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Open Educational Resources: Open textbooks

Open textbooks

“Open textbooks are textbooks which have been funded, published and licensed to be freely used, adapted and distributed.”

Open Textbook Library

Why use open textbooks

"The open licensing of open textbooks allows for collaborations on and improvements to textbooks from contributors around the world. In contrast to traditional textbooks, openly licensed textbooks give faculty the ability to adapt any portion of a textbook without requiring students to purchase an entire book only to use a small portion, or to make the content of the textbook more pedagogically appropriate for their specific educational context."

BCcampus OpenEd

Open textbooks vs traditional textbooks

Open textbooks have advantages and disadvantages for both students and teaching staff compared to traditional textbooks:

Traditional textbooks Open textbooks
Content cannot be altered or adapted Allow for adaptation and reuse enabling the customisation of titles to meet specific pedagogical needs
Can be very expensive for students Free (Sometimes a cost for printed versions)
Easier for teaching staff to find due to wider range of titles available and proactive promotion by publishers Need to be sought out in repositories
There are a wide range of textbooks available on many different subject areas The range of titles is currently comparatively small
Undergo established and formalised editorial and review processes such peer review Have some review processes but less formalised and established and sometimes post publication 

Open textbook repositories

Case studies