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Open Educational Resources: Open Textbooks

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to copyright-free educational resources

Open Textbooks

Textbooks are getting more and more expensive, and students are increasingly resistant to buying them. We see more and more students in the library hoping that we have their textbook on our shelves (we usually don't, and if we do, it will often be the case that someone else has already borrowed it). By using an open textbook or basing your course around other freely available resources (such as open access publications and content in the Library's many licensed e-resources) you can save your students a lot of money.

You can start by checking out BCcampus Open Textbooks, eCampus Ontario Open Library, and the Open Textbook Library. Browse subject areas to find free, openly-licensed textbooks that have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities.

Modifying an Open Textbook: What you need to know. Access this brief guide for editing open textbooks, with information about importing and editing open textbook files and working with different platform types.

Alternate Textbook Projects

To promote the use of OER on their campuses, more college and university libraries are starting "Alternate Textbook Projects". These projects encourage faculty to replace their commercial textbooks with alternate resources such as OER and licensed library content (which is openly available to all the members of that institution). This section of the Guide will link you to several of these programs.

Borrowed from Temple University's Discovering Open Educational Resources Libguide.

What are open textboks?

  • Open textbooks are part of a larger movement called "Open Educational Resources" (OER)
  • An open textbook is a textbook with an open copyright license that allows the material to be freely accessed, shared and adapted.
  • Open licenses allow instructors to adapt, remix, or customize existing open textbooks to maximize instructional content to meet their own learning objectives
  • 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.
  • They are free for anyone to view and download in an online format and can be made available in a print format at a nominal cost.

Borrowed from the Mount Royal University Library's Open Educational Resources Libguide

Further resources

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