Traditional textbooks have been the main text used by both teachers and students for many years, and even with the advent of the digital age having a standardized textbook is still appropriate to facilitate examinations and studying purposes (Moore and Butcher, 2016). Moreover, the introduction of open textbooks will serve as a complement to the traditional text and not as a means to replace them. Over time however, the cost of textbooks has sky-rocketed, some of the books are so expensive, it is practically impossible to be accessed by some students (Moore and Butcher, 2016).
In a recent survey conducted at the Dominica State College (DSC) 71% of students indicated that they spend between 0 and $100 on textbooks, a further 71% said they did not receive any financial aid for textbooks, another 40% claimed that the cost factor was a deterrent to purchasing textbooks, and 22% indicated they received poor grades as a result of not having a textbook (Ettienne, 2019). Open textbook is not a new phenomenon and 50% of the students surveyed indicated that they are familiar with the concept and also 50% of lecturers indicated that they will use it in the next three years (Ettienne, 2019)
Open textbooks fit the theme of openness and innovation since they are freely opened to be used for the first time at the DSC. One author defines innovation as “executing an idea which addresses a specific challenge and achieves value for both the company and customer” (Skillicorn, 2016). My project will be of an innovative nature and will involve a multimedia object (A website developed using Google sites or WordPress). The website will provide relevant and useful information about open textbooks in terms of creative common licenses and the 5Rs framework by Wiley and Hilton (2018) of open which are namely to Revise, Remix, Redistribute, Retain and Reuse. More specifically the following four key questions will be critically analyzed and answered:
· Why do we need open textbooks at DSC?
· What are open textbooks (how are they defined)?
· How will open textbooks be produced and then used at DSC?
· When will open textbooks be available in adequate quantity and quality to have a positive impact at DSC?
(Frydenberg et. al, 2007, p. 2)
Additionally, my presentation will highlight the potential benefits open textbooks would bring to instructors, students and administrative staff at DSC making use of two testimonial videos that will serve as motivational tools. Also, examples will be drawn on of courses that are available in open textbook format from different colleges and how they can be easily structured, adapted, adopted and customized for use at the DSC under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share alike license. Notwithstanding the potential benefits of open textbooks, my presentation will conclude by highlighting a few of the potential drawbacks and barriers to open textbooks (Frydenberg et. al, 2007). The link to access the website will be given to lecturers, students, administrative staff and other stakeholders via social media and the DSC learning management system (LMS).
Moore, A. and Butcher, N., 2016. Guide to developing open textbooks. http://dspace.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/2390/2016_Moore-Butcher_Guide-Open-Textbooks.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Survey conducted E. Winston (2019)
Wiley, D. and Hilton III, J.L., 2018. Defining OER-enabled pedagogy. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(4).
Frydenberg, J., Matkin, G. and Center, D.L., 2007. Open textbooks: Why? what? how? when. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, pp.0-33.
Skillicorn, N. (2016) What is innovation? [Online]. Available at https://www.ideatovalue.com/inno/nickskillicorn/2016/03/innovation-15-experts-share-innovation-definition/ (Accessed 10 January 2019).
The H818 Conference website can be found here: http://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/OU-H818/