Report 2007-116 Recommendation 30 Responses
Report 2007-116: Affordability of College Textbooks: Textbook Prices Have Risen Significantly in the Last Four Years, but Some Strategies May Help to Control These Costs for Students (Release Date: August 2008)
Recommendation #30 To: University of California
To ensure that courses taught by faculty whose main instructional materials are open educational resources meet the articulation requirements for students who transfer to the UC and CSU systems, faculty and the system offices at the UC, CSU, and community colleges should collaborate to develop acceptable standards and policies related to content, currency, and quality of these alternative instructional materials.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From December 2009
The University has already, in effect, implemented a process by which it reviews course materials for purposes of course articulation. Courses taken by community college transfer students are governed by articulation agreements and the content of those courses, including the textbooks used, are evaluated regardless of whether they are conventional or open-source textbooks.
When doing articulation of California Community College courses, however, the University of California reviews first and foremost, the course being proposed for articulation in terms of match to UC's lower-division courses in contentócourse instructional materials are not the primary driver. When looking at textbooks, UC's primary goal is to ensure that the curriculum presented in the materials is in alignment with the course content and UC curriculum requirements. UC also verifies that the text is dated within 6 years, in accordance with Title V.
Additionally, as a further measure to help instructors who are teaching courses online or in subject areas where there is not an appropriate textbook, the University does have a place on its OSCAR course review screen where information can be entered to describe what is being offered in place of a text and how it meets the aforementioned requirements. Occasionally, an outdated textbook is justified by the CCC faculty as the best match for the intended curriculum. Course reviewers take those comments into consideration and, if appropriate, do accept the course without a recent textbook. The University has discussed the possibility of making this flexibility an official rule in systemwide articulation with the CSU Chancellor's Office.
As indicated in earlier responses to the Bureau of State Audits, which is attached for your reference, I am very concerned about the affordability of a UC education and the University is working in a number of ways to address this issue. The UC campuses have taken numerous steps to keep the cost of textbooks affordable, and with respect to open educational resources, the University continues its involvement with the CSU and CCC segments to develop and promote open educational resources. (See 2009-041, p. 54)
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.