I’ve been working on a project. A great little project here in the office, trying to find a way to save students money, alongside contributing to open pedagogy. Looking at existing online or on-campus course materials and trying to find a corresponding open textbook option. Lucky for me, eCampus Ontario has made this process not only easy, but actually enjoyable!
Searching through the eCampus Ontario Open Textbook Library is just one of the ways that eCampus Ontario offers resources in the open to teachers and learners alike (or both, as I like to think of us!). I take a topic I’m interested in, and just plug it into the search bar. Up comes a list of open textbooks and resources tagged in some way related to my topic of interest. One of my favourite by-products of this search is all the other random tabs I’ve dragged open when I find an open text that’s not quite what the course is calling for but is absolutely interesting to me.
UWindsor has saved students $350,000+ with the adoption of open textbooks in our courses. We want to save them a whole lot more. The #textbookbroke campaign is a stirring example of how important this endeavour is for educators. When students are choosing between meals and course material, we have to make a change. Security and basic needs are a necessity for our students to be successful. The precarious finances of some of the most vulnerable don’t have to be challenged more by textbooks. There are options.
So. Many. Options!
DYK: there are over 250 open textbooks already in the library? Helpfully, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, and aren’t yet invested in adapting, eCampus Ontario also provides a great list of other repositories to search on.
I’ve been keeping track of the process I use to find the open material (more on that at a later date!) and while I’ve found it a delightful challenge, sometimes admittedly it is a challenge to find a relevant open resource that exists. But where there’s a challenge, eCampus Ontario has provided a solution. The open movement encourages not only the sharing of open resources, but the adaptation of those resources to your own needs. We recently had a new faculty member excited about the prospect of embedding regional examples into her psychology class text. Making the material relevant for students, while providing it to them at no cost is a transformational approach to teaching and learning.
Give it a try, even if you’re just looking for some reading material to cozy up with beside the fire this holiday season (I’m pretty particular to this one, or this one…oooo, maybe this one too!), give the eCampus Ontario Open Textbook Library a browse. Save yourself some money, give yourself the gift of knowledge, and then spread the word. After all…
This post is part of a 12 Apps of Christmas series from UWindsor’s Office of Open Learning. Celebrate the season with us by coming back each day until December 21st to learn about a new technology-enhanced teaching & learning tool!