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It's An Open Book: Adopting Open Textbooks


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Open textbooks are complete electronic textbooks that, unlike commercial e-textbooks, are accessible online at no cost, and affordable to be purchased as a printed book. The material inside open textbooks is similar to traditional texts - the difference is that open textbooks are licensed to allow users to legally access and reformat copies of the text at no additional cost.

This presentation discusses how open textbooks offer schools entry opportunities to use open education resources, deliver content via mobile devices, give faculty a way to integrate new technology delivery tools that meet today's student’s preferences, and allow for customized course materials while lowering student costs.

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It's An Open Book: Adopting Open Textbooks

  1. 1. Adopting Open Textbooks Ken Ronkowitz Passaic County Community College Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources NJEDge.Net Annual Conference November 2010 It’s an open book…
  2. 2. 1/30/20152 Free Books …Project Gutenberg has taken out-of- copyright books in the public domain and scanned them into its library… Want to download a copy to your computer, Kindle or iPhone? Head to The use of so-called open source textbooks, offered by companies like FlatWorld Knowledge, is also on the rise. “Students who are assigned open source textbooks can usually download a copy for free, or they can buy a printed and bound version for $20 to $40,” Ms. Allen said. (Suggest it to your future professors.) Open Goes Mainstream?
  3. 3. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 87 89 91 93 95 97 99 01 03 Textbook Price Increases in Perspective Percent Change 1986-2004 Textbooks 186% Inflation 72% Source: GAO • Students acquire additional debt • Don’t purchase textbooks • Take fewer classes • Select classes based on textbook costs
  4. 4. $238.95 Bundling comes with CengageNOW, Personal Tutor with SMARTHINKING, InfoTrac 2- Semester Printed Access Card $213.95 Used 5th Edition Online @ $14.94- $81.78 New 6th Edition $213.95
  5. 5. Open Textbooks ONE SOLUTION
  6. 6. Introduction to Economic Analysis R. Preston McAfee, Caltech ISBN: 160049000X Used at: Harvard, NYU, Cal Poly, UC-Santa Barbara, Caltech, Oregon State… Online: Free PDF/Word: Free Hard copy: $15.20
  7. 7. Collaborative Statistics Barbara Illowsky & Susan Dean ISBN: 9780978745973 For more information: Online: Free PDF/Word: Free Hard copy: $31.98
  8. 8. My Introduction to Open Textbooks • I found a book I wanted to use • $47 on Amazon • After searching online using the usual search paths, I stumbled upon and searched on the author
  9. 9. That title was not listed, but…
  10. 10. Which led me to… • A authorized wiki that offers the book to read/download for free (pdf), Reviews and Blogs, Discussions, Interviews, Video & Audio Resources • And materials on his publisher’s site And the other title by Benkler…
  11. 11. Available from Lulu for $5.14 or as a free download
  12. 12. 12 Why leave traditional textbooks? 1. No textbook fits exactly - and it’s all or nothing - though this is changing even with traditional publishers due to pressure… 2. Students complain - about high prices - an average two-year college student spends nearly 75% of what they spend on tuition on textbooks - if only a few chapters are used in the course - when sent to different places for readings and materials 3. Textbooks are bundled with [too] many re$ources, labs etc. 4. Print textbooks don’t have the advantages of eTextbooks – but commercial eTextbooks are not open
  13. 13. 14 An open textbook is… • Modifiable by the instructor – Digital, Modular – Adaptable • Low cost to the students – Usually free for those with computers and internet access – Printable for “free” or for a small fee (print centers etc.) – Sometimes available in bound copies for $10-$40 Labeled for reuse Flickr MrKCools
  14. 14. 15 An open textbook has been… Changed by the creators from Copyright All Rights Reserved to Copyleft Some Rights Reserved under an open license e.g., Creative Commons License From the Creative Commons store
  15. 15. 16 Some Open Textbook Myths 1. Creators never receive monetary compensation for open textbooks. 2. Written by anonymous amateurs or crowd-sourced. 3. Derivative versions damage the author’s reputation. 4. They are of lower quality and 5. Out-of-date (expired copyrights, public domain) 6. Publishers and bookstores are enemies of open textbooks. (Okay, that’s partially true…) 7. Open Textbooks and eBooks are the same thing 
  16. 16. Open Textbooks & e-Textbooks • E-texts (publisher online textbooks): 1. Have restrictive licenses (e.g. no modifications) 2. Still costly 3. Accessible for a limited time period (semester) 4. Usually have restrictions on the amount of material students can print • Open Textbooks: 1. Can usually be modified/customized 2. Can be viewed/read for no cost online 3. Are permanently available in a repository or as a download 4. Can be fully printed for a low cost
