Susan Henderson: The Challenges and Lessons Learned from Florida’s Open Textbook Initiative

Susan Henderson: The Challenges and Lessons Learned from Florida’s Open Textbook Initiative


>>Carl: Well, let’s get
started with the second speaker, and I’ll give a very brief introduction. This is, as you can see, Susie
is not here with us today. She, Susie, you’re in Washington, right?>>Susie: Well, actually I’m
in Tallahassee, Florida today.>>Carl: Okay, I wasn’t sure.>>Susie: Yes.>>Carl: So and she has up on
the first slide here, she is, she’s between Tallahassee and
Washington, that’s interesting, between Tallahassee and Washington, because she’s just taken a
new job she is the Director of Online Strategies and
Programs for Educause. I met Susie, again, I was saying,
that this is because of FIPSE money, I met Susie at a FIPSE
conference last year, on, it was something called the
Textbook Rental Initiative, and neither of us were very
interested in textbook rentals, but we proposed two projects that were
focused on Open Educational Resources and open textbooks in particular, and
at that time, she was the director of something called the Orange Grove
which is, as she has here on the first slide, Florida’s Digital
Repository for open textbooks, and I was incredibly impressed
by the work that she was doing by the breadth — it was just, it, I
haven’t seen anything quite like it. And, and so we, we recognized
each other as kindred spirits and she was also an excellent speaker,
so I’m very happy to have her talk to us today about open textbooks. So, Susie, you ready?>>Susie: I am ready.>>Carl: Okay, so take it away.>>Susie: Thanks so much Carl, to all of
you I’m very sorry I couldn’t be there, but next week Educause is having its
annual conference and six thousand of our closest friends will
be joining us in Philadelphia, so needless to say I have
a lot to do this week. But I didn’t want to pass up this
opportunity to join you even remotely to talk about something that
I am very passionate about. Carl’s very passionate about it,
and I think that’s why we wound up being kindred spirits
at the FIPSE meeting. So, I want to take you through a lot
of territory, this morning and, but feel free to interrupt me. Ask questions, I want
this to be interactive if you want it to be interactive. And so, let’s, let’s get started. It’s, it’s a very exciting area. Just this morning I got a new
article sent to me from the Chronicle about Sigil which is a
new e-book publishing software that’s out there where people can publish
things to iPads and different things. So every day there’s
something new happening. But let’s start looking at the
basics here, and again feel free to interrupt me if you have questions. All right, I don’t know
how new open textbooks are, let me just ask a question here. How many of you have
used open textbooks? Carl, can you just take a poll
with hands there, and let me know.>>Carl: I would say 10% of the
room, or not a very large number>>Susie: Okay, that falls just in line with some research I’ll
show you later on. So, all right, so open textbooks,
have different definitions depending on whether you are a student, or if
you’re from administration or faculty. So let’s first take a look at
the open textbook definition that the Student Public
Interest Research Group provides. So as you can see from
looking at this I’m not going to read it to you but free and cost. Modest cost. Those are the priorities
for the students. And it’s important that they can be read
online, self-printed, or downloaded, you know via in the computer
with internet access. But their major focus is on cost. But there’s something
missing from this definition. So if we look at what the community
is defining as open textbooks. Here is it is. Freely available through an open license. Here we are talking about copyright
which is so in incredibly important. It’s the copyright that gives you, the
user, the faculty member permission to do these things to read, download,
copy, distribute, self-print, search or link to the full text without
financial, legal or technical barriers. This is critical for the success of
any kind of open educational resources. And what’s also important is that the
author, the person who’s paid for the, the resource to be developed gets
to set the permissions for this, and they range as we’ll
see in just a second. When you’re looking at Creative Comments
there are two basic conditions. And the first one is that you must also
provide attribution to the authors. And then the second is that you
don’t use it for commercial purposes. Now, you can allow others to
use that textbook commercially, but for the most part in the
optional conditions you have to copy and distribute the textbook, well, I’ll
let you read the optional conditions over there, that’s what you can do in the six different licenses,
through Creative Commons. Any questions here? If you haven’t looked
at Creative Commons…>>Carl: Can I, can I
interrupt for just a second?>>Susie: Yes.>>Carl: I want to make sure everybody
knows we have a brochure that’s put out by Creative Commons, we downloaded
the PDF for everybody so make sure that you pick one of these up. It’s right outside the door. It’s called The Power of Open, and Susie
was just talking about the licenses, and the one of the first
pages it gives documentation of all the different
kinds of, of licenses, because it’s not one size fits all, the
whole point is that you can adapt it to the different kinds of
open educational resources.>>Susie: Absolutely, and that’s what’s
so important because when you talk to faculty if they’ve developed
something, you know, they may not want to give it away or they may
say I don’t care how it’s used. So the fact is that everyone
has choice here. So when we look at open textbook
priorities, for us, these, it boiled down to these
three priorities. It’s got to be accessible to everyone
to faculty, to students from anywhere, and it’s got to be adaptable,
and it’s got to be affordable. Now I’m going to show you. Let’s hope this works. I’m going to show you a little
video that we developed, we received the Newton Award
for innovation, two weeks ago, for Orange Grove Texts Plus Project. And I think this will get
