Don Gorges journal of the BCcampus ‘Adopting Open Textbooks’ Workshop 2015

Don Gorges journal of the BCcampus ‘Adopting Open Textbooks’ Workshop 2015 Adopting Open Textbooks banner Welcome to the Adopting Open Textbooks workshop, offered by BCcampus. While this workshop, or course, is aimed at faculty considering an open textbook adoption for their course, we know there are several participants, in other institutional roles, also registered. We hope you will find this course interesting and relevant as well.

Badgeable Activity 1: And who might you be?

To earn this week 1 badge for the Adopting Open Textbook workshop, introduce yourself to the rest of the participants in the workshop. Your introduction should;

  1. be short and snappy covering your essential information (who you are, where you work, what you do);
  2. include a link to some kind of web presence you have. This can be a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ account, a blog you write, or to your personal website – some place people can find and connect with you online;
  3. briefly describe any previous experience you have had with open education;
  4. list one thing about open education you are hoping to learn in this course.

Post your introduction in the comment section below. When you have posted it, click on the badge icon below to claim your badge (if you do not have a P2Pu account, you will need to create one to claim badges during this workshop) Avatar

  • I’m Don Gorges in Toronto with a career in Visual Communications Creative Services i.e. Open Design Studio-Labs and self-directed Research in Development of a Personal Learning API. Online Personal Information via my LinkedIn Profile: _… My WordPress Blog _… I have some experience reviewing educational resources available in print and online and am familiar with BCcampus online Textbooks. One thing I expect to learn more about in this course is what Faculty think is important regarding the educational resources their Students’ use.
    And who might you be?
    Description:Awarded for introducing yourself to the rest of the participants in the Adopting Open Textbooks workshop
    Criteria to receive the Badge:To earn this week 1 badge for the Adopting Open Textbook workshop, you must introduce yourself to the rest of the participants in the course. Your introduction should;be short and snappy covering your essential information (who you are, where you work, what you do);
    include a link to some kind of web presence you have. This can be a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+ account, a blog you write, or to your personal website – some place people can find and connect with you online;
    describe your previous experience with open;
    list one thing about open education you are hoping to learn in this course.33 Experts:cami3595

    Week 1: Open Education and Open Textbooks

    January 12-18, 2015 Facilitator: Clint Lalonde Topic: There are many layers when thinking about open education and open textbooks. In this first week of the workshop, we’ll begin by peeling those layers back, starting with what “open” actually means in the context of education. We’ll then move on to look at what open educational resources are and, more specifically, what are textbooks.


    • Identify the different ways that the word “open” is used in the context of education
    • Define and identify open educational resources (OER) and how open textbooks relate to OER
    • Identify the qualities that make a textbook open


    I’m glad Amanda Coolidge pointed out an example where an Open Textbook, IMathAS, has been created and adopted by Professor David Lippman, replacing Pearson Textbook MyMathLab. It will be helpful to see the layers of what open means in this context — to think about examples found from Both Textbooks — to make visual references and comparisons


    1.1 What is Open Education?

    “Open education” is a phrase that encompasses a number of different activities in education and, depending on who you speak to, can mean different things to different people. One useful definition of open education comes from UBC, which define open education as a “collection of practices that utilize online technology to freely share knowledge. ”

    Under the umbrella of open education, there are a number of specific ways in which this sharing of knowledge happens in higher education. These practices can include:

    • Publishing research in open journals (open access publishing)
    • Releasing data to be reused by others (open data)
    • Using, sharing and collaboratively creating software and computer code (open source software)
    • Flexible admission policies to institutions or courses (open admissions or open registration)
    • Student assignments that promote student publishing or participating on the open web (open teaching or open pedagogy)
    • Sharing of teaching and research practices (open scholarship)
    • Sharing and reuse of teaching and learning materials (open educational resources) including courses (open courseware) and textbooks (open textbooks)

    While this is not an exhaustive list, it should give you an idea of the types of activities that the phrase open education encompasses.

    Why Open?

    While the above definition and list should give you an overview of the type of practices that open education encompass, it doesn’t answer the questions “Why Open?” and “Why do educators choose to take on these activities and call themselves open educators?”.

    To help answer the question Why Open?, please watch this TedX Talk from Dr. David Wiley (14:55) and read the article Openness in Education by David Wiley and Cable Green (pdf).

    Discussion Prompts

    • What does open education mean to you? Are there activities in the list that are part of your regular educational practice? What are they and why do you participate in them? What value do they bring to your educational practice?
    • What roles do you think digital technologies and the internet have played in making open education possible? Are there types of open educational activities that are dependent on digital technologies and the internet?
    • Thinking of your own teaching practice, have you ever revised learning content to make it better suited for your course? Why did you revise it? Did you have to get permission before you revised it?

    Join the discussion…

    • Hi everyone! Excited to be here, for as long as I can manage before I have to defect to syllabus-building land. I am fairly familiar with the open access movement, and am fond of Wiley and Green in what basically amounts to a cultish sort of way. I want to just mention two ideas that struck me as I moved through this material; one is somewhat minor, but really left me shocked when I realized it, and the other is more foundationally connected to key pedagogical ideas I have been thinking about recently.

      The first small thing is about the role of the LMS in teaching. I use my university’s LMS (Moodle) pretty extensively, so even though I host most of my content on the web and do engage my students out there as well (blogging at Blogger, for example), there is lots of student content inside the LMS shell by the end of each semester. And when the semester ends and I import the shell for the following semester, I think nothing of erasing all of that student work. In effect, I take all of the stuff that MATTERS (my content), and delete the rest (their content). Some of that feels ok, since the protected space of Moodle allows for a nice sandbox where students can play around and experiment in a more workshoppy way. But really, the fact that I never thought of the symbolic meaning of that easy delete…it troubles me. And makes me feel more committed to finding ways to keep my students’ work alive so that it can lay a foundation for new work in the future.

      Which brings me to open pedagogy. The Wiley/Green article mostly looks at use the web, engaging in MOOCs, using OER in courses, etc. But beyond that, I think the implications for open pedagogy are even more radical and exciting. What happens when we think of student work as truly the center of the course? How would our syllabi change if we allowed students to effect the direction of the course? How would our assessments change if we waiting until we learned what students could create before we set our outcomes? How does teaching change when students don’t just “learn” from our assigned materials, but when they critique, alter, and rewrite them? Just thinking that the exciting aspects of “open” seem as much about empowerment and true “student centeredness” as they do about “access.”

      Fun start to the course! Looking forward to more!

      • Great points, especially the disposability of the student created content in the LMS and what message it sends to students about the value of the content they produce? In my mind, there is a lot of overlap with open pedagogy and the ideas of both authentic learning and service learning where students are working on real-world problems and contributing real-world solutions.

      • Nice points here! I stopped using my university’s LMS ever since I learned about the idea of open education (in 2013), in part for this reason. And also (perhaps in larger part) because I just couldn’t see why I should lock away what I’m doing when others outside the class might find it useful.

        I came across this LMS issue from the other side last summer. I took a course on how to teach a “blended” course (both online and face to face) that was itself blended. The online portion was through our university’s LMS. This was frustrating in no small part because I knew that once the course was over I wouldn’t have access to all the contributions I had made, all the reflections I had done, etc. So I decided to copy and paste everything I did in that course (besides my responses to particular things others had said) into my blog so I’d have access later. That is proving invaluable for my planning of that blended course right now. How silly, it seems, to get people to do work on something that they could actually use later and then take all that work away from them.

        When we taught with paper, we would return students’ work to them (their essays, their journal entries, their exams, etc.). Why, now that their work is done partly or wholly online, should we not let them keep it forever after they’re done? It is THEIRS, after all.

    • What a great little introduction! Pat selves on back, facilitators! I dig it.

