The Rice University-based open-education platform, Connexions, launched a program to provide free etextbooks for five of the highest-enrollment U.S. college courses. Because the books' content is openly licensed, faculty will be able to modify and adapt OpenStax College content to meet specific course needs.
OpenStax College's first two books, College Physics and Introduction to Sociology, will come to market in early March. Two biology textbooks -- one for majors and one for nonmajors -- and a textbook for introductory anatomy and physiology are in production and slated to go online this fall. OpenStax College books will be available online and accessible via computers, tablets, and smartphones. With Connexions' print-on-demand feature, students have the option to order low-cost print copies.
OpenStax College is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation, and the Maxfield Foundation. OpenStax College is a nonprofit program, but there are plans to partner with for-profit companies that will provide additional services.