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OU Pushes Online Material As Textbook Alternative

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University of Oklahoma officials say a program that puts more course material online is saving students on the cost of textbooks.

OU President David Boren's office says the first year of the Textbook Alternatives Initiatives has saved students about 25 percent off the typical $1,400 yearly cost of textbooks.

OU is trying to push more material online after seeing a study that found up to 70 percent of students were not buying books because of the costs.

Vice Provost Kyle Harper told the Tulsa World that he considers the cost of many textbooks to be "absurd."

"The value added by new editions and other ways that publishers find to make students buy books doesn't add that value that would justify that cost that they ask," Harper says. "With technology, especially digital textbooks, you can dramatically reduce the cost to students."

Associate Chemistry Professor Mark Morvant has led the effort to put more material online and says that while the program is not mandatory — other faculty members have generally been open to the idea.  

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