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Open Textbook Summit - The Ideal Textbook Does Not Exist

  1. The Ideal Textbook Does Not Exist Takashi Sato Dept. of Physics Presented at Open Textbook Summit Vancouver, April 16, 2014
  2. Status: 2012 • Always shared educational resources • Didn’t know they were called “OER” • Sharing wasn’t always well organized • There are lots of OER • not many are well developed into textbook form. • Many OER have author’s style built in • they don’t always work for others *OER – Open Educational Resources
  3. How I got started/involved with Opentextbooks • Exposed to a small selection of physics books (Feb 2013) • One stood out, free does not mean cheap • Adopt as pilot* (Sept 2013) • Learned to adapt (Nov 2013) • mostly by deleting chapters and sections • Print-on-demand custom edition (Dec 2013) • Happy – students, instructor, colleagues… *It was never our intent that students should have to pay ~$200 for each book
  4. Original Adapted for KPU PHYS 1100 Urone, Hinrichs, Dirks & Sharma College Physics, Openstax College
  5. Purpose of a Textbook (faculty perspective) All of us could be textbook authors but many of us choose to dedicate our teaching efforts in other ways.
  6. In an Ideal World…. • I pick a textbook off the shelf • It matches the course content and my teaching style • I use it, students use it • Done! • Money & payment are minor afterthoughts All the educational resources pre-existed as a package (the textbook) and I didn’t have to create or assemble them. In the real world, these idealizations are challenged from many directions
  7. The Perfect Book Does Not Exist • We can keep searching for the perfect book, or • We can write our own, or • We can accept and embrace what exists, and • We can produce supplements Edition changes are annoying and require time & effort on my part
  8. Status Today • With OER, we can make edits • closer match to my course’s needs • ebooks – reasonable to ask students to bring to class • I control the revisions/editions
  9. Conclusion • I can have a book that serves the course and student needs more closely than I would have traditionally • but without writing my own book from scratch • The ultimate point is not to spend time at it
  10. Check out “my” textbook at