Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a shorter version of the previous post:

instapundit glenn reynolds has been covering the higher education bubble.
today he posts about the high cost of college textbooks.
two simple solutions, one easy, one a little less so but more worth doing.
1. teach the previous edition, which students can pick up for around $25.
a ten page summary written by a TA would let them know what's in the new edition.

2. open source textbooks. every first year law student takes property contracts torts and crim law. those would probably be the place to start. have a seminar where the object of the class is to produce an open source textbook, one per semester.
not only is this project worth doing in and of itself, it gives leverage when negotiating prices with textbook manufacturers. it's like when a walmart opens in town,
prices at the other stores drop 10%. The case law is already open source,and each student in the seminar could write a chapter of commentary,and people online could suggest improvements, in a wiki-type process. I know there are some efforts in that direction already, so one wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel.

For example, here is a free open source torts text.

(he's never linked to one of my posts and won't link to this one either, but gotta keep trying.)

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