The University of North Georgia (UNG) Press in collaboration with Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) has published and provided a variety of open online resources for students in the past, and has recently acquired six more textbooks created for the University System of Georgia (USG).
ALG is a state-wide initiative between Georgia Library Learning Online (GALILEO), a state-funded virtual library, and the Board of Regents of the USG, which oversees the open-sourcing of the materials by way of an open copyright license allowing others to access, copy or modify the text easily. This solves the issue of textbook information constantly changing by edition or becoming outdated as a factor that discourages many students from buying the required materials, especially in the nursing and education disciplines where research and methodologies are constantly being developed and altered.
"GALILEO Open Learning Materials is a great digital repository for Open Education Resources (OER), especially our UNG Press open textbooks," said Dr. Bonnie Robinson, professor of English and director of the UNG Press. "Because many students often wait to purchase required materials for their classes or do not buy them at all due to the high costs, this system-wide program promotes source effectiveness and efficiency so that affordability does not limit the academic success of students."
The rapid growth of technology has altered how and where today’s students receive and absorb information whether that is for school, work or their own lives, and under Robinson’s guidance UNG has continued to promote academic excellence and innovation by providing a wealth of new digital resources.
Texts such as anthologies, history textbooks and manuals for the applied sciences have been created for this repository of educational assets for varying disciplines which lessens the cost of required and supplemental resources for college students – an estimated $16.5 million for the 2015-2016 fiscal year – and increases success in the classroom and course completion.
"Already, three of UNG Press's eight open textbooks have made GALILEO's list of most popular resources, so it allows us to meet the large demand for our OER instantly and world-wide. By making OER discoverable on a world-wide scale and accessible to all interested users, GALILEO is making a major contribution to the field," Robinson said.
The latest of UNG’s additions to GALILEO are eight texts that cover world and American literature, geology, art history, music history, and world and American history.