Recently, I attended an open textbook network workshop, hosted by Oregon State University and sponsored by Open Oregon Educational Resources and OSU’s Affordable Learning Initiative. If you are an instructor or a faculty administrator who cares about the impact of textbook costs on our students and want to learn what you can do about it, I would highly recommend to continue reading.
The Concept of Open Textbooks:
- Open textbooks are textbooks that are free and can be used either in whole or in part at no cost.
- They are often written by experts, scholars, and professors in their respective fields and are edited and published in the same matter as commercial textbooks.
- Open textbooks are licensed with an open license giving users permission to access, reuse, share, and adapt materials with few or no restrictions and at no cost.
The Benefits of Open Textbooks:
- For students it makes college more accessible, as all students have access to the course materials on the first day of the course, as well as being more affordable by eliminating the costs incurred from purchasing textbooks.
- For instructors it provides more course materials options, as well as gives instructors the permission to freely customize and adapt the content to meet their students’ needs.
Locating Open Textbooks:
The workshop provides the following list of search sites to locate open textbooks:
Networks & Opportunities:
The workshop also provides a list of networks and opportunities to get involved in reviewing, researching, adopting, or authoring open textbooks and educational resources.
- Open Textbook Network – In addition to providing a list of peer reviewed open textbooks on the Open Textbook Library site, this network invites participants of this workshop to write and submit a review of an open textbook for a $200 stipend.
- OpenEdGroup.org – This network provides access to research studies and an OER Adoption Research Toolkit. They also invite anyone interested in designing with open educational resources to apply and join the Designing with OER (DOER) Fellows Program.
- OSU Ecampus Research Unit – This OSU unit provides access to research projects as well as provides internal funding opportunities for OSU faculty to research how online education (including open education) impacts teaching and learning.
- OpenOregon.org – This network provides access to open educational resources as well as provides opportunities to apply for grant funding to develop OERs.
- OSU Open Oregon State – This OSU unit provides access to open educational resources as well as provides internal funding opportunities for OSU faculty to adopt, adapt, or write an open textbook as well as design and develop other OERs.