Project Summary: A Guide to Starting an Open Textbook Program at Your Institution

Hi Everybody,

Wondering if we might target this as an open textbook for us all to produce over the next 6-12 months, to cut our teeth on an actual project and, to take the software term, “eat our own dogfood”?

In order of importance, we’d need:

  1. agreement that it’s a good idea from a few of you + commitments to participate (< to be defined what that means)
  2. to brainstorm a TOC & what chapters we want, who we would want to write them
  3. to get commitments from various people to take on writing a chapter

@ccuillier @klaurits @dernst @amanda-coolidge @bpayne @mbillings @rajiv-jhangiani what do you think? Would you be willing to help?

I’d be happy to take on the people wrangler’s role (with support from @lizmays and @zoe of course!) … what do you think?

Here is a rough cut of some basic info we’d start with:

How to start an Open Textbook Program at Your Institution

Project manager: Zoe Wake Hyde (Rebus Community)
Contributing Authors: TBD

Short Description: This book will provide practical advice for those looking to start an open textbook program at their institution.

Status: Looking for contributors, developing TOC

Contributors/contributions needed:

  • Ideas for specific areas to cover/questions that need answering
  • Case studies/stories to illustrate successful approaches
  • Authors interested in any of the areas listed above

Here is a starting-point DRAFT TOC:

(which will be completely revised with input from all of you I hope!)

Part 1. Before you start

1/ Institutional support - who are the key players you’ll need support from?
2/ External support - who should you be talking to outside your institution?
3/ Adoption vs Creation
4/ Making your plan of action

Part 2. Things you’ll need to do

5/ Workshops/information sessions
6/ Communicating to your faculty

Part 3. Supporting adoption

7/ Making the case: Why OER adoption is important
8/ Where to find resources
9/ Adapting resources
10/ Assessment of impacts of Open Textbook adoption

Part 4. Supporting creation

11/ Getting faculty involved
12/ Roadblocks, bumps and challenges
13/ Nuts and bolts

Part 5. Case studies

14/ BCcampus
15/ OpenSUNY
16/ Lumen Learning
17/ OpenOregonState
18/ U Wisconsin Maddison
19/ Others?

I think this is a great idea. I’m in, and am willing to commit my own time and energy as well as some of the time of the graduate assistant we have working on OER development for this academic year.

This is wonderful! @zoe and I are also at the ready to help in any way we can.

Can I say I think it’s a great idea but I can’t commit to helping at this point b/c I’m working on my own textbook? At least, here’s a vote of support that this would be super helpful!

heh yes lets get your book done first :wink:

I’m willing to help with this, with the consideration that our open textbook project is only just getting off the ground. So for me, it will be more of a documenting-as-I-go method, in coordination with others who are working on this.

Thanks @wmeinke! Your project might be a good candidate for a case study down the road. And we’re in the same boat, lots to figure out as we go :slight_smile:

Yes I think perhaps the goal of our Rebus Office Hour sessions (eg the MOU topic) could focus on trying to fill out this “book” …


This looks like a good project! We also have the following via BCcampus: Authoring Guide-
Adoption Guide:
Adaptation Guide:

Thanks amanda … yes, idea would be to pull together some of the existing resources, and follow with some specific suggestions for how institutions/staff can get publishing programs set up.

I would like to share that I have previously published a column titled "Five Institutional Strategies for a Textbook Affordability


It’s possible it could be expanded or perhaps it’s a case of some sort. What are the pros and cons of taking the time to establish an institutional strategy versus just going out on your own and starting a project.

Also, you might be interested to know a team of librarians just put out a call for chapters for a book on OER - here’s the gist of their project (which indicates there will be a print version for sale and a creative commons licensed version online).

Steven Bell, Temple U

This book will have three main sections – OER: The Case for OER, OER: Case studies in Implementation, and Future of OER.

While specific chapters have been proposed under targeted topics, we encourage contributors to showcase your own experience and knowledge.

Specific chapters will have the following headings:

  I.         OER: The Case for OER

A. Framing the issue (economic impact, changes in higher education and publishing)
B. Stakeholders and political environment in higher education
C. OER basics (types of OER, licensing issues, where they can be found)
D. New Pedagogy
E. Strategies for assessment
F. The role of the library (service, support, and advocacy)

II.         OER: Case studies in implementation

A. Tier 1: Advocacy and Existing Resources
-Working with students, faculty, and administrators
B. Tier 2: Programs to incentivize adoption and review of existing OER
-Funding to review existing OER, Funding to adopt OER. Collaborations
with faculty, students and administration. How is success measured?
C. Tier 3: Development of OER
-Perspectives of funding agencies (?), large scale adoption efforts, collaborative partnerships?
III. Future of OER
A. Exploration of the roadblocks facing those who would adopt OER and possible pathways forward through collaboration with library-based publishing initiatives.

Proposal Guidelines:
An email with an attached Word document (.doc or .docx) is required for proposal submission. The Word document should be written in Times New Roman, 12 pt., be double-spaced, and include:

● Title of the chapter you are proposing to write
● Names of all contributing authors & their respective institutions
● Contact information for the primary author
● A paragraph describing the proposed chapter

Proposals are due by February 13, 2017. Questions and/or proposals can be submitted to Andrew Wesolek (

@blendedlibrarian Hi Steven, Thanks for the note about this project. I’d seen it elsewhere, but we’ll submit something on IIC: “Development of OER”


@hugh I would be glad to contribute especially in Part 5: case studies. I’m a librarian and OER Project Manager at Lansing CC. We are leading the way in MI in terms of OER work. I’d like to highlight though the amazing work we did in all of 28 community colleges in MI through our partnership with MI Colleges Online (MCO) in building an OER repository via OER Commons.

@hugh I’m am currently working on my MEd in Leadership and Online Learning and Teaching Graduate Diploma. I’d be interested in helping with this project.

@hugh this looks like a really interesting project. I’d love to contribute. I know this thread is 4mo old, maybe I’m too late!

@krysta.mcnutt Hi Krysta, thanks for joining us! This project hasn’t had much love recently as we’ve been getting a few others off the ground, but it’s still on the cards. Perhaps your enthusiasm is what we need to get it moving again! Was there a section in particular that caught your eye? Or do you have any thoughts on the proposed TOC?

Hi @zoe! I can see lots of sections that I would be happy to contribute to.

I’d be most ready to look at Part 1 and 2. I’ve worked on some toolkits ( which touch on these topics, so it’s a natural next step from what we have been slowly building. It’s pretty high level right now and we intend to create some template resources (ppts, roadmaps, plans). Developing that and writing this out could likely go hand in hand.

If this one isn’t too active right now, perhaps I should keep this TOC in mind as we move forward with our next toolkit version and loop back in?

Hi @krysta.mcnutt ! This one is on hold at the moment … but we’ll be interested in taking it up again in the fall?

@hugh Sounds good!

Hi @hugh - any thoughts on whether this project might get picked back up?