Is Sinclair really as affordable as claimed? Textbook prices make no sense.

Algebra hasn’t changed that much in the last 50 years. Printing has. Even when the cost of four-color offset printing has dropped like a rock, textbook publishers are getting away with grand theft. At Sinclair Community College beginning Algebra costs $180- the books cost $156.

Three business books add even more to the price tag: Intro to Supervision is $115, Intro to Business is $160 and Interpersonal Communication comes in at $90.40

Total book prices: $521.40

Total tuition: $585

Anyone else have a problem with this?

And if you really want to read some good business books- I’d suggest a whole slew of best sellers, written by people who don’t have PhD after their name, that come in at under $25 a pop.

To make things even more tilted- some of the courses didn’t announce what books were required until today- the first day of classes. This thwarts students from seeking titles from online book providers where they can save at least 20% or more. The rule of P’s is very applicable here- “Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance” or in this case- Piss Poor Prices.

If universities and community colleges in Ohio really want to work to deliver a higher quality education for less, it’s time to investigate publishing or using existing open-access textbooks. If anyone can tell me why we can’t create a simple college-level algebra curriculum using free courseware tools like Moodle when we have at least 200+ PhD mathematicians on the State payroll- I’d be interested.

For some reason educators seem terrified of the open source tools for delivery of educational materials and resources for learning. I still hear stories of requiring Microsoft Office- on a PC instead of realizing that Google Docs is a real option- or even Open Office. Why are we demanding students use proprietary tools? Is to make sure Bill Gates recovers his position as the Worlds richest man? Afterall, he was a college drop out.

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