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College Open Textbooks

Website and Communities Senior Manager Responsibilities

WIth the Co-directors and other senior managers, set strategic direction, policies, and priorities for COT and ODG. Attend bi-monthly co-director/manager meetings when possible. See http://piratepad.net/jqKPvFHEIN

Attend ODG monthly meetings when possible.

Provide feedback to co-directors and other senior managers on outputs from their departments.

Accept inputs from co-directors and other senior managers on outputs from your department.

Participate in grant proposals especially for the grants and parts of grants that apply to the websites and communities. As grants are secured, the work in this department will likely increase.

Take responsibility for

COT website:

COT blog (Items 2-5 could be delegated to a volunteer)

  • Set strategy and direction
  • Obtain guest and staff blog posts
  • Provide administrative support to bloggers including encouraging them to observe the guidelines and issuing logons and passwords
  • Improve blog posts with Search Engine terms etc.
  • Approve/disapprove comments sent to the blog

Communities of interest

  • Monitor the communities occasionally
  • Provide help and encouragement to those communities
  • Provide suggestions on increasing and improving interaction in these communities

Compelling Video

Dr. Lisa McDonnell of St. Petersburg College persuasively discusses the needs of her students and how an open textbook fulfilled those needs by giving her control of textbook content.


<iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2J3L0SOBIKc" frameborder="0"></iframe>

How to Adopt Open Textbooks

Source: http://collegeopentextbooks.ning.com/page/adopt-1

Adoption of Open Textbooks Quick Start

Step 1: Find an Open Textbook

Search for an open textbook from the following sources:

   Audio Books
   CK12 Flexbooks
    Community College Open Textbook Collaborative
   Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
   Flat World Knowledge
   Global Text Project
   OER Commons
   Orange Grove Text Plus
   Public Literature
   Textbook Revolution
   The Assayer  
   USG Share (click on on word - guest)

Step 2: Review and Select an Open Textbook

As you search for open textbooks in repositories, consider what criteria you will use to select appropriate an open textbook for your own use. You can develop your own criteria or consider adapting existing criteria from other sources.

   Take a look at the criteria available from MERLOT's Peer Review process. 
   Consider using or adapting the Evaluation Criteria Checklist used for content in USG Share.
   The Curriki Review System allows content-area experts and teachers to review and rate resources in the Curriki repository.  A video is available which explains the process.
   See Assessing the quality of open education resource based wikis. 
   Watch this video lecture about educational quality assessment.

Make your selection based on criteria such as:

   Quality of content, literary merit and format
   Favorable reviews
   Permanence/lasting value
   Authority of author
   Scope and depth
   Physical quality
   Formats available: print, CD-ROM, online, etc.
   Reading level and writing style
   Copyright restrictions on modification and reuse
   Cultural relevance
       Cultural factors include race, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, income
       level, and occupation.  Ensure that information is relevant
       to the intended students' social and cultural contexts.

Also, check for ratings, reviews or endorsements of open textbooks and OER by professional societies and organizations. For example, some professional organizations use an endorsement Lens at Connexions to indicate that content meets their minimum standards. Step 3: Customize your Selection as desired

Few existing open textbooks will meet all your instructional needs so you may want to customize the open textbook you have selected.

Consider the following ways you may want to modify the open textbook to make it more appropriate for your teaching style:

   Combine two or more open textbooks and OER.
   Rearrange the content in the open textbook.
   Add a glossary, hyperlinks, and test bank.
   Make edits to improve accuracy and currency.
   Make the content usable by students with visual impairment.

The BookBuilder tool at CAST is just one of several tools that can be used to create your own customized version of the open textbook. Another tool is available from BongoBooks.

If the open textbook you selected is in the Connexions repository, you can make your own copy of the open textbook then make your own modifications as a 'derivative work.'

CK12 and Flat World Knowledge allow for development of modified versions of open textbooks. Step 4: Disseminate Your Open Textbook to Your Students

Disseminate your open textbook in either digital or print format to students in your course. Be sure to give your students clear instructions about appropriate use of printing services on your campus. Try to coordinate with the student computer labs, library, bookstore, and printshop on your campus.


1. Email the website address of the open textbook to your students.

2. Download the open textbook as a file (e.g., Word, Open Office, PDF). Email the file to your enrolled students.

3. Post the website address or document file to your students' course management system course site.

If the Word document file or PDF is too large to email or post, use a free online file storage or file sharing service such as Box.net.

Students can download and print the Word document file, PDF, or website contents.

Campus Printshop

   Create a Word document file or PDF of the open textbook that you have selected.  Open Office is another option.
   Email the file to your Campus Printshop per their specifications.

Printing Services

   Create a file (e.g., Word, Open Office, PDF) of the open textbook that you have selected.
   Email the file to a printing service such as exlibris per their specifications.
   Blurb provides free bookmaking software, Blurb BookSmart®, which is easy to