In response to the escalating cost of printed textbooks, a Purdue University Calumet professor has developed a course e-text that has saved students at least 75 percent of the price of a printed text formerly used by Purdue Calumet students for the same course.
Assistant Professor of Computer Graphics Technology Magesh Chandramouli of Schererville authored the e-text, “An Introduction to Animation.” This e-text was used by Chandramouli and the 27 students enrolled this past spring in the Computer Graphics Technology course, CGT 24100--Introduction to Computer Animation.
Affordable, custom-written text
“After teaching this course for a few years, I felt the need for an affordable, custom-written text that could specifically serve the learning objectives of this course,” Chandramouli said.
His e-text is a product of a pilot initiative offered through Purdue University’s Information Technology @ Purdue (ITaP) and Purdue Libraries to explore alternatives to higher-priced commercial textbooks.
College Board has reported that college students spend an average of $1,200 annually on course text materials.
Reduce complexity, increase illustrations
“In computer graphics, the basic principles of 3D modeling and animation serve as the foundation for the advanced topics that students need to learn later,” Chandramouli said. “This e-text was an effort to reduce the complexity of the concepts presented, while including lots of illustrations.”
As a participant in the pilot initiative, Chandramouli received a $5,000 grant.
Delivered via Skyepack © platform
“Proposals were invited from faculty members across Purdue campuses, and the selected proposals were funded to create an electronic text for a specific course,” he said. “The electronic version is delivered via a platform called Skyepack© that allows online access.”
The text was edited and published by Purdue University Press and ITaP (ISBN 978-62671-022-1).
Since CGT 24100 is a foundation course that advances knowledge important in subsequent CGT courses, Chandramouli said it was important for the e-text he developed to be “simple and straightforward.”
Chandramouli has been a Purdue Calumet faculty member since 2011. He earned a Ph.D. at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus. Some 116 students were enrolled as computer graphics technology students last spring at Purdue Calumet.