Recently I listened to a webcast by Dr. Mark David Milliron of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Much of the discussion concerned the high cost of textbooks. Also discussed were high-quality supplements and/or alternatives to traditional textbooks.
Participants mentioned services such as Flat World Knowledge, which offers low-cost customizable textbooks, and HippoCampus, which offers free multimedia content. They also mentioned the MERLOT collection as another resource.
In the discussion people did not overlook library reserves. They didn’t even dismiss textbooks entirely. Overall the emphasis was on finding the best materials to meet the instructional need.
P.S. If you’d like to know more about the webcast, check out the writeup on my (Maureen Perry’s) personal blog.