Students who choose to further their education at online schools may be able to save money on their book prices as textbook publishers expand their digital offerings.
For example, Macmillan has announced it will begin offering digital textbooks that may be rewritten or restructured by professors, the New York Times reports.
The new program, DynamicBooks, will allow professors to delete chapters, upload syllabi and add notes, pictures or graphs to the text. Although some companies already offer textbooks that can be altered by educators, Macmillin is the first to allow professors to do so without consulting a book's author.
Brian Napack, president of Macmillan, told the media outlet that professors will simply have to "go online, log on to the authoring tool, have the content right there and make whatever changes they want."
These books will also offer cost savings to students, as some online versions will be available for as little as one-third of the price of traditional texts. The company will also offer print-on-demand editions of the customized books.
Similar programs could make online college degrees more financially feasible for some students, as the average cost of a semester's worth of textbooks at a traditional university is between $300 and $600 per student, the Clarion Ledger reports.