      I can on for days with your questions, and what a fantastic way to get people thinking about open education as rooted in their practice. I’ve asked similar questions of my faculty, but I really like your focus on the “value to your educational practice.” For me, as somebody who supports this style of learning, the main focus must be on the process and it’s wonderfully magical that a faculty’s product creates cost-savings for students.

      From Wiley’s talk: His focus on “expertise and its expression” is really at the heart of this quote from Game Changers:

      “Clearly, the Internet has empowered us to copy and share with an efficiency never before known or imagined. However, long before the Internet was invented, copyright law began regulating the very activities the Internet makes essentially free (copying and distributing). Consequently, the Internet was born at a severe disadvantage, as preexisting laws discouraged people from realizing the full potential of the network.”

      Lovely to be here,

      • I like that focus on process as well. One of the findings of the recent Washington State survey of faculty who use OER’s (… points to that process piece where faculty said that working with OER’s lead to an increased reflection on their teaching practice; a benefit that goes beyond free.

        • Thanks
          for pointing us toward the SBCTC study! I hadn’t come across it before, and find
          the reflective practice piece (and the instructional responsiveness element)
          encouraging, even exciting. Wiley & Green’s point about faculty
          “‘supplementing around’ problems with textbooks” resonated with my
          experience, and it was great to see the study’s findings about faculty using
          the flexibility of OER to evolve course content and (often) engage students in
          this enterprise.

    • David has a bit of fun in his opening by characterizing copyright as an act of selfishness – it’s mine and I don’t want you to have it – I have followed David for years, and I respect and understand his position and opinions — but don’t necessarily agree __ Some may find it interesting, in this context, to read the Canadian Copyright Act, which begins with “Whereas the Copyright Act is an important marketplace framework law and cultural policy instrument that, through clear, predictable and fair rules, supports creativity and innovation and affects many sectors of the knowledge economy;” _…

      • It is an interesting discussion: do current copyright laws enable or inhibit innovation and creativity? And I’ve heard compelling arguments on both sides. In education, however, I do see where copyright has been a barrier and, until very recently with the changes in copyright law, we didn’t even have a fair use provision in Canada for educators.

        • Hi Clint, It’s great to be talking about where copyright has been a barrier [I related to your frustrations about use of BC Gov. artwork and photos in the new Geography Textbook]. Our Marketplace framework is not static and I expect the Copyright Act will be further “Modernized” in 2017 with rewritten rules supporting creativity and innovation in OER.

          • For some context on what Don is refering to for others, we ran into a licensing issue when trying to create a regional Geography textbook. I blogged about the incident…

            That instance was particularly frustrating because the original works we wanted to use were created with public funds and should be publicly available. This is an area where i hope our governments come on board more with CC licenses. If public funds were used to create resources, then those resources should be publicly available for use and reuse.

        • Asking – “do current copyright laws enable or inhibit innovation and creativity?” _ Enables 100% and Inhibits 100% depending on who is answering. We could pick a few specific Textbook examples to highlight where removing friction would make a big difference. Open Design removes friction. I see the new textbooks from Cengage and think they are moving us in an Open Design direction. _ Cengage Learning Introduces 4LTR Press Online — BOSTON, Jan. 6, 2015 __… __ “Cengage Learning’s answer to this issue was to create the 4LTR Press brand – which features visually engaging textbooks and provides full course coverage in an average of fifteen (rather than forty) pages per chapter. By removing the examples that students tended to skip over anyway, adding engaging visuals and consolidating the self-study resources into removable review cards, 4LTR Press created a new category of textbook based on the learning preferences of learners” __ leading us to Personalization by Teachers creating / choosing and adding relevant Examples to their Portfolio-Portal accessed by their Students.

          I disagree with characterizing copyright as an act of selfishness – rights to ones creative work is many, many things. I respect Canada’s Copyright Law as a marketplace framework law and cultural policy instrument which supports [income] creativity and innovation through clear, predictable and fair rules – in the marketplace creative work can generate an income.

      • I would like to revise a statement about copyright to It’s mine and I don’t want you to make money from it without me getting some. Copyright laws started because publishers were taking works and copying them without compensation to the authors. This is the beauty of Creative Commons. It maintains copyright, but allows you to freely share work without fear that someone else will later try to profit from it.

    • One thing that really struck me in both the video and the article is the idea of education as sharing, already, in its essence. If you are helping someone to learn something, or develop a new skill, you are sharing something of yourself. Of course, that is one meaning of sharing–giving something of yourself–and another is giving it away for free. I am “sharing” my expertise when I teach but I’m not giving it away for free because I’m being paid.

      Still, since I AM being paid to do my teaching work, for me that means I have the luxury of being able to give away, for free, the content that I produce to those who aren’t paying for it. That’s why I can give away my lecture notes, videos of my lectures, my assignments, etc.; I am already making a living, and there is no reason for me to try to restrict others from viewing and using and adapting those things. If I didn’t have a steady source of income, things might be different. But the public is already (partly) paying my salary b/c I work at a public institution. It just makes sense to me to give some of my work back to the public, even beyond those who can pay tuition on top of what they’ve already paid through taxes.

      • I appreciate your insight regarding the compensation issue. If copyright was create to enable a creator to be fairly compensated for the ideas that were created, then faculty at public institutions (assuming their ideas or resources are created in the act of or in preparation for instruction) have been compensated by the public (taxpayers) for their creations. If makes logical sense that these creations would then be made available to the public which has already paid for them.

        That being said, we need to be vigilant to afford credit to the one that creates these resources. While we are monetarily compensated through our jobs as we create educational resources, our achievements and reputations live on through the sharing of our resources only if credit is acknowledged as others use them.

        • Sorry for the delay in replying! I agree with your point about continuing to receive credit for what we have done. We usually put a great deal of effort into our educational work, and being acknowledged for our accomplishments can be quite important in various ways. Sometimes, I personally don’t mind not receiving credit, such as for things like photos I take, so I don’t mind releasing those to the public domain–a number of people have done that on Wikimedia Commons, for example. I love it when I find a public domain image on Wikimedia Commons that I can use in a presentation, because then I don’t have to worry about attribution on the slide. It just makes things easier. Sometimes I still link back to where I got the image, though, just so others could use it too if they want.

          But for most of what I do, I do use a license that requires attribution. I just wish that it was easier to track where one’s work is being used, somehow!

    • Like others, I liked the framing of education as sharing. It is a powerful way to think of that labour. I have questions around cost, especially in the article with which I would disagree. Someone already mentioned it as working for a public university – how does one “cost” your time out. As a librarian who runs the institutional repository – we are assuming a lot of costs there. It may be free to the end-user but how does the infrastructure get paid for, especially in the long term.

      There is opportunity here but maybe we have to convince the public and government to think about universities and the funding of them differently. It would be a radical shift to do so, especially in this time of increased scrutiny and fiscal uncertainty.

    • Copyright is a legitimate interest. Perhaps the answer is to consider from what sources you drew from in compiling the work that is to be copyrighted or “opened.” If it was on your own time and dime, and from which you expect to turn a profit, copyright is the way to go. It does not make sense to belittle a device that works perfectly well if profit is a consideration, or to say that profit should never be a consideration. It should not be a consideration when the intellectual property to be protected is paid for by the public, in my view.

    • Hi All- coming into this a bit late, but wanted to share a few
      thoughts regarding open education. For me, it means providing a way to
      help decrease the costs associated with education for my students. I’m
      drawn to open education and open resources because of its accessibility.
      I teach at a community college and many of my students struggle
      financially. My department is currently looking at adopting OER
      resources for the public speaking course that all students must take and
      I am thrilled of the possibility. However, many of the instructors in
      my department are not advanced in using technology to teach so I foresee
      resistance if OER resources are used vs the publisher textbook. I
      believe that in order for OER resources to be effectively implemented,
      faculty must be trained and accustomed to using the internet and
      educational technologies. The publisher instructor manual, test banks,
      power points, etc provide a sense of security and comfort. Open
      education requires energy, effort, and creativity which is not something
      that everyone may be excited about.
      I have recently began
      creating prezi’s that are public for my students to view and have also
      began using a blog to write short articles related to course topics that
      I use for assignments. Other than using online articles for the basis
      of assignments I do not think I yet adopt many of the items on the list
      of open education. I hope to learn how to do so in the course of the
      next few weeks as I see great value and potential in Open Education.