  17. 17. 18 Some Benefits of Open Textbooks 1. Higher efficiency - use/reuse/remix modules 2. More adaptable to learning styles, cultures, geographies, devices… (than proprietary files/devices) 3. Use only content is needed: saves paper, toner, and weight – may also avoid some confusion for students 4. More feedback from teachers and students to the creators (authors, illustrators, publishers, editors...) for global textbook improvement 5. Free for those with computers or readers and Internet access & lower cost for printed and bound versions 6. Students can better afford more classes & other books or materials
  18. 18. Two Community College Organizations Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER) 97 colleges join to give 2-year schools a big voice in open textbooks and other OER Community College Open Textbooks Collaborative A group of 12 organizations funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to increase the demand and supply of open textbooks 19
  19. 19. THE PROCESS 3 STEPS CC licensed by larry&flo 2007
  20. 20. Starting Out DO NOT search here Use repositories 21
  21. 21. 1 Identifying Titles 22 Full reviews are also available with comments and ratings for each chapter
  22. 22. What is a Digital Repository? • A system to store and manage a variety of digital resources • Content is – created once – stored once – used or repurposed times • Facilitates discovery of resources • Users can link to OR download resources • Users can ADD resources
  23. 23. What’s in The Orange Grove? • Textbooks that are freely available with nonrestrictive licenses • But also, all types of digital content • Audio/video files • Documents / slide presentations • Textbooks • Images, animations • Simulations • Quizzes • Web pages
  24. 24. Who can use the repository? Faculty are Primary Users • have direct access to content • make content available to their students Students and Public • can search and have direct access only to public resources
  25. 25. Other Digital Repositories
  26. 26. Search Criteria • Subject • Student Learning Objectives • Course titles, descriptions • Level • Format • Material type (Quiz, reading, etc.) • Author or expert
  27. 27. Develop Selection Criteria Your discipline may already have selection criteria How should the criteria differ from those created for printed textbooks? Use standardized criteria Based on discipline requirements and best practices Modify existing criteria For modules, e-books, and other formats Use available reviews
  28. 28. Possible Selection Criteria  Accuracy  Appropriateness  Accessibility  Authority  Content  Cultural relevance  Currency  Easily customizable  Flexible format  Modularity  Pedagogical style  Peer reviewed  Portability  Reading level  Usable interface  Error-free
  29. 29. 2 EVALUATE
  30. 30. Check Peer Reviews • On, there are reviews linked to titles have been submitted by educators and professionals in the field. – "They are the opinions of the individual authors and do not represent an endorsement of any textbook by the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative" • The Outline of American Literature, newly revised, traces the paths of American narrative, fiction, poetry and drama as they move from pre-colonial times into the present, through such literary movements as romanticism, realism and experimentation. Online and as PDF
  31. 31. 32 Contact All Stakeholders • Curriculum Committee, Department, Dean or other group that approves textbook adoptions • IT - restrictions on requiring computer/internet access? • Department colleagues, adjuncts, TAs • College bookstore • College library / Media center • Print Shop • Students (soft launch?) • Others? 32
  32. 32. Online version Download to print or offer as file Buy hard copy Online View
  33. 33. Sample Chapter Navigate table of contents Key terms link to definition
  34. 34. 3 ADOPTION AND USE
  35. 35. 3 Adopt and Use 36 • Choose the parts of the textbook that fit your course, rather than letting the textbook drive curriculum design and the syllabus. 36
  36. 36. 37 3 Adoption Paths • Soft Launching? – Use for readings and homework only – Use only in classroom – Use in the Learning Management System – Use for remediation (offer a prior level textbook) – Use for • lifelong learning • dual enrollment • Grants • K-20 initiatives… 37 From Flickr ronk53
  38. 38. Join In • College Open Textbooks Community • OpenTextbook AdvocateTrainers Learning Stream for College Campus OER Promoters
  39. 39. More… 40 Presentation, more information & updates
  40. 40. Ken Ronkowitz is the Director of the Writing Initiative at PCCC and an Advocate/Trainer as part of the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources Presentation, more information & updates