Beginning with the Spring 2022 semester, campuses at the University of Nebraska System will pilot a new course attribute in PeopleSoft and the searchable web-based course schedules. The three attributes listed below were proposed to Information Technology Services by the 2020-21 NU Student Regents and a group of Student Government representatives from each campus. Course attributes allow students and their parents/guardians to see which NU courses use free or reduced-cost digital course materials at the time of registration so as to make well-informed choices. Course marking has the strong support of UNK, UNL and UNO Student Governments and Faculty Senates.
Since Summer 2021, a group of faculty across the four NU campuses have begun studying the impact of Open Nebraska on student success. Faculty researchers include: Dr. Dan Hawkins (UNO), Dr. Julie Pelton (UNO), Craig Finlay (UNO), Dr. Emily Glenn (UNMC), Dr. Kimberly A. Carlson (UNK), and Dr. Jaci Lindburg (NU System). An initial white paper was prepared in Spring 2023, with expanded studies in the works for 2023-24.
Open Nebraska Courses & Programs at the University of Nebraska
No Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas at no additional cost to the student. No book purchase required.
Low Cost Materials: These digital course materials are incorporated into Canvas and cost students less than $40. No book purchase required.
Low Cost E-Book: This reduced-cost eBook is purchased through the campus bookstore and costs a student less than $40.
Reduced-Cost Digital Course Materials
The cost of traditional textbooks has increased 88% in the last decade, so much so that 67% of students no longer can afford to buy required textbooks for their courses. As the COVID- 19 pandemic arrived in 2020, the University of Nebraska aimed to increase student affordability by supporting faculty in adopting free or reduced-cost digital course materials in their courses.
Collaborative efforts for utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and Inclusive First Day Access eBook programs have saved NU students over $9 million as of Spring 2022. Our goal is to save NU students $10 million by 2023.