Digital Coursework Materials for Faculty
The whats, whys, and hows to adopting and/or creating electronic course materials (textbooks and course packs)
What are digital or etextbooks and/or ebooks?
1. Exact digital reproductions of print versions of textbooks.
a. Textbooks on the T drive are available both in PDF and Kurzweil formats
2. Multi media electronic course materials.
Gives students access to multimedia content, such as embedded videos, interactive presentations and hyperlinks. Tests and other assessments can be included in the textbook, classmates can work together, and student progress can be tracked. Touchscreen technology offers students the chance to participate in projects, research or experiments. This may offer a different or better learning experience than printed textbooks. Digitization also promises to offer improved access to textbooks for student with disabilities.
3. Digital Books
Digitized versions of books for purchase and free digital editions from the public domain.
4. Open Textbooks
An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open copyright license, and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. They are available for free as online versions, and as low-cost printed versions,
should students opt for these. University of British Columbia's Open Textbook FAQS
Why should we adopt and/or create etextbooks?
1. To Support Universal Design Principles
From CAST- About Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
a. I teach better, I learn better
(1) collaborative tools
(2) interactive or multimedia materials
b. promotes student choice and flexibility
2. Functionality, portability, Availability
a. it works for me, where I want it, when I want it
b. it doesn't weigh me down
c. accessible without Internet, includes bonus material
d. readable on tablets, permits me to share notes or questions
a. I can afford it; it's good for the environment
Michael Wesch's Classic Video
How can I easily start using an electronic textbook? Some options:
1. Rent Digital etextbooks of existing LC textbooks. Check to see if your textbook is available and if not, check out the selection of similar books that are available
2. Select a low-priced, peer-reviewed etextbook from the following companies or create a custom etextbook or course pack from their variety of media
3. Adopt a Free eTextbook
4. Create your own etextbook and/or course pack using existing chapters or sections from textbook publishers
5. Create your own ebook or etextbook
• How to create your own textbook
• 7 Things you should know about open textbook publishing
What is it?
How does it work?
Who’s doing it?
Why is it significant?
What are the downsides?
Where is it going?
What are the implications for teaching and learning?
• 3 Ways to create and publish your own ebook
Use iBooks Author for iPad eBooks
Create an ePub File for iPads, Android Devices, & Nooks
Create a Mobipocket eBook for Kindles
• 6 Most popular eBook formats to know about
• 3 Ways to make your textbook
AcademicPub’s White Label Platform
Apple’s DIY Textbooks
6. Introduce yourself to the infinite world of open educational resources!
WARNING: This is incredibly exciting and addictive; you might not be able to come back to the current time and place for weeks.
Why Open Education Matters
What are Open Educational Resources?
There is no one, standard definition of Open Educational Resources. However, the following broad definition of OERs from OER Commons seems to be generally accepted by the community:
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.
Open Educational Resources (OER): Resource Roundup
An educator's guide to open educational resources (OER), including online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, blogs about finding OER's, and open textbooks
Open Educational Content - Introduction and Tutorials
The objective of this online-book is to support students and teachers in the creation, re-use and sharing of e-learning material. Management staff will find information about how to implement open learning policies and activities in their institution.
A Guide to Open Educational Resources
Open educational resources (OER) are learning and teaching materials, freely available online for anyone to use. Examples include full courses, course modules, lectures, games, teaching materials and assignments. They can take the form of text, images, audio, video and may even be interactive.
Teachers, learners and the general public can access and make use of open educational resources, irrespective of their location or affiliation with any particular institution. Open educational resources are shared via the websites of education providers and through public services like i-Tunes U, SlideShare, YouTube and Jorum.
Individuals and organisations can create and share their own open educational resources. Once released, the resources can be used by a learner, reused by a teacher, remixed with other resources or repurposed to create new educational materials. While it is not essential to embrace all aspects – release, use, reuse and repurposing – involvement with one aspect tends to lead naturally to another.
Releasing open educational resources is not simply about putting learning and teaching material online; it involves making the material available in a genuinely open way. Creative Commons or similar licenses are used so that the creator of the resources can retain copyright, while others can copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work.
OER can be looked upon as a process as well as a set of products. This is because educators need to rethink the way in which they create, use and distribute learning and teaching materials.
Opening up learning and teaching materials does not equate to providing a free education. Open educational resources are components of a rich educational package which includes staff expertise, institutional facilities, tuition and feedback.
Transitioning to Open Educational Resources Edutopia blogger Andrew Marcinek explains why and how Burlington Public Schools are transitioning to Open Educational Resources, and offers four OER options to get started.
Building Your Own Textbook, by Audrey Watters (2011) Blogger Audrey Watters looks at the digital possibilities for customizing and updating texts -- at a fraction of what the hard copy would cost.
7 Things You Should Know about Open Textbook Publishing
Open Source Textbooks Edutopia Blogger David Thornburg's The Argument for Open-Source Curricular Materials
Taming the Texbook Market What if instead of being forced to buy a $160 textbook, your students had access to a compendium of online resources handpicked and customized by you, and available at no cost to them, unless they preferred to purchase a low-cost, print-on-demand copy?
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