you a lot of information in a very short period of time.>>VO: The high cost of textbooks
negatively impacts the ability of the United States
to educate students. In Florida and elsewhere, many college
students pay more for their textbooks than they pay for their tuition and
fees, especially, for those majoring in science, technology,
engineering, and math. On average, a postsecondary student paid
$1,137 for textbooks during the 2010- 2011 academic year at a
four-year public college. Since 1994, the cost
of textbooks has risen at nearly four times
the rate of inflation. For some students, textbook costs
become the tipping point between going to college and not being able
to afford to go to college. In a survey of over 14,000
Florida students, 37.1% reported that they do not purchase
the required instructional materials. Ultimately, the high cost of textbooks
negatively impacts our national economy and global competitiveness. In response, a unique partnership between Florida’s statewide Orange Grove
Repository and the University Press of Florida has been established. The University Press of Florida
provides the publisher skill set that ensures quality
textbooks and an opportunity to purchase a commercial
print edition at low cost. The Orange Grove Repository
stores the textbook. This partnership is called
“Orange Grove Texts Plus.” These next books are made available
under a Creative Commons license. This means that anyone may freely
download, print, and use the textbooks. And, in many cases, permission
is given to revise, remix or redistribute the textbooks
under the original terms of the license with attribution to the authors. In some cases, authors
even give permission to make a new commercial work. Often faculty work to improve and
update the textbook each time they teach the course. Through Orange Grove Texts
Plus, all students have access to their instructional materials
in the format that they choose and on the device that they
select from anywhere in the world. Students also benefit from a
new partnership with WebAssign to provide interactive homework
problems for some open textbooks with immediate feedback, links to the
relevant sections of the textbook, and videos for just-in-time help. The cost savings are significant. [Boom] [Ching] For example, in
one course at one university in just one year, students
saved over $500,000. This same story can be repeated at other
institutions as new textbooks are added and more faculty become informed
about open access textbooks. Whether you are an on-campus student
or a distance-education student, when faculty use an open textbook,
all students will have access to the instructional materials
required for that class. By lowering textbook costs to students, the higher-education dollar stretches
further allowing decreased educational costs, decreased student debt; and,
in some cases, allowing students to take more classes and
thus graduate sooner. Orange Grove Texts Plus
moves traditional publishing into the digital age while allowing
the student to select one or more ways to interact with their textbook. Orange Grove Texts Plus.>>Susie: So I hoped that you
gathered from this the impact that open textbooks can have on a
university, on a state and on a nation. We have raised our costs to attend a
university and get a four year degree, or two years degree or any
kind of degree to the point that there are many students who can not
attend and open-textbooks is a solution to solve the high tech
cost of education. So I wanted to talk you to you
about what are the key pieces to have an open textbook initiative. And there as you can see here,
you need to have a repository, or some place to store them
so that they are accessible, and people can discover them. We have partnered with the University
Press of Florida and I will talk to you more about the value of that. It’s been, it’s been, an
incredibly powerful relationship. You need to have partners. You need, those partners might be
other institutions, other states, but at least, at the very
bottom you need to have authors and you need to have more books. And then Web Assign is an on-line
homework service so you need something like that and I’ll explain
more about why that’s important when I show you some data later on from the student textbook
survey that I did a year ago. So moving on I just wanted to encourage
you to go and see this site if you want to it’s www.theorangegrove.org and from
here you can access both the digital repository and the
textbooks which are stored in a collection within the Orange Grove. So if you see the red box on the right,
just click on browse ‘OGT Plus Books’ that will get you to all the ones for
which there is a print book available as well, or if you just want
to enter in and see the, any of the books you
can click enter site. Orange Grove Text Plus was
launched in September 2009 and it became a strong
part of our FIPSE Grant. Here’s a look at what you’ll see inside. All of these books are available
to any of you at no cost. The only cost would be is if you
choose, or your student chooses to purchase a print edition, but I
encourage you to go and take a look. We’ve included the K-12
open textbooks, from CK-12 as well, which is a wonderful open textbook
initiative from Nerro Cosla in California out of Silicon Valley, and then as you can see here the
OGT plus print-on-demand-books and then those that are
supported by Web Assign. And then there’s thousands from InTech
and those are very technical books and I’m proud to say that we
have a foreign language book from UT Austin — yea, UT Austin. So, what does the Orange Grove provide? It is, it is the glue. It’s, it provides that
persistent file storage and the URL so that people can find content. We collect standards-
based metadata based on the LOM learning object
metadata and that enables us to both be discoverable but also to share our content
effectively with others. We can be harvested, and we can also
do federation with other repositories. So when we at look the repository, it’s
a vehicle for us to both share content with our own people, but as
well share content with others across the United States or across to
world, and it gives you that access to these books to download
