What Are Open Textbooks?
An open textbook is a textbook licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by learners, educators, and general members of the public. They are available for free as online versions, and as low-cost printed versions, should learners or educators opt for these. Open textbooks are a way to significantly reduce textbook costs while giving educators the flexibility to reformat and customize their course material. They are an affordable, flexible alternative to traditionally-published textbooks.
Here are some of your colleagues in British Columbia explaining open textbooks. If you do not see the embedded video below, access it here.
Open textbooks can be found in eCampusOntario’s collection of open textbooks, as well as, several other repositories and collections.
Some open textbooks contain supplemental or ancillary materials (e.g., test banks, quizzes, PowerPoint slides, videos). Textbooks that include one or more ancillary resources in eCampusOntario’s collection of open textbooks are marked with an Ancillary Resources flag.
The Bigger Picture
As impactful to education as open textbooks can be, they are part of a larger whole. The move to open textbooks is part of the larger movement of open education and open educational resources. eCampusOntario is fully committed to supporting open education and open educational resources, more commonly called, OER. Please take a few moments to browse the information and other OER initiatives from eCampusOntario here.