What are open textbooks?
Like traditional textbooks, open textbooks provide high-quality information to students within the context of a particular course. Unlike traditional textbooks, open textbooks are free of cost to their users.
If open textbooks are free, are they any good?
The assumption that authors choose open-access publishing because they've been rejected by traditional avenues of publishing is patently untrue. Many open textbook authors decide to publish textbooks in this way because they believe in the principle of open access, wishing to make their high-quality educational content available to as many readers as possible.
What is the student impact of open educational resources (OER)?
A recent large-scale study published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education revealed that the use of OERs saw improvement in grades and the decrease of DFW rates for all students. The most dramatic grade improvements and decreased DFW rates occurred in at-risk higher ed populations including Pell recipients, non-white students, and part-time students (Colvard, Watson, & Park, 2018).
Why do libraries care about open textbooks and OER?
Libraries have always provided and promoted free access to information and learning. Open textbooks are but one avenue of our continued advocacy for freely available information to all, regardless of one's ability to pay.