Florida’s Zero Textbook Cost Course Indicator
Through Florida Statute (§)1006.73 (2)(c), Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) is required to "Promote and provide recommendations concerning the use and distribution of open-access textbooks and education resources as a method for reducing costs and work with public postsecondary education institutions in developing a standardized process for the review and approval of open-access textbooks and education resources."
Florida is a recognized leader among the nation on identifying and highlighting the textbook affordability crisis for students. Building on previous FLVC textbook affordability efforts, a 2021 workgroup was convened with representatives from Florida’s colleges and universities to brainstorm, define and provide best recommendations to implement textbook cost indicator(s) in the FloridaShines Course Catalog. The textbook cost indicator(s) may be used across the state by the institutions who desire to highlight their efforts with reducing the cost of learning materials for their students. Working together this group was given the charge to:
- Identify indicator(s) and definition(s) to be used in the Course Catalog, to highlight affordable course options in the state of Florida.
- Make recommendations on the classification, use and design of these indicators.
- Collect best practices for local implementation and catalog upload processes for peer institutions.
The incorporation of textbook cost indicator(s) will build off the current FLVC infrastructure, OPEN FL community, and the FloridaShines Catalog. Statewide indicator(s) provide students and institutions a way to easily highlight and discover online courses with affordable textbook costs. Being the first statewide system to include textbook costs indicator(s) for colleges and universities in the same catalog will continue to push FLVC as a leader for the nation and will give an advantage to Sunshine State students, and online students across the nation, through easy to access, affordable textbook costs course options throughout Florida.