College Open Textbooks Community

Driving Awareness, Adoptions, and Affordability

We had a steering committee meeting this last week and got to hear from the different project partners. Sounds like things are moving apace for many of us.
A quick update:

The student organization, CALPIRG is moving forward with their campaign to raise awareness and get instructors on board to consider and pilot open textbooks. Their strategy is primarily the "each one, teach one" approach that many grass roots movements are built on. By having students agree to say directly to their instructors, "I can't afford my textbooks. Will you look at this open textbook and see if it would work for you." the organization hopes to gain traction at the individual level and replicate that success across campuses everywhere.

The accessibility experts have been reviewing the technology standards needed to make the materials created for open textbooks accessible and compatible with assistive technologies. A draft of the standards is in progress and will be published as soon as it's ready for prime time.

A number of professors at different institutions have piloted the featured textbooks, Collaborative Statistics and are using it in their classes right now.

Connexions, the Rice University web site that provides Collaborative Statistics, is collecting valuable information from both instructors and students on the usability of their interface and studying ways to make the various content in their repository even easier to use and access.

ISKME is having success identifying and tracking all the different data collection streams happening in each of the areas of activity for the project. By improving communication they are ensuring that work is not replicated, but rather targeted and triangulated so that when we do finally have the body of data this project is sure to generate, it will more fully address the different questions we are investigating.

MITE is also working hard to develop a product definition and assess the different ways of approaching the sustainability issues of open textbooks. They have collected perspectives at the administrative and legislative levels to determine how open textbooks might function from an institutional perspective, as well as continuing their efforts to find out what other stakeholders envision and expect from this concept.

Flatworld Knowledge has also moved ahead with its textbook titles and anticipates having a product ready to show instructors in short order.

We hope that action leads to traction. All study members are moving forward on the paths to achieve the goals of the study.

I hope my quick recap suggests areas you want to bring up. Please post your questions to the study partners or to the group in general.

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