    • Teaching is at its very core sharing as
      Wiley stated. I started my career in the k-12 arena where sharing lesson plans
      and teaching practices is standard. The internet facilitated this sharing among
      k-12 teachers exponentially. Educators are excited and happy to share with
      others what they have discovered will engage the learner. I work
      collaboratively across disciplines and I always learn from my colleagues with
      permission to reuse. While developing curriculum before creative commons
      licensing I was granted permission to reuse, revise, and remix a number of
      great educational materials. I practice open scholarship by presenting at
      conference and using creative commons licensing whenever I can.

    • Hello,

      I know I am coming in at the halfway point for this course, but I’m glad to be here! The key word that jumps out for me regarding open education is sharing. It is definitely sharing information with my students, but it also means sharing with my colleagues. I teach a study skills course at a community college and I am always looking for creative ideas and fresh new approaches. To date, I am always happy to share my teaching practices and always welcome ideas from my colleagues. At this point I am just getting started learning about open education and I am excited about it because it can bring so much more to my classroom.

      With regard to technology, I think that technology and the Internet have really widened the scope of bringing education to everyone. Unfortunately, at my community college, students struggle with finances and can’t always afford the textbook(s). However, everyone has access to a computer especially when that access includes computers available to students at the college. Technology can also be used effectively when taking into consideration how students learn and what mode of instruction works best for them, whether viewing a PPT presentation or listening to a lecture and being able to pause, go back and review the information.

      I have revised information, mainly from the required textbook, such as summarizing material in a PPT presentation in an effort to promote better understanding. I would love to use other resources, but find that requesting permission can be a slow and cumbersome process.



  • —————————————————————————————

    1.2 Open Educational Resources

    In the previous section, you learned about open education. In this section, we are going to start to narrow our focus from open education to open educational resources (commonly referred to as OER) and, specifically, open textbooks.

    Open Educational Resources (OER)

    There are a number of different definitions for open educational resources, but they all contain similar elements.


    UNESCO first defined the term open educational resources (OER) in 2002 define OER’s as “teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution.”

    Hewlett Foundation

    Another common definition of OER comes from the the Hewlett Foundation, which defines OER as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.”


    A third definition comes from Educause. In their June 2010 7 things you should know about Open Educational Resources (PDF) white paper, they define OER as “any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes. OER typically refers to electronic resources, including those in multimedia formats, and such materials are generally released under a Creative Commons or similar license that supports open or nearly open use of the content. OER can originate from colleges and universities, libraries, archival organizations, government agencies, commercial organizations such as publishers, or faculty or other individuals who develop educational resources they are willing to share.”

    The 4R Framework

    Each of the above definitions of OER are built around the 4R framework. The 4R framework, developed by David Wiley, is a useful tool to help understand whether a teaching resource is, in fact, an open educational resource. The 4R framework defines the rights of a user over content, i.e., what a user can do with the content in order for it to be considered an OER.

    1. Reuse – the right to reuse the content in its unaltered / verbatim form
    2. Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify or alter the content
    3. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
    4. Redistribute – the right to make and share copies of the original content, a revision of the content or remixes of the content with others

    Recently, Wiley expanded the 4R’s to include a fifth one: Retain, which gives users the right to make, own and control copies of the content.

    How Open Educational Resources Work

    The following video was created by Nadia Paola Mireles Torres and won third prize in a recent U.S. Department of Education video contest. It does a good job of explaining OER including how they can be shared, reused and remixed in different educational contexts.



    Join the discussion…

    • “Knowledge as a public good”– nice. I also like the emphasis on quality and access as the key drivers, with cost reduction as a secondary (if crucial) benefit. Seems like a stronger case than leading up front with a more micro look at free textbooks.

      • Quality and access are two very important OER drivers. I wonder what some other drivers might be, beyond cost, quality and access? I can think of one around control and who controls the learning resources? OER puts the control of the resources used in the classroom in the hands of educators. Any others?

        • Maybe permanence? Many traditional textbooks — probably because they make a lot of money — have the continued attention of author and publisher. It’s safe to pick a popular text because you can count on it being updated, and remaining in print. OTBs essentially say “in print” forever, but by adopting one you run the risk that it will become obsolete. You can update it yourself if it’s licensed appropriately and is available in a format that allows it, but many educators might shy away from that. I don’t know how to solve that problem for OTBs — I guess you’re safer if there’s an organization behind it. OpenStax’s textbooks for instance are pretty future-safe, I imagine. Maybe if academic societies would get behind OTBs, we’d have commitments, say, from the MAA/AMS to produce/update calculus texts, from the ACM computer science texts, etc.

          • I have discovered this as well. I found a good e-marketing book from Saylor, but when I went into it in detail I discovered that it was six years old, or so. In the Internet, that is a couple of generations, and it requires substantial work to update. Meanwhile, their Writing for Success book is perfect … English usage does not change that quickly. I wonder how the non-commercial OTB world will deal with the need for revisions.

            • This is the heart of the sustainability question, and there are a few models of sustainability that I’ve seen working. I like the model of Delmar Larson and the Chemwiki project, where the material is updated by students, under the supervision of faculty, year after year to keep the content fresh. It has become a student project.…

              • Yes! The idea of making revisions to course materials by assigning it as a student project seems like such a great idea to me. Of course, you do need some course materials to begin with to get the students started on what they need to know to be able even to begin such a revision project, but maybe more advanced students can work on revising things for introductory students. This is a great way for the advanced students to learn as well; as many a teacher will attest, you don’t really get to know something until you try to teach it/explain it to someone else. I really want to look into how I could use this idea of student revisions to open course materials in my own classes. Not sure how I’ll do it yet, but it’s on the agenda.

            • I’m in a similar situation as donmcc with an Information Technology Management Book from Saylor. Hopefully my University will give me funds to update the existing text. When they see how much the students save, I think they will approve the project. But, it isn’t a complete rewrite, it is adding a few chapters and creating a test bank.

    • The ability for so many people to access the course and content is so unique in that it allows people, like my grandmother, to educate themselves in a way that was not possible before OER.



    1.3 Open Textbooks

    Drilling down into OER more deeply, we find open textbooks, a subset of OER. Simply, an open textbook is a textbook that has been released with an open license. Usually this license is a Creative Commons license, which we will discuss more in week 2.

    The open license allows the textbook to be copied, shared and revised. This means that the textbook can be distributed to students for free. It also means that educators have the right to change the content of the textbook, allowing textbooks to be customized to meet the specific needs of learners. Later on in week 4, we’ll look at a case study from the Houston Community College which will illustrate how adaptation of a textbook is an important component of open textbooks.

    Knowledge Belongs to Everybody

    This TEDxKyoto talk (6:43) was delivered by Dr. Dave Ernst, Chief Information Officer in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota. In this presentation, Dr. Ernst explains what open textbooks are and explains some of the problems open textbooks are trying to solve. Dr. Ernst leads the Open Textbook Catalog hosted at the University of Minnesota.

    Faculty Perspectives on Open Textbooks

    In the following two videos, you will hear from faculty who are using open textbooks and the reasons why.

    Why use open textbooks? Benefits for students from BCcampus on Vimeo.

    What instructors say about open textbooks from BCcampus on Vimeo.

