News from RICE University

Newest OpenStax textbook provides essential workplace skills to students

HOUSTON – (Nov. 30 2023) – OpenStax’s newest textbook, “Workplace Software and Skills,” addresses the evolving needs of college and university students preparing for their careers with free, customizable resources. Just like the other 65 textbooks freely available in Rice University’s OpenStax library, this textbook is openly licensed and peer-reviewed. 

“Workplace Software and Skills” is poised to be a valuable asset for students seeking to build or enhance their computer skills in both Microsoft Office and Google Suite applications. The textbook is designed to support learners with the knowledge and proficiencies needed in today’s evolving job market, including real-world applications, guided walk-throughs and conceptual understanding questions, all with an emphasis on ethics. The textbook builds the learner’s understanding from internet basics to computer software programs then supports them as they apply those skills to various situations and environments. 

“The publication of ‘Workplace Software and Skills’ addresses the evolving needs of students, and frankly, of education systems in general,” said Anthony Palmiotto, director of higher education for OpenStax. “Students need quality educational resources to prepare for and thrive in a dynamic and evolving higher education landscape and job market.”

Workplace Software and Skills textbook

“Workplace Software and Skills” will be available for free on www.openstax.org beginning Nov. 29. Supporting resources for students and instructors will be added over the coming months. 

“We developed this textbook to serve the needs of diverse students in various academic and career pursuits,” said senior contributing author Angela Mitchell of Wilmington College. “The textbook is centered on skill development with practice exercises and case studies. The topics, software and real-world activities are designed to prepare students for an array of experiences and roles. Having access to free, customizable resources will help students develop the skills needed for success in their careers in virtually any industry.”

This publication covers hard and soft skills that are applicable to a broad range of academic majors and fields. The introduction of “Workplace Software and Skills” underscores OpenStax’s commitment to its mission of expanding access to high-quality educational materials for all learners — this book, in particular, is likely to be valuable for learners both within and without traditional academic environments. 

Since the publication of its first textbook in 2012, OpenStax has rapidly expanded its list of textbooks and technology offerings, and its minimalist book covers have become a familiar sight on campuses across the country. OpenStax resources have been used by 70% of colleges and universities across the United States and over 6,300 K-12 schools and districts.