Curious about how to include Open Textbooks and OER into your teaching practice? The BCcampus Open Textbooks team is conducting a four-week-long webinar series in the new year, designed for anyone curious about open educational resources.
“We’ve been getting registrations from people from other provinces and other countries, since we let people at the OpenEd 2014 conference know about it,” said BCcampus manager for open education, Lauri Aesoph. She said over 100 participants including faculty from from Alberta, Sask, BC, and around the world so far signed up for the series of four webinars.
There will be a synchronous session each week from January 12 – February 6, which will be available afterwards for asynchronous participants (great for people outside the Pacific time zone).
Some facts about open textbooks
Open means open to everyone
A textbook becomes “open” when its copyright-holder grants usage rights to the public through an “open license,” which typically includes the right to access, reformat, and customize it at no additional cost. It’s important to note that the open textbook author retains the copyright to the content, not the publisher, as is traditionally the case.
Open textbooks look much like any other textbook
Hard copies of open textbooks look much like traditional texts. The primary difference is the price: open textbooks are also accessible online at no cost and the hard copies are optional and affordably priced.
There are lots of them
Thousands of open textbooks already exist and more are on the way.
Author payment varies
Open publishing models are still evolving, so author payment varies. Some are paid royalties on print sales, some receive grant support, and others choose to write on their own time. At BCcampus, we give grant support to promote creation of new textbooks, if they are needed. We’d rather adapt existing ones first, though.
The quality is comparable to any other textbook
Many open textbooks are developed through traditional peer review, others are vetted by experts. As with any textbook, the instructor is the final judge of whether an open textbook meets the needs of the course.