    Nicole Allen on Open Textbooks

    In this video (2:44), Nicole Allen discusses the problems with the current textbook paradigm and the promise of open textbooks. She is the OER Program Director at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and was formerly the Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign Director at the Student Public Interest Research Groups (SPIRG).

    The Tension of Open Textbooks

    There is tension around textbooks. On the one hand, textbooks are considered an antiquated format, almost taboo to champion in the 21st century. On the other hand, textbooks are the most common educational material used in formal education, and a format with which teachers are very familiar.

    At the same time some are pushing for abandoning textbooks, others see the textbook format as the best way forward for open educational resources.

    Discussion Prompt

    • If open educational resources become too closely associated with the textbook format, will it help or hinder their adoption? What do you think would be the best two or three strategies for proponents of open educational resources to use in encouraging their adoption?

    Attribution: Adapted from Activities for From OpenCourseWare to Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks by David Wiley and released under a CC-BY license.


  • Perhaps we can begin by thinking in terms of of the current ER selections used by Teachers-Professors and re-frame the question, taking the perspective of those who have created the materials, asking – What do you think are the best two or three strategies for educational resources to use in encouraging their


    If open educational resources become too closely associated with the textbook format, will it help or hinder their adoption?
    Syllabus database – Meet with Faculty to make direct comparisons between each ready to be adopted OER Textbook and the specfic textbook

    What do you think would be the best two or three strategies for proponents of open educational resources to use in encouraging their adoption?






I don’t see why people would be less likely to adopt OERs just because OERs are associated with the textbook format. While a lot has been happening to blend and flip courses, the textbook is still the single most important ER there is. And today textbooks aren’t just textbooks anymore: they come with a website, with instructor resources (test banks, discussion questions, etc.), etc. There’s no reason open textbooks couldn’t also have all these ancilliary resources and more. So one strategy might be to encourage OTB authors to think about all of these things: set up an accompanying website, provide example syllabi, exam questions, discussion questions, fora for instructors using the text to share experiences and feedback. A more pressing worry about OTBs is the “stigma” they still have: they’re “just” free e-books, without the imprimatur of a major publisher, not refereed, perhaps only provided in a shoddy xeroxed format if provided in hardcopy at all. is already providing the refereeing for texts included in their catalog, and you can buy print copies (although I don’t know how/where they’re produced and what the quality is). But one main advantage of OTBs is that you can adapt/revise/remix them, and then you’re again on your own.

It also makes me crazy that when people critique the quality of OTB’s (sometimes thoughtfully and other times in a really misinformed way), they don’t offer corollary critiques of the traditional textbook market or of academic publishing in general. There are plenty of ways in which traditional peer review is broken, and ways in which the traditional publishing industry works against not only access but quality as well. I wish there were more of a willingness to cast a critical eye across the whole publishing landscape.


  1. I like the point that Brian Lamb makes in one of the videos that maybe because we are using the word “textbook”, it removes a conceptual barrier for some faculty. You don;t have to explain what a textbook is, whereas you often have to explain to those new what and Open Educational Resource is. And I think you are bang on with the idea that a textbook is still the primary educational resource many faculty use, and that what we call a textbook is changing these days.


I think that a problem is that instructors learned out of textbooks, and sometimes think that is the only way to teach their students. It is like the old Sage on the Stage problem that slowed adoption of Active Learning. We have to realize that our students are not children of the 60s, but of the 90s and later, and they learn differently.



  • [textbooks are considered an antiquated format, almost taboo to champion in the 21st century] — This position and these comment are a great start to this discussion and it’s an important topic, so others will add __ I just read this article and made the connection here for related perspectives of Tony Bates in “Seeking the unique pedagogical characteristics of text and print” _… _ ”
    Tony Bates
    “This is the first of several posts on the unique characteristics of
    different media, for my open textbook, Teaching in a Digital Age. I’m
    starting with text, because it is – or perhaps more accurately, has been
    – fundamental to the development of academic knowledge. However,
    writing about its unique pedagogical features is rather like asking a
    fish to describe water. We are so immersed in text in academia that it
    is hard to imagine studying without texts to read and learn from.”

    __DESIGN: suggest Seeking Q&A with Design Leaders _ Understanding Design in the Creative Print Examples Collected in a Gallery of Book Pages and Spreads _ Discuss Open Design of Personalized Teachers’ Editions – Digital Portfolios and Portals _

  • I’m particularly curious about the last part of the discussion prompt: how to encourage OER and OTB adoption. Awareness of their existence is a necessary, but not sufficient step. I think it would help if one can direct people to specific resources in the specific areas they teach in, whereas I have tended in the past to just say–hey, look at these repositories. Also, showing best practices for use, specific case examples of how OER and OTB have been used could help spark ideas of how others might use them.

    I would like to think that saving students money would be a big motivator, but I’m not sure it always is. So I tend to talk more about the adaptability of OER and OTB, the fact that one can revise them to suit one’s own needs. I have been frustrated in the past with online text resources that won’t allow me to excerpt bits and put them together into a reading for my students, but rather I have to say: read sections 1.1, 1.4-1.6, 2.3, 2.5…etc. That’s just silly. Being able to excerpt texts, insert one’s own narratives/lecture notes, cut out parts of videos, etc., is really important to me.

    The idea that it might save one time might help too–if someone else has recorded a podcast introducing a topic in a useful way, you might just assign that to students and then use class time to go further into depth, to engage in applications or discussions of the topic, etc. That seems to me to be both time saving and pedagogically useful.

  • 2 articles published this weekend by Chicago journalist Julie Wurth relate to this discussion about Textbook Strategies and tension between form factors __The first is _ “Open source textbooks provide many benefits” _… _ “The Association of American Publishers opposes legislation that would “subsidize” open-source texts to the exclusion of the textbooks and digital platforms that publishers produce, said David Anderson, the group’s executive director of higher education. But he sees room for both in the future, similar to the software industry, which is a mixture of commercial and open-source material. The digital textbook platforms offered by publishers can be customized by professors who may want to include some open-source material, he noted. “It’s not a question of either-or, it’s both-and,” he said. __
    The Association of American Publishers was also the source for some of the information in the second article _ “Turning the page” _… __ “The publishing industry says it costs $500,000 to $3 million to develop a new textbook or revise an existing one — from the research, writing, editing and design to the production and distribution.” the figures cited here aren’t fact-checked but we know from experience there is a significant amount of time invested by a large team to create these textbooks.

    • If it costs that much to develop or revise a textbook, then perhaps the textbook publishers are going to price themselves out of the market. Editing does cost money, as does graphic arts and printing, but I wonder how much of this cost is simply in advertising and sales.

  • Great conversations and prompts that require further thought and investigation. In responding to the first part of this question I am always aware of the technology comfort level of our faculty and students. There is wisdom in creating infrastructures that are similar [and comfortable] and at the same time prompting and instigating forward change. For example, if an OT required you to ‘flip’ or tab through pages – it would resemble a ‘book’. At the same time, building in hyperlinks for a glossary, URL links to relevant videos [such as modeled in this course structure] demonstrates the vast capacity that could be built into these resources.

    Implementation of anything ‘new’ requires some purposeful thought around change management strategies and how we will bring new learners along in the adoption processes.

    • Hi Carla. Great topic to talk about – comfort with technology among faculty and students. We live in this transitional time as we move from analogue to digital, and I think those skeuomorphic design features are important elements to help with the transition as it makes it easier to understand the interface. At some point, I think those will be needed less and less (and, some might argue, those holdover metaphors may actually inhibit our ability to fully understand and exploit new technologies as we only transfer the ways in which we do things from the old tool to the new tool without understanding how new tools might change the way we do things), but for now, they are important to help people navigate the transition.

