Save students money. Open textbooks offer both digital editions and printed copies. Students can download digital editions for free or order print copies at a low price.
Allow for flexible content. Students can access the content in their preferred format, on their preferred platform. Professors can customize the material to match their course needs. Video, audio, and other interactive content can be embedded in digital editions.
Help students succeed. A recent, multi-institutional studyshowed that students using open textbooks in their courses performed as well or better than students using traditional textbooks and that they enrolled in more courses the following semester. Students using online open textbooks also gain ICT (information communication technology) skills.
It is estimated by the College Boardthat undergraduate students can expect to pay upwards of $1,200 a year for textbooks and supplies. The cost of textbooks impacts student success and retention. Students who participated in the 2018 Florida Student Textbook Surveyanswered that, at least once over the course of their academic careers, the cost of required textbooks caused them to:
Not purchase the required textbook
Take fewer courses
Not register for a specific course
Earn a poor grade because I could not afford to buy the textbook
Drop a course
Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. - OPEN TEXTBOOK LIBRARY
Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks are written by experts in the field and undergo a process of peer review and professional editing and development. Unlike the traditional publishing model, publishers and authors of open textbooks are paid for their labor upfront by the funding organization or grant, instead of relying on sales to pay back their investments.
BCcampus has curated a collection of open textbooks that align with the top 40 highest enrolled first and second year post-secondary subject areas in British Columbia. Many books have been reviewed by faculty and include ancillary resources. Particular strengths include.
An index of online textbooks in MIT OpenCourseWare, including open-licensed electronic versions of print books, self-published online books, or course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook.
The Global Text Project is a joint project of the Terry College of Business of the University of Georgia and The Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver that publishes electronic texts for students in the developing world and maintains a database of links to books for such students.