The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 29, 2012

iTunes, the future of OU classrooms

NORMAN — In lieu of skyrocketing textbook prices, University of Oklahoma Center for Teaching Excellence Executive Director Mark Morvant gave a presentation Tuesday that made a strong case for digital instruction as the solution to this problem.

According to numbers Morvant presented from the Government Accountability Office, the average cost for college textbooks per semester has seen a 186 percent increase since 1986. Moreover, the most significant increases have been within the past four years.

The 20 Million Minds foundation, a fund supporting “disruptive technology” and digital textbooks, estimated that students paid an average of $900 per semester in 2009.

It is estimated students currently pay an average of $1,300 per semester for textbooks.

“In 16 years as a chemistry professor, I had to update everything in my course every three years, whether I wanted to or not. The truth is, in 16 years of teaching organic chemistry, there have been three minor revisions. But every three years, we get new textbooks and every three years, the cost of those textbooks goes up,” Morvant said.

Though he called this estimation “rough,” since only 70 percent of enrolled students actually buy the course materials, Morvant estimated that the transition to digital course materials would carve 5 to 15 percent out of higher education costs for students.

“Rising textbook costs is not part of what our students should be spending their hard-earned money on, and we’re at a point where technology has enabled us (professors) to create our own basic course materials which, in many cases, are better than the textbook,” Morvant said.

Giving a demonstration of digital courses available through iTunes U, Morvant showed attending professors the versatility of the software, as well as its effective use of the multiple media college students interact with on a daily basis.

Where software like iTunes U is great for challenging the digitally adept modern college student, it is also highly versatile for each instructor’s unique expertise or preferences.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014