Bay College Plans Annual "Free the Textbooks" Rally

Bay College will hold its fourth annual “Free the Textbooks OER Rally” on Wednesday, October 30, from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM (EST), in the Student Success Center (the “HUB”) on the Escanaba campus, and 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM (CST), in the lower commons area at Bay West in Iron Mountain. The event, featuring free food, soft drinks, and prizes, is being held to bring awareness and energy to Bay College’s wide use of open educational resources (OER).

OER are alternatives to publisher-provided textbooks, software, and other course materials, which are often very costly to students. OER reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. The shift to OER can save students large sums of money--potentially thousands of dollars--over the course of their college careers. Most OER are free digitally and very low-cost in print form.

Bay College now offers a path for students to complete an entire Associate in Arts degree by taking courses using OER. Currently, 38 Bay College courses are using OER, and thousands of students have taken courses using OER since the fall of 2016, saving them over $900,000 in textbook costs.

The shift to OER not only saves students money, it also invigorates teaching. Using digital and interactive open educational resources such as open courseware encourages faculty to teach students in more engaging and dynamic ways and invite students to become more actively involved in their own learning. OER does not totally eliminate printed textbooks but minimizes the cost to the student as printing costs are much less and content more tailored to each specific class.

The “Free the Textbooks OER Rally” is open to the public. Community members are welcome to find out more about how OER can make college more affordable for everyone. For further information about OER or the rally, visit or contact Joseph Mold at moldj_FROM_BAY_COLLEGE