Open Textbooks at College of the Redwoods
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Open Textbooks at College of the Redwoods



These are my notes for a brief presentation on what is happening at College of the Redwoods around open textbooks.

These are my notes for a brief presentation on what is happening at College of the Redwoods around open textbooks.



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  • This presentation is a brief over-view of what we are doing at College of the Redwoods with open textbooks and OERs. College of the Redwoods already has faculty working on projects that are basically open source texts and open education resources. They just may not define them that way. The work of the CCCOER is a chance to define and channel that work.
  • I learned about the Open Textbook Advocate Training through folks that I was following in Twitter and from various blogs.
  • I was surprised to find out that there were already two completed open math textbooks on campus and another one being written. This is a really important point: a lot of this work is already going on. I talked to a music professor whose notes and guides that he hands out to the students are his textbook. The guide to his class is customized to the way he teaches. The nursing dept. has a procedures book that they sell to the students in the bookstore that supplements the texts. We have faculty already doing this. I want to bring them a way to do this effectively and efficiently.
  • I got a note from our bookstore manager that said that “Regarding Dave Arnold and Bruce Wagner's Math 120 project for our district, we have sold approximately 430 copies of the printed version even though it is available free on CD.” It is also available, of course, for free online.
  • This book is coming from an instructional design puzzle: how do you get textbooks to inmates who are not allowed to have pre-printed books from outside of the prison? How do you get textbooks to prisoners where the funding for education has been cut to prison education? How do you textbooks to prisoners where the staff who handled the physical books have been cut? An open, electronic textbook was the only solution.
  • I am going to continue to promote open texts in our district through face-to-face and online meetings and through our newsletter (which will be coming out this summer). The best way to promote the texts is to promote the remarkable instructors who are already engaged in this work. The best thing we can do is to get instructors together to talk about their work.
  • I have this feeling that there are more projects and potential projects on campus that need to be supported and promoted. As this happens, I will be sharing it through the CCCOER, my wiki, blog, and via twitter.

Open Textbooks at College of the Redwoods Open Textbooks at College of the Redwoods Presentation Transcript

  • Geoff Cain Director, Instructional Design Open Textbooks at College of the Redwoods
  • Promoting Open Textbooks
    • First Steps
    • Joined Open Textbook Advocate Training
    • Face-to-face workshop
    • Joined CCCOER
    • Upcoming online workshop
    • Individual meetings with faculty
  • Why Open Texts?
    • Main Reasons
      • Current texts inadequate
      • Access issues
      • Economic
      • Ethical
  • Math: Current Texts Inadequate
    • Math department created two textbooks
      • Intermediate Algebra  - College of the Redwood's own Dave Arnold presented on this textbook.
      • Pre-Algebra  
      • They are working on a third…
    • Open textbooks are
      • Inexpensive
      • Easy to update
      • Custom to the student population
  • Psychology: Access Issues
    • We are editing an open textbook for a psychology teacher teaching in Pelican Bay prison because
      • Funding was cut for textbooks in the CA prisons
      • Funding was cut for education support
    • The textbook is based on selections from three different sources:
      • Wikibooks
      • UK’s Open University
      • A Creative Commons textbook
  • Next Steps?
    • Faculty will use open textbooks when
      • They are sympathetic to the economic issues
      • Hear what other instructors are already doing
      • Learn how effective a customized OER can be over a traditional textbook
      • Understand what materials are available
      • Find the support they need
  • Follow Our Progress…
    • As we expand and share, I will be posting links to projects here:
      • Contact me with any questions:
        • Email: [email_address]
        • Twitter: geoffcain