  • I think that open resources closely resembling textbook format might help widespread adoption. Many of the people who are teaching in higher education were taught by textbooks and have only taught using textbooks, so this would help negate or decrease the anxiety that might exist with adopting open resources on the web. I also think our students are used to the textbook format and this more traditional form of learning is something that students know how to use.
    I think that emphasizing that open resources allows for academic freedom and to tailor make the content you want your students to discover would be an important “selling point” when encouraging adoption of OER resources. I also think the obvious pro of cost savings to the students is another selling point. Finally, I feel that if colleges were able to offer a training course or workshop that taught faculty what they needed to do or what resources were available to them adoption of OER would be more welcomed by faculty across disciplines.

  • I do not see a big concern if OERs are too closely associated with the textbook format. In fact, I think it would help their adoption. There may be printed textbooks that faculty feel contain good information and have a lay out that is “student friendly”. Faculty may not at first want to part company with them. However, the following strategies may help to promote the adoption of OERs. 1. Personally, I like the idea of getting instructors involved in the process as suggested by Nicole Finkbeiner, by recruiting and paying college faculty to review OERs. As a faculty member, I am concerned about the quality of educational resources and would welcome this opportunity. 2. If liberal licensing is available, faculty can pick and choose parts of a textbook that can be revised, reworked and tailor made for a specific course or course section. This also opens up the opportunity for creativity. 3. If some faculty are more
    hesitant they can continue to rely on the printed textbook and at the same time experiment with using an OER by trying out a chapter or two from an open textbook.

  • ————————————————————————————————————-

    1.4 Webinar: Nicole Finkbeiner, OpenStax College

    Follow this link to access the archive recording (38:00 long). When you follow the link, click on the purple Collaborate button to start the recording playback (see image below). Nicole’s sessions is #1.

    Access Collaborate Recording

    On Wednesday, January 14, 2015, at 11am PST, Nicole Finkbeiner, Associate Director Institutional Relations for OpenStax College joined us to talk about about open textbooks, OpenStax College and how OpenStax supports faculty who adopt their textbooks.

    Pre-session Resources


    Just watched Nicole Finkbeiner Talk about OpenStax — Thanks Clint, This session was very informative, adding insight into the iterative design and development processes of a grant-funded non-profit custom publishing enterprise.

  • —————————————————————————————————————–

    Badgeable Activity 1: And who might you be?

    To earn this week 1 badge for the Adopting Open Textbook workshop, introduce yourself to the rest of the participants in the workshop.

    Your introduction should:

    1. Be short and snappy covering your essential information (who you are, where you work, what you do)
    2. Include a link to some kind of web presence you have. This can be a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ account, a blog you write or to your personal website – some place people can find and connect with you online
    3. Briefly describe any previous experience you have had with open education
    4. List one thing about open education you are hoping to learn in this course

    Post your introduction in the comment section below. When you have posted it, click on the badge icon below to claim your badge. If you do not have a P2PU account, you will need to create one to claim badges during this workshop.


    Join the discussion…

    • I’m Don Gorges in Toronto with a career in Visual Communications Creative Services i.e. Open Design Studio-Labs and self-directed Research in Development of a Personal Learning API.

      Online Personal Information via my LinkedIn Profile: _…

      My WordPress Blog _…

      I have some experience reviewing educational resources available in print and online and am familiar with BCcampus online Textbooks.

      One thing I expect to learn more about in this course is what Faculty think is important regarding the educational resources their Students’ use.

    • Hello everyone. I’m Heather Ross and I work as an Instructional Design Specialist in the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Saskatchewan. A big part of my position is to be the lead for our unit on all things open including consulting on small and large open initiatives at the U of S, offering workshops around the topic and even teaching a large open course on learning technologies that just launched today.

      Recently we launched a Website to act as a hub for all things open at the U of S, which can be found here –

      My blog can be found here –

      I’m @mctoonish on Twitter.

      I’m hoping, through this working to accomplish two things – 1) connect with others working on advancing open in general in higher education and 2) gain some ideas for increasing the adoption of open textbooks at our university.

    • Hello!

      I’m Krista. I’m an instructional designer with the Centre for Teaching, Learning & Innovation at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). I’m also a MEd student in Technology & Learning Design at Simon Fraser University.

      My twitter is: @contentkrista (…

      We’re working on lots of open projects at JIBC – one that I worked on recently was an open English100 textbook. You can check out what we’re doing here:

      In addition to connecting with some of you, I’m looking forward to learning more about CC licenses (looking forward to next week, Paul!) and evaluating/choosing open textbooks.

    • I’m Sally Wilson, the Web Services Librarian at Ryerson University in Toronto. My web presence consists of a wide range of accounts, most of which were set up as experiments. The ones I use most often for work and learning are my Twitter account, @swilson416, my Google Plus account, and my blog – http://vibrantoutlook.wordpres…

      My experience with open education has been through participation in a couple of online courses/cMoocs, Headless DS106 and ETMOOC and through some work that I did while on a study leave. My study leave focused on ebook creation and “hacking” books in the public domain and how this could be used as a pedagogical tool. I have also created a couple of versions of Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox (, a self-contained wireless network that allows one to distribute files (could be public domain items or OER) in areas that lack Internet connectivity.

      In this course I would like to learn more about what OER are available and how they are being used in higher education institutions in Canada. Although I don’t teach courses myself, I would like to be a resource person for others in my institution who might be considering using or creating open textbooks and I would like to have a better idea of the challenges that might arise.

    • Hi all,

      I’m Sheila Hancock, a faculty member in the English Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in BC. I’m also a student in Lancaster University’s (UK) PhD, e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning programme and about to embark on the dissertation stage. The topic of my thesis will be open textbooks (I say “will be” because I’m currently working on the initial proposal).

      Last semester, I took the leap and adapted various OER and open textbooks into an open, online writing text for my first-year English students. They loved it!

      I have a few blogs, but the most relevant one is probably this one:


      The blog is a product of our departmental learning and technology committee, but I’m the only one who’s every posted on it!

      Because of my upcoming research, in this course, I’m hoping to learn everything there is to know about open textbooks!

      Nice to meet you all!


    • Hi,

    • Hi,

    • I’m Richard Zach. I teach philosophy at the University of Calgary, and am working with some colleagues on an open textbook for our advanced logic courses. It uses LaTeX and git, and can be found at I though this would be useful to find out what others are doing in OER-land and what to watch out for to make the text as easily adoptable as possible. And I’m @rrrichardzach on Twitter.

      • Welcome Richard! Happy that Alberta is represented for the workshop. That’s great news about the open textbook you and colleagues are working on.

    • Hi, I’m Gwen Bird, Dean of Libraries at SFU. Interested in how libraries can be involved in promoting OER and open textbooks. My related experience in this space is with Open Access to scholarly resources and the kind of support academic libraries are providing on that side. Interested in seeing how to pivot that to support OER. @BirdGwen on twitter.

    • Hey everyone. I’m Robin DeRosa, Professor of English and Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies here at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire (US). I am an early Americanist by training, but I have committed the next few years of my scholarly life to thinking about open access (with a particular interest in open pedagogy and reforming academic publishing). You can check out my blog at… or follow me on Twitter at @actualham. I’m interested in learning more about how to start an OER movement on my campus, and how to link it to a broader educational revolution related to open access.

    • Hello folks!

      I’m the Director of eLearning and Instructional Design at Everett Community College in WA state. My Twitter handle is @AlysonIndrunas and I blog at http://spokeandhub.wordpress.c…

      I’ll admit I’m somewhat experienced with Open Education, and I’m here to gain information on how to support my Alternative Textbook Committee. Ideally my faculty would take this course, but they are going to busy with the requirements of our grant. My department provides a small stipend for course development and implementation. This is our second committee that I have co-chaired, and I’ve used OER as a teacher for over four years now. Prior to becoming the Director of eLearning, I taught English composition. I also teach various faculty development workshops when I’m fortunate enough to be asked to do so.

