Eric Schlegel, Ph.D.

Professor, Physics and Astronomy

AST 1013: Introduction to Astronomy

Student savings/semester

Schlegel is replacing the former, $218 primary textbook for his sections of AST 1013 with the free Astronomy from OpenStax.OpenStax, a nonprofit affiliated with Rice University, works directly with faculty subject matter experts and funders like the Hewlett Foundation to create peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks that are free for students.   

More from Schlegel:

“Migrating from one textbook to another, even in a ‘stable’ area such as introductory physics, is a challenge. In a relatively constantly changing area such as astronomy/astrophysics, migration can be a significant impediment. But I think the change can be done gradually. I'd advocate for adopting the text, then slowly morphing figures from copyrighted to open-sourced versions. Ideally, that would occur all at once as an instructor wants to use figures that a student sees in the text. But for figure-intensive areas (e.g., astronomy), that represents a challenge. Demonstrating that the transition to OER need not be tremendously time-consuming should encourage other faculty to adopt.”