Since the Free Curricula Centre first opened in 2003, many OER textbooks have been developed. As a result, we currently have two ongoing projects that seek not to create new textbooks, but instead to add value to those that already exist. Through these projects, we seek to do for educational curricula what open source software has done for computing: focus cooperative efforts to bring about low cost, high quality alternatives to commercial products.
The first of these is our OpenCourseWare Initiative. We start with existing OER textbooks that have been produced by the community. Then we add playlists of videos and/or podcasts designed to accompany them that consist of original material or material curated from that found on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Finally, we include discussion prompts, lecture notes, and related materials to create complete courses.
- We're using WikiEducator as a workbench for this development because our belief is that this will be enhanced by being a social initiative. As such, we invite participation from the community.
- While our goal is to used polished versions of courses developed here at our home institution, New World University, we invite any institution who can benefit to do so freely. Our students, however, should follow the completed courses found on the New World University web site.
Visit Free Curricula Centre/OCW for the list of courses that are planned and are in development.
The second of these is our Mobile Textbooks Initiative, which takes OER textbooks that are only available in PDF or Word format and converts them to EPUB format so that they can be readily used on mobile devices, including smartphones. This initiative does not use WikiEducator as a platform, but those interested in helping, particularly those with expertise in PDF to EPUB conversion, are welcome to learn more.