October 25, 2011

Professor Joe Moxley, Director of First-Year Composition (FYC), along with the department’s faculty and graduate students, created a collaborative custom online textbook to support the FYC curriculum, which serves about 3,400 students each semester.

The new FYC collaborative text, Rhetoric Matters will be available at minimal cost thanks to the USF Technology Fee, paid by students each semester, which covered the cost of copyright permissions. These permissions often run into thousands of dollars for each reading and add substantially to the retail price. The text will be available in print and embedded in Blackboard for students who prefer to read online. Watch for this new book starting fall 2012.

Professor Moxley is also developing a textbook that will be free and open source. He originally wrote it for Pearson, one of the largest textbook publishers, with the price set at about $80. Computers and Composition, an academic journal, awarded it the 2004 Distinguished Book Award. When Pearson returned the copyright to Prof. Moxley, he set out to make the text freely available through Writing Commons. Writing Commons aspires to be a “commons-based peer production company,” a collaboration of everyone from professors to undergraduate students. It will be a Web 2.0 endeavor, easily edited to meet individual needs, and available on multiple devices. More information can be found at www.WritingCommons.com »