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Open Textbooks beyond the USA: Results of the UK Open Textbook Project Pilot


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"Open Textbooks beyond the USA: Results of the UK Open Textbook Project" was presented at #OEGlobal, Niagara Falls, USA on 11 October 2018

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Open Textbooks beyond the USA: Results of the UK Open Textbook Project Pilot

  1. 1. Open Textbooks beyond the USA: Results of the UK Open Textbook Project Pilot #OpenEd18, Niagara Falls, USA 11 October 2018 Beck Pitt (OU), Rob Farrow (OU), Bea de los Arcos (OU), Viv Rolfe (Pukka Herbs/UWE), David Kernohan (WonkHE), Dani Nicholson (OpenStax), David Ernst (Open Textbook Network) and Martin Weller (OU) This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
  2. 2. Collaborating to raise awareness of open textbooks
  3. 3. Flat World Knowledge: Open College Textbooks via is licensed CC BY-SA
  4. 4. UK nationalstatistics 6.2% of students aged 21 or under dropped out after the 1st year of their University studies in 2014- 15 £9K + Tuition fees now exceed £9K per academic year in most institutions £100 billion student loan debt in the UK is now more than £100 billion and students graduate with an average of £50.8K debt 81% of UK students surveyed in 2012 would like textbooks to be provided for free by their institution £1K Average cost of books and equipment per academic year
  5. 5. ByUKPhoenix79(Image:BritishIslesUnitedKingdom.svg)[GFDL( CCBY-SA3.0(],viaWikimediaCommons The UK Context Screenshot from UCAS: fees-and-student-loans
  6. 6. OpenStaximpact 3.4 mil students have used OpenStax textbooks since 2012 $342 mil OpenStax textbooks have saved students a total of $332 million since 2012 4,200 institutions have adopted OpenStax textbooks since 2012 29 OpenStax has published 29 textbooks since 2012
  7. 7. • 600 + institutions • $8.5 million student savings • 460 open textbooks • 60% of the Library’s textbooks have at least one review • 45% of educators participating in a workshop adopt an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library
  8. 8. Picture credit: Teaching Open Source Practices, version 4.0 by is licensed CC BY-SA
  9. 9. 7 high impact practitioner events across the UK; Focus on showcasing STEM OpenStax textbooks; 85 verified sign- ups.
  10. 10. 14 workshops at 8 institutions; Staff from 19 universities; Over 100 staff participated with 43 in academic roles.
  11. 11. • UK Open Textbook activity contributed in whole or part to 9 known adoptions • 24 additional UK sign-ups over course of project • Upsurge of UK interest in OpenStax Outcomes: OpenStax Interest and Adoptions (as at 3 October 2018)
  12. 12. “I’m an FE lecturer in physics and the FE industry has been hit rather hard by government cuts and we have no money. My head of department has told me that I can’t have any textbooks for the classroom unless I source them myself and then attempt to claim the money back. Which is less than ideal because I may not get my money back and sourcing textbooks is a very expensive thing, so I’m not prepared to do that.” (1/2) Case study: Further Education Picturecredit:MoneybyPeterislicensedCCBY-SA2.0
  13. 13. “…The OpenStax [textbooks] can really help with that so that’s interesting. I’m going to try to edit the books together to make them more relevant for my course, and then send them off to the reprographics department in my college and get them printed there. I can also potentially make them digitally available to the students.” (2/2) Mrs Bell, FE Lecturer, 4 Jan 2018 (ASE)
  14. 14. Outcomes: Open Textbook Network 35 out of 105 participants completed an incentivised review (33.3%) 20 out of 49 surveyed participants intended to adopt an open textbook Picturecredit:Whyincentivesdon’tworkineducation…viaopensource.comislicensedCCBY-SA All 13 academics said they would either adopt or might adopt an open textbook
  15. 15. “Two of the Anatomy and Physiology open texts will be introduced as part of the students' recommended module reading lists (with links to the URLs) or via the University Library. I expect that this will have a big impact, firstly on student savings due to the absence of costs associated with "Open Textbooks". Secondly, I expect that the books will impact on the students' learning experiences, due to the interactive nature of the text books.” (’Yes’ to adoption, post-survey respondent) “I would very much like to adopt one, but I will need to first ensure that any book is fit for purpose.” (‘Maybe’ to adoption, post-survey respondent) “I would say it is my role to encourage my colleagues to do this and this I'm very happy to do so.” (‘No’ to adoption, post-survey respondent)
  16. 16. “It has made me think more about the importance of open textbooks. How I can sign post my students to utilise the open textbook directory, and how I may contribute towards this (e.g. submitting a book) in the future.” Workshop Participant (Glasgow Caledonian University. Via Interview) “We are currently all writing module descriptors for our new course validation and guess what? They all have Open Access Texts in the reading lists... I have also had a meeting with the student union rep for the business school recently and explained the Open Access texts. So I have a feeling we will be driving our students much more towards their usage in the next academic year...” Workshop Participant (Senior Lecturer, Business, Management & Marketing, Staffordshire University. Via Email) Outcomes: Open Textbook Network
  17. 17. Picturecredit:IslicensingreallythemostimportantquestionforOER?Viaopensource.comislicensedCCBY-SA
  18. 18. • Very positive response to both showcasing hardcopy OpenStax materials and carrying out Open Textbook Network workshops at HEIs. • Opportunity to engage with educators, librarians and other colleagues re: textbooks, OER and issues in education. • Tendency to foreground of reuseability (open licensing) in discussions. • High levels of interest in variety of activities, e.g. creating textbooks at own institution, sharing with colleagues etc. High levels of demand and interest in co-creation of content, senior level support for textbooks, sharing of material etc. • Long to medium term impacts need to be assessed. Outcomes
  19. 19. • National level research into student experiences and what impacts, if any, textbook cost is having on their studies. • More research on how textbooks are being used by educators in different regions, with different funding and tuition costs, is required. • Potential for developing open textbooks for specialised subjects or in languages such as Welsh. • Need to develop informed country specific arguments for open textbooks (access, customisable content and institutional savings rather than student savings, for example). Possible Next Steps/Recommendations
  20. 20. Thank you!
  21. 21. Beck Pitt @BeckPitt Slides: UK Open Textbook Project: @UKOpenTextbooks This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.