrant assigning a newer, more expensive edition.
  • Participate in etextbook pilots sponsored by the University, where available. Currently, etextbook pilots are limited to textbooks published by Wiley and Pearson, however new pilots are emerging on a semester-by-semester basis. Contact Laura Pascual from the Textbook Affordability Project team at lcpascua@usf.edu for more information.
  • Submit textbook orders on time. Textbook orders must be submitted by the deadline established by the Provost’s Office. This gives students time to comparison shop for the lowest prices. Visit the Textbook Adoption Compliance F.A.Q. for deadlines.
  • Limit the use of “recommended” textbooks. Students may feel they need to purchase these items in addition to required items, adding to the overall costs of textbooks for a course.
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