OpenStax makes its online learning tools free

On top of the publisher's already free catalog of textbooks, online homework resources are now free to teachers and students during the public health crisis.
woman studying on laptop surrounded by programming books
(Christina Wocintechchat / Unsplash)

The Rice University-based publisher OpenStax announced Thursday that it will provide free teaching resources through the end of the spring semester to support faculty transitioning to online course delivery in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With over 300 universities transitioning to online learning to limit the spread of COVID-19, educators are relying on digital resources to keep teaching their home-bound students, and many edtech companies, including OpenStax, have made hundreds of online resources free to support online education.

OpenStax, which launched in 2012, already offers 38 free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks for college and high-school courses in an effort to save students money. But the edtech publisher announced it will now offer free access to 30 online homework providers including OpenStax Tutor and Rover.

Using the tools, students and teachers are able to highlight and take notes in digital textbooks and make printable study guides to study offline if internet access is unreliable. And teachers can also collaborate with colleagues on online activities with OpenStax Community Hubs.


In the past week, more than 27,000 new accounts have been created, according to the company, and more than 1,000 new faculty have joined to access textbooks and teaching resources.

The organization’s work has not only saved 9 million students more than $830 million, according to the project, it’s also credited with helping to disrupt a publishing industry that’s now lowering textbook prices.

Betsy Foresman

Written by Betsy Foresman

Betsy Foresman was an education reporter for EdScoop from 2018 through early 2021, where she wrote about the virtues and challenges of innovative technology solutions used in higher education and K-12 spaces. Foresman also covered local government IT for StateScoop, on occasion. Foresman graduated from Texas Christian University in 2018 — go Frogs! — with a BA in journalism and psychology. During her senior year, she worked as an intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and moved back to the capital after completing her degree because, like Shrek, she feels most at home in the swamp. Foresman previously worked at Scoop News Group as an editorial fellow.

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