The University System of Ohio and Flat World Knowledge have teamed up for a joint pilot program that will allow 1,000 Ohio students to receive digital textbooks for free. Faculty in the pilot who select Flat World textbooks for their courses, and agree to participate in a research project focused on student learning, can offer their students free access to the Flat World Knowledge suite of digital learning materials and low-cost access to print textbooks.
Under the program, students will be able to choose from a variety of textbook formats, including an online version, ebooks for the iPad, Kindle and other e-readers, audiobooks, PDF downloads, and interactive study aids. The digital files are non-expiring and not DRM protected, allowing students to transfer the content from device to device. Students who prefer printed books will have the option to purchase a low-cost softcover copy. The Ohio Board of Regents encouraged faculty to use innovative digital learning materials in their courses and drive down out-of-pocket textbook costs for students, helping make college more affordable. Flat World Knowledge content is published under a Creative Commons open license that grants substantial flexibility to faculty to customize the peer-reviewed materials for their specific classes.