Please help us learn more about your experiences purchasing and using course materials (textbooks and more) for your courses!
Finding courses with no cost for materials
MSU Denver faculty can mark their courses when they have no cost for materials or a low cost (<$40) for materials.
Follow the instructions below to find these options in the course schedule:
- Sign in to your student account.
- Click either Add/Drop/Withdraw Classes (if you might be ready to register for classes) or Browse Classes (if you’re just looking)
- Search for classes of interest by department and even course number. An advanced search option is also available.
- You will see a schedule of classes that match your search criteria. The schedule includes a column of attributes on the right-hand side. Rows that have “Low cost materials $40 or less” should have course materials that cost $40 or less. Rows that have the icon with “No-cost for materials” should not have any additional materials cost for the course. An example of part of the Spring 2022 schedule for Spanish courses is shown below.
Once you are enrolled in a course, you can email the faculty member who is teaching it for more detailed information about required materials for the course.
OER Student FAQ's
Three places where you can look for online textbooks to complement your studies are:
OpenStax (Rice University)
- OpenStax books are truly comparable to commercial texts in quality because they go through the same extensive development process. The difference is that philanthropic donors cover the cost (donors have no control over the textbook content, which is faculty written and extensively peer-reviewed)
- Books are available for free as PDFs and online, optional print copies are available through Amazon or, for specific courses, the bookstore (~$40-$65 for a hardcopy book)
- Limited selection of courses available (mostly introductory level)
The Open Education Network’s Open Textbook Library
- A referatory to over 900 different textbooks, including all the OpenStax options plus many, many more
- All books in the Open Textbook Library are in a textbook format and are used at one or more U.S. institutions of higher education
- Libretexts is site that contains textbook type material in an online format
- Hover over “Explore the Libraries” in the middle of the Libretexts homepage and pick the area that matches the discipline you are looking for, then click on Bookshelves to explore titles in your field
- Ann Diker in Nutrition heavily adapted an Introduction to Nutrition book in Libretexts that is now being used in all sections of NUT 2040 at MSU Denver.
- You can print content from Libretexts
If you have a professor using free materials or low cost materials, let them know you appreciate the work they’ve put into developing their course! If having no costs for materials in a course is a benefit for you, let your faculty member know that, too.
OER stands for Open Educational Resources, which are education materials that can be freely downloaded, edited, and shared to better serve all students. They often have a Creative Commons license rather than traditional copyright to clearly show that they can be freely shared.
Want to learn more about OER in your courses?Email Us
Students willing to share stories about course materials costs, email your interest to Emily Ragan, MSU Denver OER Coordinator and faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.