Openly Licensed Textbooks

What do you think about open textbooks? Would you ever use them or contribute to them?

Check out the BC Open Textbook Project whose goal is to make higher education more accessible to all by reducing costs through the use of openly licensed textbooks. The BC Campus OpenEd project has created a collection of open textbooks aligned with the top 40 subject areas with the highest enrollments.

They are not the only project of this kind. California's community colleges have begun to shift to making their courses, research, and other work paid for by institution available free to all users under creative commons licenses.

In doing this, they believe they are on the right path for improving student success, allowing people to get the most for their money, and creating a collaborative working environment. Open textbooks are way to:

  • Make higher education more accessible
  • Reduce student textbook costs
  • Give instructors the flexibility to reformat and customize course material
  • Encourage collaboration between students and teachers
  • Stay up-to-date with emerging trends

Issues are being raised by faculty members and chancellors about open textbooks with taxes and intellectual property rights coming to the forefront of the discussions. Some feel that taxpayers shouldn’t be required to pay, first for the funding of the research and development of educational resources, and then a second time when they purchase the materials and textbooks (Wired Campus, 2013).

The consensus at most institutions is that either faculty members own their ideas and license an institution to use them, or, in some cases, an institution owns anything produced with its campus resources and licenses it to faculty University Business, 2013).

So what is fair?

If you are interested in creating your own Open Textbook, take a look at this resource to get you started. 


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