Week 3: Individual and institutional readiness for a move to openness

Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Mary Burgess -
Number of replies: 8

Hi Everyone and welcome to week three. This week we'll delve into some of the issues around individual and institutional readiness for adopting and adapting Open Textbooks. While there are certainly some huge benefits to doing that, there are also some things to think about ahead of time.

This week, once you've viewed the resources,  I encourage you to think through the scenario of your adoption of an Open Textbook and what institutional roles might be impacted by that decision. Consider your students, your faculty colleagues, your librarians, your helpdesk, your senior management team. It's also important to consider yourself. What does adopting an open textbook look like for you? Is it as simple as finding one and sending the link to your students? What institutional support would be helpful for you? 

At a broader level, what is the culture at your institution with respect to sharing and intellectual property? Would your adoption of Open Textbooks and other OER be philosophically supported? 

In reply to Mary Burgess

Re: Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Shivanand Balram -

In my case, the approach I would use in the initial stages is to pair the open textbook with a "traditional" textbook placed on reserve in the library. In that way, students can gain access to both sets of materials and compare and contrast. I would alternate readings from both textbooks each week. This would satisfy the initial hurdle of convincing colleagues and students that the open textbook is the same or even better suited for the course. I have already experimented with this strategy for two previous courses and I am now convinced that using an opentextbook only would not be a problem at all. However, there are some instances, such as a software manual or workbook, when students may have to purchase a non-OER textbook

Adopting an open textbook for me means finding an open resource that is modular, visually appealing, and supported by quality control structures. I prefer to send these materials to students as a source file (such as PDF) rather than internet links. Also, the materials should be printable with a neat layout since some students may not want to engage with digital versions.

A well-maintained OER repository of potential resources along subject lines can be very helpful, and maybe the institutional library system could play a leading role.

 

In reply to Shivanand Balram

Re: Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Steve Foerster -

Shivanand wrote:

"A well-maintained OER repository of potential resources along subject lines can be very helpful, and maybe the institutional library system could play a leading role."

An often cited one is OER Commons.  Specifically for textbooks, UNM has an Open Textbooks Catalog.  I also tend to check the Global Text Project book list and the Saylor Bookshelf, since they're useful as well.

In reply to Steve Foerster

Re: Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Shivanand Balram -

Thanks for these Steve, they are very helpful.

I recently came across Academic Earth as well, they seem to have a well organized collection of materials: http://academicearth.org/

 

In reply to Shivanand Balram

XPERT

by Steve Foerster -

Thanks!  One of the articles this week referred to a catalogue from the University of Nottingham called XPERT, but I have to admit that I found it unusable.  If I can't browse by discipline, education level, and type of resource, then even the most comprehensive repository isn't very helpful. 

Did anyone else see it and maybe have a better experience?  If the problem is with me I'd like to know!

In reply to Steve Foerster

Re: XPERT

by Mary Burgess -

Wow. That really is a pretty dissapointing experience. It's really unfortunate because I bet there are some great resources, but the way they are tagged is just not very user friendly. 

In reply to Steve Foerster

Re: XPERT

by Daniel Compton -

Steve- I went there and had a similar experience. There were lots of resources but it wasn't well-organized. I searched for a few specific topics and found a wide variety of resources at varying levels.

In reply to Shivanand Balram

Re: Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Daniel Compton -

Shivanand-

I like the playlist format. It makes items easy to find.

In reply to Daniel Compton

Re: Week 3 - Replacement Readiness

by Shivanand Balram -

True! Good OER is made even better when the materials are well-organized.