User:Vtaylor/Open Textbooks

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student reviews

found on Facebook

textbook repositories

  • OER Commons
  • Orange Grove Plus
  • Student PIRGs
  • Textbook Revolution
  • USG Share

  • open textbooks - what they are, who can use them, where to get them, how to use them

  • What is a textbook

Community College Open Textbook Project

for stakeholders and participants of the Community College Open Textbook Project

  • OERCommons
  • OCW

Related links

Adoptions, reviews

Train the Trainer for Open Textbook Adoptions

Train the Trainer for Open Textbook Adoptions' on Community College Open Textbook Project!

Practical skill-building for encouraging adoptions of open educational resources including textbooks. The workshop focuses on finding, adapting, and using open resources (both online and printed); working with administrators, campus stores, and students; understanding open licenses; comparing and using repositories and more. The only cost is a commitment to train others.

Please let community college professionals know about this workshop, especially those who are attending the League for Innovation CIT conference and/or the SHN Alternative Courseware event.

Previous Train the Trainer for Open Textbook Adoptions workshops

Coming soon in early 2010...

  • online workshop

Open textbook adoption

  • open textbooks - what they are, format, considerations, benefits, issues
  • availability - listings, repositories, copyright, reviews, recommendations
  • stakeholders - academic department administration/faculty, articulation partners, bookstore, library, curriculum committee

  • Webinar Save $$ with Free and Open Textbooks - Session Archive @ONE - Conducted by Dr. Judy Baker, Dean - Foothill Global Access, reviews the steps of how to get Open Textbooks for your course. Save students money, support open educational resources, and become part of the growing movement to bring education costs down.

Revising a Textbook

One of the promises of Open Textbooks is flexibility for instructors to modify and customize them for specific course designs. Here are some initial considerations on editing an open textbook.

What are Open Textbooks?

Open textbooks "are textbooks that are freely available with nonrestrictive licenses. Covering a wide range of disciplines, open textbooks are available to download and print in various file formats from several web sites and OER repositories. Open textbooks can range from public domain books to existing textbooks to textbooks created specifically for OER. Open textbooks help solve the problems of the high cost of textbooks, book shortages, and access to textbooks as well as providing the capacity to better meet local teaching and learning needs" according to a Module created by Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME).

Five steps to adopting an open textbook for your course

Give your students an alternative to expensive textbooks by following these five steps.

  1. List keywords based on course objectives or student learning outcomes.
  2. Search for open content using the keywords.
  3. Select or create appropriate open content.
  4. Organize open content into an open textbook.
  5. Get necessary approvals and disseminate the open textbook to students.

Open textbooks need...

For widespread adoption of Open Textbooks, educators need there to be ...

  • visibility - reviews, directories, media coverage
  • acceptance - credibility confirmation, course transfer approval
  • more textbooks - highest enrollment courses
  • distribution - conventional hard copy, print-on-demand, digital formats (reader, screen, mobile), bookstore participation, textbook buy-back
  • testimonials - adopters stories
  • student pressure - need to get textbook costs down, especially in Community Colleges where cost are a significant factor in total cost of courses

Learn more...

Open Textbooks

  • @ONE seminar Feb 25 - Meet & Confer @ONE >Archive Desktop Seminar - Save $$ with Free and Open Textbooks
  • mobile


Open Textbook Review criteria

The final textbook review will include ratings (1 – 5, low to high) using the following criteria for each chapter reviewed:

  • Clarity and comprehensibility - content, including the instructions and exercises
  • Accuracy
  • Readability - in terms of logic, sequencing, and flow
  • Consistency of course materials - consistency in the content language and use of key terms as is necessary to facilitate understanding by novice users
  • Appropriateness of content - appropriateness of the material for community college level courses
  • Interface - technological issues such as broken links, improperly displayed graphics, and ease of navigation
  • Content usefulness - the ways in which the content could be useful for teachers, students, and those with a general interest in the subject area
  • Modularity - the ability to adapt, rearrange, add, delete and modify the content by sections
  • Content errors - the presence or absence of factual errors, grammatical errors, and typographical errors in the content
  • Reading level - appropriate for community college level students
  • Cultural relevance - use of examples that are inclusive of diverse races and ethnicities

In addition, the review will include narrative explanations or justifications, with examples, for each of the ratings.

Community College Open Textbook (CCOT) Project

challenges to the production and adoption of open textbooks:

  • (1) faculty members’ and students’ expectations of high production quality and ancillaries for open textbooks;
  • (2) faculty members’ expectations of free printed desk copies of open textbooks;
  • (3) colleges’ reluctance to mandate the use or adoption of specific open textbooks to the exclusion of other books;
  • (4) the potential for loss of revenue stream by campus bookstores;
  • (5) methods for articulating and transferring credit assurances for courses using open textbooks;
  • (6) the need to meet accessibility standards;
  • (7) methods for documenting and maintaining control over various versions;
  • (8) copyright issues; (9) the process of converting existing open content to digital and accessible formats; and
  • (9) the fact that student financial aid for textbooks is not set up for online commerce.

Preliminary report recommendations encourage

  • (1) using Connexions as the common repository for open textbook content, in an effort to provide greater national and even international access;
  • (2) using Connexions as the tool for sharing, reusing, customizing, and disseminating open textbook content;
  • (3) further examining FWK as a sustainable business model for open textbook production;
  • (4) considering corporate funding, in return for branding, to sponsor the development of content for specific disciplines;
  • (5) approaching publishers to donate content that is going out of print; and
  • (6) identifying the process for storyboarding the development of open textbooks.

Open Textbook Resources

Tutorials - create, collaborate, adopt, remix, redistribute

  • Connexions Rice University - Judy Baker
  • WikiEducator - OER

Distribution alternatives - reformat, print on demand

Other initiatives


  • Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
  • Wikitexts - Vet Nursing text

eTextbook as 180 day subscription


SCoPE SFU's Community of Practice in Education

Learn more...

Here are links to materials that were referenced in the Open Textbook Consortium meeting today. I thought these might be of interest to some in this group.

  • Building Open Educational Resources from the Ground Up: South Africa’s Free High School Science Texts at

Recent Presentations

  • “Break Free Use Open Content” at Online Teaching Conference

(@ONE) presentation on Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm at Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA. Break free from expensive, bland, and static traditional textbooks. Reclaim your curriculum with free and open learning content that you can customize for the unique needs of your students and teaching style. Learn about reliable sources of open content as well as the tools and strategies to use them effectively. Join a community of educators who have already embraced the freedom and challenges of open educational resources. Leave this session with learning content that you have discovered and can use.

  • Open and Free Content for Educators Etudes Summit Friday, April 24, 2009 at 9:15 am Los Angeles slideshow available on request

Future Presentations

  • Save $$ with Free and Open Textbooks

with Judy Baker Tuesday, July 28, 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. (PDT)

  • If Content is King, Then Let Openness be Queen 2009 MERLOT Conference August 15, 2009 at 10:00 am San Jose, CA at Doubletree Hotel