The future of college textbooks is open

Stack of books and laptop on wooden tableFor many students and parents, the cost of college textbooks may come as a surprise. A study published by the General Accountability Office in 2013 revealed that textbook costs rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2012. The National Association of College Stores (NACS) says the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year. The frustration that comes with these rising costs has motivated educators to provide more affordable and accessible academic resources for their students.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by the Hewlett Foundation as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” Continue reading “The future of college textbooks is open”

UA Little Rock ranks among state’s top online schools

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been recognized as one of the best online schools in the state by the Community for Accredited Online Schools at

UA Little Rock was listed at No. 2—just barely being edged-out of the No. 1 spot by The University of Arkansas–Fayetteville. is a comprehensive accreditation resource for people trying to select a college. Its goal is to help students “make informed decisions about which college to attend an avoid being saddled with student loans and worthless degrees from ‘diploma mills.’”

The resource takes a number of factors into consideration when ranking online institutions. To be considered for ranking the institution has to be accredited at the institutional level; classified as a private nonprofit or public school; have a minimum of one online bachelor’s or master’s degree program for a 4-year school; and have a minimum of one online associate degree or certificate for a 2-year school.

Schools are examined by the cost, the variety of programs offered, graduation rates, and the student-teacher ratio. UA Little Rock was noted for its accelerated programs and online resources, such as, Blackboard support, library resources and databases, and the online writing lab.

UA Little Rock currently has 22 accredited degree and certificate programs, as well as 14 minor programs, available 100% online.

UA Little Rock’s online programs have been recognized in the past for their excellence by