New Florida legislation requires universities to analyze the cost of required textbooks and materials. The Florida State University Board of Trustees is now searching for ways to cut those costs.
The board is looking at research into the general education books that carry the largest price tag. Social Science classes like Micro and Macro Economics come out on top, along with Math courses. Many math instructors are now developing course materials online. The free videos, lecture notes, and practice problems are helping to keep costs low for the department, but board member Susan Fiorito isn’t sure online materials are a possibility across academic programs.
She says, “I think faculty are constantly working on this. They are aware about the price of textbooks, but we do also feel very committed to making sure that our students are getting the material that’s the best, that will be comparable to students all over. Not only in the state of Florida, but all over the country and the world.”
Fiorito says moving materials online is difficult. That’s because general education course resources have to be kept standard across the country, and the development of online content is very time consuming for faculty. For now, Provost Sally McRorie says the best way for students to save on books is to explore buying and renting options early, before the semester starts.