Open textbooks are typically authored by faculty and published on the web with the support of universities or new commercial companies. This new business model enables free online access to textbooks.
Open textbooks are usually governed by Creative Commons licenses that enable users to download, customize or print the textbook without expressed written consent of the author. In contrast, new commercial companies provide free access to the textbook content online, while charging lower prices for print products and supplemental services.
The EDUCAUSE LEARNING INITIATIVE has provided a nice overview of the 7 Things You Should Know About Open Textbook Publishing (pdf) by Judy Baker and Jacky Hood from Foothill College (California Community College)
How Can I Find Open Textbooks? Easy!
MERLOT's collection has over 2,500 Open Textbooks. Click on a link to your subject area and you’ll get a hit list of Open Textbooks in different sub-disciplines. MERLOT’s indexing tools enable easy browsing and searching the entire collection of open textbooks.
- Academic Support Services
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Science and Technology
- Social Sciences
WHY USE OPEN TEXTBOOKS?
Dr. Lisa McDonnell
Listen to a sociology faculty explain why she’s using an Open Textbook. Dr. Lisa McDonnell of St. Petersburg College persuasively discusses the needs of her students and how an open textbook fulfilled those needs by giving her control of textbook content.
Listen to a Physics faculty explain why he’s using an Open Textbook. A collegeopentextbook.org advocate and trainer, Professor Christensen discusses the benefits to himself and his students of adopting an open physics textbook. The customization of the open textbook with his own teaching materials, he believes, enabled him to make physics "more fun and interesting" for his students, with some choosing to major in physics at the universities. Also, costs to students dropped from $178.00 to $13.00.
Open Textbook Testimonial (Video on YouTube, ~8 min. created and narrated by physics Professor Erik Christensen of South Florida Community College) *License: Creative Commons, Attribution, Share-Alike.