Rice’s OpenStax helps nation’s colleges and universities provide free online instruction during coronavirus outbreak

Jeff Falk

Rice’s OpenStax helps nation’s colleges and universities provide free online instruction during coronavirus outbreak

HOUSTON – (March 19, 2020) – The Rice University-based nonprofit OpenStax is responding to COVID-19 by helping students nationwide navigate their online courses and supporting faculty as they quickly transition to online course delivery.

Credit: 123RF.com/Rice University

OpenStax’s 38 free digital textbooks can be used in any online teaching environment, and 28 of OpenStax’s online homework providers will make access free through the end of the term. OpenStax’s own low-cost online homework offerings, OpenStax Tutor and Rover by OpenStax, will be offered for free through the end of the semester.

OpenStax will hold a webinar at 11 a.m. Central time today with experts on transitioning courses online, which will be recorded and posted for the broader community, as well as a step-by-step pictorial guide on setting up a remote course and assigning OpenStax resources online.

Learn more about how OpenStax is supporting faculty and students responding to the pandemic here: https://openstax.org/blog/teaching-online-openstax-support-emerging-social-distancing-requirements.

In the past week, 27,024 new OpenStax.org accounts have been created, according to the nonprofit — 1,212 faculty new to OpenStax now have access to free faculty-only resources through the website, and 25,812 students can now highlight, take notes and create study guides from free OpenStax books. Faculty and students at 127 institutions in the past week have reported they’re now using OpenStax, adding to the 7,600 institutions that were already using one or more OpenStax textbooks in their courses.

Almost 3 million students are saving an estimated $233 million this year by using free textbooks from OpenStax.

Since publishing its first free textbook online in 2012, OpenStax has expanded its library to provide books for over 38 college and Advanced Placement courses. The organization’s work has not only saved 9 million students more than $830 million, it’s also credited with contributing to a disruption in the publishing industry that’s lowering overall textbook prices.


This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

About OpenStax
OpenStax is committed to improving access to quality learning materials. As a nonprofit ed tech initiative that is part of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax provides free college and Advanced Placement textbooks that are developed and peer-reviewed by educators, as well as low cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn. For more information, visit http://OpenStax.org.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.