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OE Research [clear filter]
Wednesday, April 25


A qualitative analysis of open textbook reviews authored by higher education faculty and instructors: Insights for open textbook authors, adopters, and publishers.
In their comprehensive reviews of existing open textbooks, American higher education faculty and instructors provide evaluative insights into the strengths, weaknesses, curricular alignment, affordances, and limitations of individual, openly-licensed textbooks (“open textbooks”). Reviewers also share suggestions for improving the open textbook in order to benefit students and instructors; describe how they might use the open textbook with students in specific course contexts; compare the open textbook to its commercial counterparts; and offer broader perspectives on open educational resources in higher education. In this presentation, we will explore findings from our recent, qualitative analysis of 963 reviews of open textbooks. Faculty and instructors who are affiliated with American colleges and universities authored these reviews. This work was in association with their participation in educational workshops about open educational resources, were facilitated by the Open Textbook Network. The reviews carry a CC-BY license and are openly accessible alongside the descriptive open textbook records that comprise the Network’s searchable Open Textbook Library. Reviewers followed a standard review format, wherein they addressed the comprehensiveness, accuracy, relevance and longevity, clarity, consistency, modularity, organization, interface, grammar, and cultural relevance of the open textbooks. Through our presentation of our research findings, participants will have the opportunity to consider how reviews of open textbooks may be especially informative for open textbook authors and publishers. Participants will also be able to reflect on why and how open textbook reviews may be of value and interest to students, instructional designers, librarians, academic staff, higher education administrators, and other individuals who support or have an interest in faculty and instructors’ exploration and adoption of open educational resources. We will close this presentation with brief discussion, inviting attendees to share their perspectives on the ways in which open textbook reviews may be of value to them and to their higher education communities.

avatar for Olga Belikov

Olga Belikov

Student, Brigham Young University

Merinda McLure

Health & Human Sciences Librarian, University of Colorado Boulder

Wednesday April 25, 2018 10:45 - 11:10
Commissie 2


Building on Textbook Affordability: A case study in evaluating multi-layered impacts of openness interventions
This paper reports on a series of interviews conducted with faculty members who participated in Temple University Libraries’ Textbook Affordability Project, a library led intervention that seeks to ease the burden of textbook costs for students and their families. Librarians, while recognizing the immediate, material benefit of this project, conducted follow-up interviews with participants in an effort to understand how participation in the Textbook Affordability Project might influence faculty members’ attitudes toward open educational resources and openness in higher education more generally. The paper takes an interest in how openness interventions, like this project, might promote a cultural shift towards openness across the institution and how these results may offer a model for other academic libraries seeking to promote multi-layered impacts through their openness initiatives. We use the content of interviews with faculty to determine the extent to which the Textbook Affordability Project has been effective in fostering a culture of openness on our campus. We argue that initiatives with the immediate goal of alleviating the burden of textbook costs for students can have peripheral, long-range impacts on institutional attitudes toward openness in an academic community. These peripheral impacts should be investigated to harness untapped potential to grow openness initiatives on university campuses. Too often academic libraries implement innovative projects without pursuing adequate evaluation and assessment. We argue that conducting this assessment helps reveal the peripheral impacts of projects, allowing for a snowball effect to develop in promoting conceptual frameworks that build off of one another as constituencies become acquainted to openness by seeing its practical advantages. We hope that this case study might offer both a practical and theoretical orientation for rethinking the interconnectivity of the promotion, implementation and evaluation of openness initiatives in our field.

avatar for Urooj Nizami

Urooj Nizami

Resident Librarian, Temple University
Urooj Nizami is a Resident Librarian at Temple University Libraries. She received her Masters in Information Studies from McGill University in 2016. Urooj is currently working to innovate her library's approach to Open Education through open pedagogical approaches and the incorporation... Read More →
avatar for Adam Shambaugh

Adam Shambaugh

Temple University

Wednesday April 25, 2018 11:10 - 11:35
Commissie 2


Open Innovation on Tour: Bringing Open Textbooks to a UK Audience
Textbook costs represent a considerable barrier to participation in education both in the US and elsewhere around the world. With the cost of textbooks rising over 800% in the past 40 years [1] and US student loan debt currently standing at $1.4 trillion, [2] the drive to mainstream and strategically embed the use of open educational resources (OER) such as open textbooks has saved students in the United States millions of dollars whilst increasing engagement in educational opportunities. Students in the UK face similar challenges: student loan debt now stands at more than £100billion [3] whilst the average cost of books and equipment per academic year is around £1000 [4].