      I am hoping to learn better ways to support faculty in what I see as student-centered faculty-driven professional development. We are fully grassroots, so the more I can learn from and share with others, the better the experience will be with faculty who trust me to do this work. Plus, how can I resist OER teachings from Super, Natural British Columbia?

    • Just a reminder to everyone posting their intro’s here: to earn the badge, you need to post the intro, then click the badge icon to claim your badge. 2 step process – post intro, then claim badge. When you are asked for a url to submit, use the url for this page of the course if you have posted your intro below.

    • Hi, my name is Caroline Power. I am a library technician at Cape Breton University Library @CBU_library My Twitter account is @CarolinePower5
      My experience of Open Education is through taking my Library and Information Technology course through NSCC and from trying to navigate students through their search for information. I am hoping that this course will help to improve my skills.

    • I’m Heather Blicher, the librarian at Northern VA Community College’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI). Since ELI’s students are all online, one of my main focuses is to be faculty’s go-to resource for OER and ultimately to find and encourage use of open access textbooks. I’m seeking to gain a more in-depth perspective on the topic from the course content and fellow participants. LinkedIn profile: heatherblicher

    • Hi, my name is Ross Mckerlich and I am an education technologist, program administrator and ed tech researcher at Okanagan College in Kelowna, British Columbia. I see open textbooks as a way of minimizing barriers to learning without sacrificing quality. For me, the question of “Why would you use an open textbook?” is a no brainer. Instead it should be “Why would’nt you?”. I am looking forward to a time when adopting open textbooks is the norm – not the exception.

    • Hello Everyone,
      I thought I posted yesterday, but it’s not showing so I’m going again (ignore me if it’s a repeat).

      I teach Composition and World Literature at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, GA. I also serve as our “campus champion” for the Affordable Learning GA Committee (check us out at The University System of GA has made making low or no cost textbooks a priority so it’s a really great time to be learning more about this. At our December “Future of the Textbook Symposium” I had a chance to hear some of the same OER gurus who I see are going to be part of this course – Cable Green, David Wiley, and David Ernst. I’m looking forward to learning more about how I can convince my colleagues to join the OER movement. As an access institution, it just falls in line so seamlessly with our mission, that it seems like a no-brainer.

      I can be found online at and I’m on the Google+ community for this course as

      • Hi Jennifer, We’re glad that you can join us and represent the great state of Georgia. It’s wonderful to hear that the GA university system is making low/no cost textbooks a priority. Open textbooks fit in perfectly with this mandate.

    • Hi,

    • Hi Everyone,
      I’m Nokuthula Mdlalose. I am a librarian at Mangosuthu University of Technology in Durban, South Africa. I attend to information needs of students and staff in the Faculty of Management Sciences. Find me: @mdlalosecarol or I have some experience with MOOC, I was registered with Stanford University and I enjoyed the journey very much. In fact it is how I got to know about this course. I wish to introduce instructors in my institution to open textbooks, but I need to get enough information first.

    • I am Don McCahill, the sole Instructional Designer at Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario. Ontario is way behind in OER compared to BC and Alberta, and I have made it my goal to get things moving here: not to outdo BCCampus and the coming Alberta group, but to collaborate with them to see all Canadian students benefiting from free texts. I have a great deal of experience with fully online courses and hybrid courses, and Lambton is probably the Ontario leader in mobile learning, with most programs requiring each student come in with an iPad or a computer. Anyone using Scott McLean’s “Writing for Success” may want to contact me. I have extracted all the exercises from that nice English composition text, and have them in a 100 page PDF file as a workbook. (This will be posted to Merlot, and offered to Saylor once our English department finalizes things this summer).

      My goal is to save our students $100,000 in textbook costs in the coming school year, and eventually $1,000,000 a year before I retire. I can be contacted at

    • Sally Wilson is having a problem posting her intro to this thread. Instead, she has posted her intro at her blog https://vibrantoutlook.wordpre…

    • Hello All
      My name is Rod Lidstone I am trades instructor at Camosun College in Victoria BC. I have been very involved with Provincial curriculum development for the Piping Trades in recent years. I am presently creating open Text books for the entry level trades training. These will be focused on the common outcome for most of the trades. I hope these will benefit many programs by creating flexible resource that high schools and others can use as the base documents when setting up their trades awareness programs.

    • Hello! I’m DawnDena Gordon, a Virtual Help Desk Navigator with eCampus Manitoba. I’m a front line support person who assists students navigating the post-secondary environment. This is my first MOOC, and I’m a novice on the topic of OER. I’m excited about the possibilities that are presented by OER and would like to learn more so that Campus Manitoba can encourage the conversation with our partner institutions in Manitoba. I can be found on Twitter at @dawndenag

    • Hi there! My name is Nicole Carter and I’m a librarian (Reference) at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Textbooks definitely pose a problem for libraries – students want them but they are too expensive for us to provide, especially for those textbooks that become outdated within a few months. And then there are the online supplements and so on. It’s a bit of a problem! However, I’m sure there is a solution. I’m here to learn all I can about Open Textbooks, to better understand how soon they might be that solution, and how the library can facilitate that.

      • Hi Nicole. It’s good to have you participate. We’re happy to have your perspective. Let us know if you have a website, blog or social media contact that you’d like to share.

    • Hi Everyone!

      I’m the e-Learning Facilitator at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, a job which has me supporting the teaching and learning with technology needs of 230-ish distributed faculty. You can find me at various points on the interwebs, including Mozilla (, WordPress (, and Twitter (@colinmadland).

      My Open Ed experience is a natural part of my job at TRU, whose mandate is to provide for the open ed needs of BC residents. In our context, ‘open’ refers primarily to ‘low barriers to entry’, and not ‘free of charge’ or ‘free to 5R’. But we are making progress.

      I am here to learn how to promote ‘open’ (as in free beer and free speech) in my work and also in other circles in which I live and move.

      BTW…is it just me, or does Disqus not play well with FireFox on OSX?

      • We’ve heard from others that Disqus isn’t playing well. I am not sure if it is just Mozilla/OSx combo, but if others are having problems posting to the comment section, please email and we’ll dig into it to see if we can help out.

      • Hi Colin, good to “meet” you. BC seems to be much more forward thinking with open resources than we are in Ontario, so it will be good to learn from your experience. I have also been experiencing problems with Disqus (on Chrome OSX and Chrome/Windows) though I was finally able to post something last night.

      • Welcome Colin. We’ve been working with several faculty from TRU during our open textbook project. Good to have you on board.

    • Hi, I’m Sally Wilson, the Web Services Librarian at Ryerson University in Toronto. My web presence consists of a wide range of accounts, most of which were set up as experiments. The ones I use most often for work and learning are my Twitter account,@swilson416, my Google Plus account, and my blog

      My experience with open education has been through participation in a couple of online courses/cMoocs, Headless DS106 and ETMOOC and through some work that I did while on a study leave. My study leave focused on ebook creation and “hacking” books in the public domain and how this could be used as a pedagogical tool. I have also created a couple of versions of Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox, a self-contained wireless network that allows one to distribute files (could be public domain items or OER) in areas that lack Internet connectivity.

      In this course I would like to learn more about what OER are available and how they are being used in higher education institutions in Canada. Although I don’t teach courses myself, I would like to be a resource person for others in my institution who might be considering using or creating open textbooks and have a better idea of the challenges that might arise.

    • Hi everyone, I’m a BC-based teaching and learning consultant (LinkedIn: Tim Came). Most of my work involves instructional and presentation skills training in a university setting (UBC). I have some experience using and pointing others toward particular OER, but a limited understanding of how it works. I see reflection, adaptation, and collaboration as vital (and vitalizing) elements of educational practice, so one thing I look forward to in this course is becoming better equipped to share (and help others share) resources in ways that facilitate this by clearly establishing 4R freedoms for users.

