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Wednesday, April 25 • 12:00 - 12:25
Open Textbooks in Theory and Practice: Lessons from California

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Few virtues are as celebrated in the contemporary higher-ed landscape as openness. A key strand of the drive to open education is the movement for open educational resources and open textbooks, which suggests that the application of open, permissive licenses to educational resources is a means of widening access to knowledge and educational opportunity, along with increasing cross-institutional collaboration, and spurring pedagogical innovation. The on-the-ground reality of open textbook implementation and use, however, is quite far removed from the 5R framework (Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute) envisioned by advocates of “open”, and is strongly shaped by unresolved issues and tensions concerning labor structure, institutional characteristics and priorities, as well as technical interoperability and software modularity.

This presentation will draw on 40 interviews conducted with instructors, OER coordinators, students and librarians at community and 4-year undergraduate state colleges across California to discuss institutional, economic, technical and infrastructural barriers to open textbook mainstreaming in the state of California. In addition, I will consider what this distance between the rhetoric and practice of openness means for understanding and defining open textbooks as digital and social objects. One key objective is to raise questions over how we might theorize the nature of open textbooks, their process of development and the practices surrounding them in a way that recognizes their material, local and situated nature. This presentation will be relevant for researchers interested in the philosophy of open education and open education theory more broadly; those interested in the nature and future of “open”; and those who are seeking to better understand the barriers to OER mainstreaming in the US context and beyond.

avatar for Natascha Chtena

Natascha Chtena

Doctoral Candidate, UCLA Department of Information Studies

Wednesday April 25, 2018 12:00 - 12:25
Commissie 2

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