The Hewlett Foundation funded UK open textbook project (UKOpenTextbooks.org) involving UK HEI’s The Open University (UK), University of the West of England (UWE) working in collaboration with WonkHE, OpenStax (based at Rice University, Houston, TX, USA) and Open Textbook Library (at the University of Minnesota, MN, USA) have joined efforts over 2017-18 to examine the feasibility of different open textbook adoption approaches in the UK Higher Education context.

In this presentation we will share the outcomes of the UK Open Textbook project to date. From summer 2017 onwards a number of open textbook workshops based on the Open Textbook Library’s methodology, and conference exhibitions and poster presentations to raise awareness of OpenStax materials were conducted across the UK and Ireland. We will report on the current levels of awareness of open textbooks, the outcome of the two approaches, any changes made to the models and a report on known adoption numbers. We will also present a number of case study examples and make a series of recommendations regarding next steps and the potential mainstreaming of open textbooks in an European context.

1: https://www.ft.com/content/e7aed422-16c4-11e6-b197-a4af20d5575e
2: https://www.ft.com/content/a272ee4c-1b83-11e7-bcac-6d03d067f81f
3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40511184
4: https://www.nus.org.uk/en/news/81-per-cent-of-students-want-textbooks-included-in-tuition-fees/

SLIDES: https://www.slideshare.net/BeckPitt/open-innovation-on-tour-bringing-open-textbook-to-a-uk-audience


Beck Pitt

The Open University
avatar for Vivien Rolfe

Vivien Rolfe

Lecturer, University of the West of England
Sharing open educational resources to support life sciences education. Like to animate physiological processes. Saxophoning. Dog walking. Jellied Eels.

Wednesday April 25, 2018 11:35 - 12:00
Commissie 2


Open Textbooks in Theory and Practice: Lessons from California
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


“Kallipos”, the first initiative for producing open academic e-textbooks during the years of crisis in Greece and its sustainable continuation
In this session, we explore the challenges towards the adoption/use of Open Educational Resources (OER) within the Greek Higher Education. To achieve this objective, first, we present the “Kallipos”, a large-scale open access textbook publishing initiative that was launched in 2013 by the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL-Link) consortium. Then, we analyze and interpret the results of two surveys performed at the outskirts of this project/action. The first survey, committed among faculty members that authored or peer-reviewed an open textbook, highlights the barriers they faced, as well as the teaching and learning benefits from OER adoption/use. The second survey addressed to university administrative executives (Deans of Schools) and identifies their views about the OER usefulness and further development. The empirical data were collected by the use of two questionnaires. The findings align with the results of the current European and international research, thus are usable not only by the national but also by the international policymakers and educational leaders. We conclude by summarising the main lessons learned by “Kallipos”, and by suggesting policy proposals for the sustainable continuation of the action guided by strategies for its potential international scope expansion.

Link to the full paper published in Conference proceedings


Dimitrios Kouis

TEI of Athens

Stamatina Koutsileou

avatar for Nikolaos Mitrou

Nikolaos Mitrou

Professor, ECE, National Technical University of Athens
Nikolas Mitrou received his diploma in Electrical Engineering (1980) from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the MSc degree in Systems and Control (1981) from UMIST, Great Britain, and the PhD degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering (1986) from NTUA. He is a full... Read More →

Wednesday April 25, 2018 12:25 - 12:50
Commissie 2