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eTextBooks, the OER perspective


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Presentation given at eternity (European textbook reusability networking and interoperability) initiative stakeholder meeting, outlining OER perspective on eTextbooks. Defines OER in terms of Creative Commons licences and outlines implication of this for ebooks as OERs, inlcuding OER content in ebooks, and commercial ebook content in OERs.

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eTextBooks, the OER perspective

  1. 1. eTextBooks, the OER perspective.Phil Barker CETIS @philbarkerHeriot-Watt University
  2. 2. Introduction UKOER
  3. 3. OER: DefinitionOpen educational resources can be defined as‘teaching, learning, and research resources that residein the public domain or have been released under anintellectual property license that permits their free useand re-purposing by others. Open educationalresources include full courses, course materials,modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software,and any other tools, materials, or techniques used tosupport access to knowledge.’
  4. 4. OER: Definition“open educational resources should be freelyshared through open licences which facilitate use,revision, translation, improvement and sharing byanyone” Capetown declaration on open education
  5. 5. OER Definition Educational resource +
  6. 6. eTextBooks as Educational ResourcesI hope this will be dealt with during the rest of the projectIssue include• multimedia animations and simulations• dynamic & adaptive content• direct linking and embedding• social connections• adopt-adapt-improve (remix and republish) ...nothing we haven’t spent 15+yrs talking about
  7. 7. eTextBooks as OERs• Need to avoid assumptions that eTextBook will bepaid-for.• Need to be able to express CC licences.• Need technology that permits what is allowed by thelicence (e.g. format that is portable, editable,disaggregable)• Desirable that technology supports what is required bythe licence (e.g. keeps attribution when copied / editted)
  8. 8. OER in eTextBooks• Existing OERs tend to reflect what teachers use inclass: MS Powepoint, Word / Adobe pdf; lecture captureand recordings; animations & interactive models• Interest in HTML5 and EPUB• Not so much emphasis on eLearning technicalstandards
  9. 9. Commercial eTextBook content andOERPublishOER project’s in it for publishers?• Market visibility (=> acknowledgement & tracking)• Not as OER (=> time limited licence, mixed licences)Pearson Project Blue Sky• OER and paid-for content in commercial “learningsolution”
  10. 10. Licence and attribution By Phil Barker <>, JISC CETIS <>This work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported licence.To view a copy of this licence, visit or send aletter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.