Open Textbook Creation with an Idaho School District

University of Idaho
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In May-June 2015, we hosted a group of science teachers from a moderately-sized Idaho school district for a series of open textbook creation institutes. In these three-day institutes, teachers worked in groups to adapt, revise, and remix openly licensed textbooks for use in their classrooms.

Targeted subject areas included middle and high school sciences, and using pre-existing open textbook content from CK-12 and other sources, five textbooks were created in total.

All revised textbooks were released under a Creative Commons license and are available for other educators to freely access, distribute, download, share, print, edit, adapt, and otherwise use. They may be downloaded either as PDF or ePub files on our Open Textbook Crash Course website.

Open textbooks are exciting for educators and students, because they can help improve accessibility, currency, and availability of quality curricular materials, while they are of interest to policy-makers and administrators, because they can help drive down costs.

To ensure that created textbooks exhibited sufficient quality for classroom use, participants were also asked to evaluate a) their previous, non-open textbooks, b) an exemplary open textbook, and c) their own revised version of an open textbook.

Results of these evaluations revealed that participants generally believed that: a) the exemplary open textbooks were of higher quality than the non-open predecessors and b) by revising these textbooks, they became even stronger. More detailed visual results are available in the chart below.

Teacher Textbook Evaluations

textbook evaluations

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