IMG_20160201_180549Access to higher education is critical for individual enrichment and social progress, but the cost of higher education is pricing too many students out of equal participation. More than half of students are forced out of classes in science and engineering because they can’t afford the books, and more than 10% fail a course each year for the same reason.

Open education has the power to make all students welcome in the classroom by reducing costs and freeing students from the artificial scarcity of for-profit publishers. It can also free instructors from the one-size-fits-all textbooks designed to replace their individual experiences with a publisher-approved narrative. Replacing “teacher proof” texts with materials designed and selected puts students and instructors back in the driver’s seat so real learning can happen.

It also transform education in fundamental ways, by incorporating digital pedagogy, student-centered learning, and types of expertise many instructors need. Connecting librarians expertise in copyright, instructional design, and digital development with the rich subject expertise of faculty members is catalyzing a new generation of teachers and learners. At NCSU, Will has lead a program that brings together all of these stakeholders to empower instructors and save students hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

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