    • Hi everyone! I teach philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I learned about openness first through the idea of open access publishing of research, which just made sense to me (why, if I am being paid through public funds, would I not let the public see what I’m researching/writing?). Then, in 2013 I took a MOOC in which I learned about the wider world of open education, and I got hooked. Again, it just made sense to me.

      I have been putting cc licenses on all my teaching materials ever since, and posting them on publicly available sites. I stopped using my university’s close course website system for all but a couple of functions I couldn’t do on a public site. I have assigned as many open or at least no-cost readings in my courses as I can. And this year I am one of the BC Campus Open Textbook Faculty Fellows–there are three of us, and we work with BC Campus (who is running this workshop) on outreach, advocacy and research about OER and open textbooks.

      What I hope to get out of this workshop: mostly ideas on how to talk to others about OER and open textbooks, those who don’t already “get it,” so as to be able to encourage more and more use and creation of OER and open textbooks.

      My blog:
      Twitter: @clhendricksbc

    • Hello! I’m a curriculum consultant at the Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. OER, open source and creative commons have long been a passion of mine and I’m glad to see so many people taking advantage of this mooc. I’ve taken the odd mooc before, but not for a while. I’m taking this course because I am part of an initiative at NSCC to adopt an open source textbook and thought I might learn something new :). @lanapenny on Twitter

      • Hi Lana. Welcome. It’s great to see so many folks from Nova Scotia participating in this workshop. That’s great news about the NSCC initiative. Keep us apprised.

    • I’m an English professor at Citrus College in Glendora, California. I teach three levels of composition courses and have taught one class online in the past. I am also involved in professional development efforts through the California Community College Success Network (3CSN) as the coordinator for the Foothill Inland Empire Region. I’m on LinkedIn as Becky Rudd. I’ve attended workshops related to open education and would like to adopt an open textbook for at least one course in the near future. I’m hoping to learn more about open textbooks and how to adopt and use them. Many students in my basic skills (below college-level) composition courses do not purchase the textbook which has a big impact on their success in the course since most of the class readings (which they then write about) are contained in the textbook. I would like to be able to close that gap by having materials more accessible for them. I use Blackboard and have found that when I post materials for students they are more likely to access them and be prepared for class. Update your public profile setting

      • Hi Becky. Welcome. It’s good to have California represented at our workshop. Students not purchasing textbooks is a problem and we’re happy to hear that you’re trying to close that gap.

    • Greetings! I am Barbara Mauter, I work at several local Universities & Colleges (in NW Ohio &
      SE Michigan) I predominately teach Reading & Study Skills. I am quite
      interested in and teach Critical Thinking, plus teach online, tutor and present
      various workshops!
      @ACENatBGSU Twitter
      Very little experience, other than basically “sharing” ideas and activities with colleagues.
      Otherwise, I have taken suggestions from students to help “create” parts of my
      I would like to learn how one might teach a MOOC.

    • Hi Everyone
      I’m Nokuthula Mdlalose. I am a librarian at Mangosuthu University of Technology, in Durban-South Africa. Tweet me @mdlalosecarol. I have little experience with MOOC, I was registered with Stanford University in the Open Knowledge course and I enjoyed the journey. In fact I got to know about this course from one of my classmates. I wish to inform tutors and librarians in my institution, about open textbooks and related stuff. So I want to learn as much as possible before I advocate.

      see more

    • Hello Everyone,
      My name is Leva Lee. I’m a Manager at BCcampus and a member of the Open Education team. I’ve been learning on the edges of open since 2009 when we first hosted the Open Education conference in Vancouver and subsequent open education conferences, forums and open textbook summits. From my work on the BC Open Textbook project the past 2 years, I’ve been able to connect with a group of BC postsecondary librarians who are keen to work together on ways to support faculty in their use of quality OER. You can find out more about the BCOER librarians here:….

      I’ve participated in the #etmooc and am familiar with the wonderful work of the DS106 course (though I’ve not taken it yet). I’m taking this course to experience the P2PU; to deepen my learning on the core concepts of open ed; and to connect with you and more librarians! Contact me: @levalee (We use #bcoer)

      Also check out the resources shared by the BC Educational Technology Users Group or ETUG, another generous, open and sharing community of educators @etug

    • Hello Everyone,

      My name is Mark Elliott and I chair the Hospitality Management program at Douglas College hear in wonderful greater Vancouver, BC. Some of my colleagues around the province are developing tourism contented OTBs, OERs and I wish to be in a position to readopt 🙂 reuse, redistribute, remix, and retain rebustly 🙂 when the time comes.

      Thanks go to them and to you.


    • Hi Folks
      I’m Viv Rolfe and am Associate Head of a science department at the University of the West of England, Bristol in the UK. I’ve released OERs for health and sciences for 10 years (you can find links via my blog or get me on Twitter @vivienrolfe).

      My favourite OERs to make are narrated biology animations, but also produce video, transcripts and stuff in a wide range of formats. I know little about open text books and hope to get enough knowledge to go back and influence my university – and others in the UK – that these are a good thing. Our students spend hundreds of pounds on books and I think we should be doing so much more to support their struggles to study, as well as opening up the doors to education more widely.

      Looking forward to the next three weeks. XXX

    • Greetings everyone,
      My name is Farhad Dastur and I teach psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada. I am intrigued about open education. So much of the higher education discourse has been mired in themes of budget constraints, eroding standards, and dark futures. In contrast, the open education discourse has focussed on the possibilities engendered by new architectures of collaboration and co-creativity; a commitment to values of sharing, transparency, and accessibility; and the disruptions to business-as-usual posed by new paradigms of internet-enabled, postindustrial creation, production, and distribution. My experiences and interests with open education centre around three themes: teaching, research, and scholarship.

      I am currently teaching Intro Psych using the open textbook, “Psychology,” created by OpenStax College and CNX Psychology.

      My colleagues and I are evaluating student learning and preferences between an online, open textbook format vs. the same textbook in paper format. We will also compare an open, paper textbook vs. a traditional paper textbook. Clint Lalonde at BCcampus has been a significant supporter of this research.

      Rajiv Jhangiani and I co-presented,”Opening up psychology: Adopting open textbooks, open pedagogy, and an open philosophy in the classroom” at a Teaching of Psychology conference. Another exciting project I’d like to start is the writing of an open textbook on Critical Thinking. And finally, I am learning about the power of WikiEducator in my role as course consultant for the TRU-OL/OERu open, online course Psychology 2111: Intro to Research in Experimental Psychology.

      It is very satisfying to see so many educators embracing open education. If anyone is interested on a teaching, research, or scholarship collaboration around open textbooks or OER, do let me know.

      Farhad Dastur
      Twitter: @fdastur

      • Welcome Farhad. The work you’re doing is very important. I hope you find the workshop valuable and that you’re able to connect with like-minded colleagues during this time.

      • “So much of the higher education discourse has been mired in themes of budget constraints, eroding standards, and dark futures. In contrast, the open education discourse has focussed on the possibilities engendered by new architectures of collaboration and co-creativity; a commitment to values of sharing, transparency, and accessibility; and the disruptions to business-as-usual posed by new paradigms of internet-enabled, postindustrial creation, production, and distribution.”

        This is wonderful Farhad. Think I’ve found a new quote for my Open Textbook slidedeck!

    • Hi, I’m Charlotte Innerd. I’m a librarian – Head of Acquisitions and Collection Development – at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. I’m also responsible for the Scholarly Communications portfolio and so am in charge of the institutional repository and larger issues around scholarly communication including open access. I am interested in many different aspects of OER including discoverability and cost analysis.

      I’m on lots of different social media, including twitter @cami3595 but I am less about professional issues there than tweets from space!

