For professors – Make Open textbooks for students

Why use open textbooks?  

“The rise of open textbooks is a new dynamic with the potential not only to reduce costs for students, but also to create communities of education professionals who work together to maintain quality open resources,” said BCcampus executive director David Porter.

Offer YOU more control and customizability.


6 steps to adapting an open textbooks

Step 1: Check the license First, check the license to make sure you have the permission to modify the contents.

Step 2: The format of the textbook If you wish to adapt an open textbook, you need to be able to have the textbook in a technical format that you can work with. This usually means the original source files used to create the textbook. Common source formats for open textbooks that you should look for are: HTML files (webpages) Word or OpenOffice documents Text files ePub LaTex files (if the original book includes math or science formulas and equations). What tools you will use to create your version of the textbook will depend greatly on what format you find the original textbook in and what you feel comfortable working with.

Step 3: Tools for editing an open textbook Once you have a source format that you can edit, you can then begin to modify the textbook. What tools you will use to do this will depend greatly on what editable format you are working with, and your comfort level with working with that format. PressBooks One of the tools we are recommending for the open textbook project is PressBooks. PressBooks is a web-based authoring tool based on the popular WordPress authoring platform. Working in PressBooks is similar to working within a Learning Management Systems like Moodle or Desire2Learn. You can import a number of different formats into PressBooks for editing, including Word, ePub and HTML. PressBooks will output the textbook as a mobile-friendly website, an ePub document (for use in e-readers), and PDF (for printing). Other editing tools The chart below shows you some of the tool options you have for working with the various file formats. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. You may have a tool that works for you that you wish to use to create your open textbook.

Step 4: Choosing a license Once you have finished creating your own version of the textbook, you should decide on which Creative Commons license you will use to license your book. This will depend a great deal on how the original textbook was licensed.

Step 5: Output Students like flexibility when it comes to their textbooks. Some may prefer printed versions of the textbook, others will prefer using a website. Still others will like to use an e-reader or e-reading software. To make your book as accessible as possible, consider making your textbook available in multiple formats so students have the ability to choose the format that works for them. At a minimum, the open textbook project will make textbooks available as a website (HTML),  ePub document for e-readers, and PDF document which students can print or choose to have printed via a print on demand service.

Step 6: Hosting your book (or how do my students get my textbook?) Once you have edited your version of the textbook, you will need a place to put your textbook where your students can access it.

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