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Open educational resources help undercut rising college costs

University Showcase 3/17 8a: The expense of going to college has risen drastically in the last 20 years. And even if students get scholarships or financial aid to cover tuition, there are still other expenses, like books. Students spend $10 billion annually on textbooks in the United States. Those who cannot afford to buy or rent the books may fall behind in their education. Hard copy books can cost as much as $400, with an average price between $80 and $150. But there’s a growing alternative: open educational resources. These are teaching and learing resources that are openly licensed and freely available on the internet. Teachers can also adapt them for a specific student population and even remix the materials and share them.

On this episode we’ll look at how open educational resources are evolving at the University of New Mexico.


  • Therese Baca-Radler, instructor, First Year Experience Program
  • Cash Clifton, director of Academic Communities and a foundational math coordinator
  • Dave Dixon, lecturer, Department of Economics
  • Jennifer Schaller, Open Educational Resources librarian
  • Zachary Sharp, distinguished professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and director of the Center for Stable Isotopes

UNM OER Initiative
Jennifer Schaller's OER Libguide
The NROC Project

Megan has been a journalist for 25 years and worked at business weeklies in San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She first came to KUNM as a phone volunteer on the pledge drive in 2005. That led to volunteering on Women’s Focus, Weekend Edition and the Global Music Show. She was then hired as Morning Edition host in 2015, then the All Things Considered host in 2018. Megan was hired as News Director in 2021.