    • Hello, I am Cheri Sinnott, part time Adjunct Faculty at College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. I teach Introduction to Social Work, Introduction to Counseling, and Group Dynamics. Of those courses, I teach Introduction to Social Work online. Aside from teaching, I am the Director of the Illinois Service Resource Center, a statewide agency funded by the Illinois State Board of Education that provides behavioral support for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I also maintain a private counseling practice. I am on LinkedIn:… I do not have experience with open education, but I have incorporated many internet links in my online course.

    • Hello, I am Marilyn, I work part-time for the NVSD as a librarian on a special project. I am interested in learning more about the various types of publishing tools (software) available for OERs. Having no experience with OERs and OTBs, I am eager to learn.

    • Greetings, I am Stan Skrabut. Presently, I am the Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction for Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY. In this role, I work to introduce faculty to new technologies and instructional methods. OER definitely fits into this framework. We are looking to reduce costs for students while maintaining or improving the quality of instruction. Here are two websites where you can find me blogging: and On the TEI website, we built a directory of OER links:… Regarding the course, I am looking for ideas to help our faculty members adopt OER materials for their instruction.

      • Hello Stan and Welcome. It sounds like our workshop will be very useful for you and your faculty. Thanks for sharing your blogging sites and we hope you find valuable connections and information during the next few weeks.

    • Hi I am Yasmin Sokkar Harker. I am a law librarian and legal
      research teacher at the City University of New York.
      You can find me on Facebook at…
      Other than participating in a couple of MOOCS, I don’t have
      much experience with open education, but am hoping to know and do more with it
      in the future.
      In this course, I am hoping to learn where I can create open
      education resources and open textbooks, and the best format/design for it.

    • Hi, I’m Jessie Key, Professor of Chemistry at Vancouver Island University. I host a chemistry teaching blog:….

      I have been an open textbook reviewer, and I have authored an adaptation of Introductory Chemistry for BCcampus:…

    • HI, everyone! I am Barbara Illowsky, co-author of “Introductory Statistics” by OpenStax College and “Collaborative Statistics” hosted on Connexions. I have lots of experience with OER and open textbooks. Feel free to contact me via:… or or @DrBSI.

    • Hi, my name is Ben Harrison. I work as a librarian at Okanagan College in Kelowna, BC. I tweet about libraries, sports and life in the Okanagan @bhbenharrison!

      I regularly re-use or adapt library guides from other institutions.There seems to be a great sharing culture amongst those creating guides using Libguides (and amongst librarians in general). I’m excited for more adoption of open textbooks as I am frequently asked by students if the library carries their textbook (we rarely do). I’d love to see fewer disappointed students.

    • Hi Everybody! My name is Chandrea T. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at the College of Lake County located in Grayslake, Illinois. I teach both macroeconomics and microeconomics. I am here to learn something new.

    • Greetings from beautiful western MD, USA! I’m Pam Deering (…, Director of Instructional Technologies & Multimedia Services at Allegany College of Maryland. My experience with open education is mainly from a student perspective; I’ve taken a number of MOOCs thate were developed using open education materials. I admire the spirit of those who put forth a tremendous effort in development of such materials, and then generously make it available to others! I hope to learn practical tips about adopting open texts so I can support faculty who want to try it, including my husband who teaches math.

    • My name is Rick Reiman. I am Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs at South Georgia State College and campus champion for Affordable Learning Georgia, promoting OER in the University System of Georgia.

    • Hi. I’m Lori Allen, and I’m getting started a bit late. I teach Technical Communication at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, IL.I’ve done some work with Creative Commons, but need to learn more.

    • Hi everyone, my name is Carla Tilley. I am a nursing professor and I instruct in face to face classrooms, clinical settings, blended learning courses, and fully online courses as well. You can learn more about me at – my online e-portfolio. My role as an educator is always to develop curriculum and over the past two years this has included the use of OER. Before that I can honestly state that I knew very little about OER. I hope to expand my awareness of OER through this course and find more ways to incorporate them into my curriculum development activities. I look forward to learning from each of you along the way 🙂

      see more

    • Hello, I’m April Sampson, and I am also a bit late joining the game. I am a Campus Librarian with the Nova Scotia Community College in Nova Scotia, Canada. I’d like to learn more about OER and Creative Commons so I can better advocate for these tools in discussions with faculty at my campus. You can find me on Google+ at

      • Hi April. Welcome, glad you can join us. We have several Nova Scotians participating in the workshop. NSCC is lucky to have you as an advocate; hope you find what you need during our workshop.

    • Hello, I am Brian Smith, late to the course as well. I am an administrator at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. I am interested in learning about OER and more specifically Creative Commons and its uses. I am using this course to improve my overall awareness of these two subject areas.

      • Hi Brian and welcome. I think you’ll find this workshop very helpful. Be sure to listen to the recording of this week’s webinar on Creative Commons.

    • I’m Ruth Guthrie from California Polytechnic State University, just east of Los Angeles. I teach Web development and UX. I did several YouTube videos for a Management Information Systems course. I wrote a Google Book on Women in IT too. My page…

      I’m a member of the California Open Educational Resource Council. We’re looking at free books for high volume courses.

      I hope to learn more about Creative Commons licensing. This evening I figured out how to CC license a YouTube video.

    • I’m Jason Pickavance from Salt Lake Community College (SLCC). As Director of Educational Initiatives at the College, I’m leading on the effort to introduce and implement OER at SLCC. I’m interested in learning how colleagues at other institutions are approaching OER. I’m at Twitter @jpickava .

      • Hi Jason and welcome. It’s good to have Utah represented at our workshop and that OER is being considered at SLCC. Take advantage of the many experienced colleagues attending our workshop. I’m sure they can offer valuable insights.

    • Hello, I am Barbara Oldham a librarian at Wenatchee Valley College in Wenatchee Washington. I have been active in the OER movement since 2008 when I was awarded a grant from the Hewlett foundation to educate my colleagues about OER and help them access materials. I hope to garner some information about institutional readiness and administrative support. I am at…

    • My name is Carrie Watkins, and I’m a Digital Consultant for an academic content distributor in Columbia, Mo. I work with our partner schools on their content options, especially digital, and open textbooks are a huge talking point right now. I want to grow my knowledge of how to find and curate material so I can be a better resource for our partner schools, and hopefully find options as they transition away from traditional materials. You can find me on Twitter at @CarrieJWatkins.

    • Hi, I’m Brenda Smith, and am trying to catch up with everyone in the course! I am the Distance and Document Delivery Librarian at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, Canada, and I work closely with our Open Learning division. I have worked with some faculty to help them find OERs for an open textbook project, and I’m a member of the BCOER Librarians group. I am looking forward to learning about OTB trends, sources to find existing ones, and how to advocate their use to my colleagues. You can find me at LinkedIn:….

    • Hello, I am Charlotte Hutt, and I teach mathematics at Rogue Community College in Southern Oregon. I have authored a prealgebra book that I am hoping my college will release to the public as open source, and I am using many OER resources in the classes I teach. I have advocated for open source books and materials throughout my institution, and I am taking this course in order to learn more about resources and what is working for other schools. My college webpage is at… . (Caution: We just switched to Drupal, and many links are broken on these pages).

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      Hello, I am Heather, getting started a late. I teach public speaking at a community college near Seattle, WA. I have very little experience with OER so I am following this course to learn more.

    • Hello, I am Quincie. I started the course on time, but just a little behind completing the “badgable” activities. I teach Human A & P at a community college in Great Falls, MT. I have some experience with OER due to our involvement in a NANSLO/CHEO grant. I am hoping to learn how others are integrating OER and overcoming some of the resistance they may encounter with colleagues and administration.

    • Hi, I’m Beverly and I teach in a community college in Chicagoland. A few years ago I created a customized textbook using chapters and articles from a publisher plus many online resources. I’m interested in how this compares with an open textbook.



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