Another Rice University project, OpenStax College, aims to create complete, authoritative university textbooks for subjects starting with physics, sociology and biology. Basic downloads of these texts are free, and print-on-demand versions can be purchased inexpensively.
"Connexions is the largest OER repository in the world, and you can think of OpenStax College as a floor in this library," Connexions editor-in-chief David Harris said in a presentation at SXSWEdu. Part of the point is to establish a greater degree of credibility by thoroughly vetting these texts and making them easy for universities and professors to adopt. OpenStax also provides supporting materials such as presentations that a professor can download and modify for classroom use.
As a spin-off project, OpenStax Tutor aims to provide interactive homework assignments for subjects like physics and math that apply the latest findings in cognitive science to boost retention, plus machine learning techniques to make the assembly of personalized learning experiences more scalable.