them and many cases to purchase that commercial print copy. You can just link to the book if you
want to on a web page within an LMS, or a student or family
member can self-print it. When we did a survey of
faculty they said that one of total big major barriers
to using open-textbooks was that they couldn’t find
open textbooks constantly. So we feel this is a
very powerful solution. Now the University Press of
Florida brings the credibility of a publisher and, in fact, I
highly recognize and regard it scholarship dissemination for our state. And most states have a university press
of some type When we partnered with UPF, they put in place their acquisition,
staff, their development staff and their distribution staff. So we didn’t have to provide all
those publisher skill sets that are so critical for having a quality
textbook. And again if you look in the lower-right-hand-corner. When he did a survey of faculty the
number one priority was quality, and are any of us surprised
probably not. I would be surprised if quality
was not the number one priority. So the University Press is just
an incredibly valuable partner. The print-on-demand publisher
brings us the ability for students to get the commercial print copy. And it’s low cost and they can
purchase it online just like you would from Amazon it’s printed one
at a time, but there’s no, any, there’s no order limits. And a quick turn around. And they have locations
around the world. I think our first ten books that
were printed were printed in India and they were about an
Indian history course. And so I thought that
was always kind of fun. But what we did discover was that when
we did a survey of the students 70% of them said You know I want to be able
to purchase a commercial print edition. But in practice this year
when offered an open-textbook for a calculus course only about a hundred students
bought a commercial print edition. Most of them either self printed or they
just downloaded it to their computers. So money becomes a critical
issue for the students. Now another piece we need as I
mentioned earlier are authors. We have, I think what’s, I would
consider an amazing relationship with the Provost at the University
of Florida in Gainesville. He has put out money to support
the development of open textbooks, and he hired the Math Department and the Math Department hired
Dr. Sergei Shabanov who is a remarkable professor as
you can see he is very distinguished and has been recognized by both
his peers and by his students And Sergei was able to develop an
open textbook for calculus in six weeks. Which is in a remarkable feat. Now it’s a PDF but what he was able
to do is to take the problems sets from another, several open textbooks and then he wrote what he felt was
his desired textbook called Concepts in Calculus because the thought in the United States we were
not taking appropriate approach to teaching calculus. So it was a remarkable feat that he was
able to do this and so we’re grateful to both the provost and to
Sergei saw all the authors, but that’s a critical
piece of this puzzle. So, we do need the supply of high-quality open textbooks
wherever they come from. And I’ll give you some ideas how
you can participate towards the end of this presentation. We need that team and you
can be of part of the team. So and, however, that team can be
put together, whether it’s a state, whether it’s nation, whether it’s an
institution you cannot do this easily on you’re own. There are some authors who do it
on their own but it’s not easy. The other piece of the puzzle that is really important is the
online homework service particularly for the STEM courses. And I think it’s appropriate when
we did the student survey almost 90% of the students said they need
these online practice problems to improve their grades. And interestingly enough, Wed
Assign, was started as a FIPSE Grant out of Raleigh, North Carolina at
North Carolina State University. It was a physics professor who couldn’t
meet the needs of all his students and he was serving fifteen hundred
students in a large lecture class and wanted to be able to
provide individualized assistance so he developed this online homework
system, got a FIPSE Grant and now it is a commercial entity. It provides these automatically
graded tracked assignments different question types. They have what I would call a
stable of about sixty programmers who do the algorithms to present every
student with a different problem set so they can’t copy each others work
and then they can also provide links to the open textbook content,
the video, the tutorials and it offers the instructors
the ability to embed their own personal content. And I would suspect that
there are things they would do for foreign language as well. They are very innovative, very willing
to work with new content areas. So those are the four major
pieces that I see it to implement and establish an open textbook project. But what we can’t forget about is, who
are the people who we have to consider, report to, who are our stakeholders. So I put together this chart
for you let’s take a look at who we considered our stakeholders. Trust me this has greatly
expanded since we started looking at repositories and open textbooks. So in the first row the red
are the primary stakeholder and not surprisingly students and
their parents, faculty and staff and institutional leaders I
consider the primary stakeholders. If you have any other ideas I would
be welcome to those and that’s because they are directly
impacted by both the cost and quality of the open textbooks. Now the other people
who some into play here, are Florida’s higher education
leaders and why is that? Well, when you start trying to
put together a budget you try to start getting state support, you must
have their blessing, without this group if individuals being willing to take
your message to the legislature, to the governor, to all of the
institutions and the deans, and you just look at the structure
of an institution all the way down. it doesn’t happen very effectively. So they may not be primary stakeholders
but they are absolutely critical. And when we started our open textbook
initiative, well actually, I’m sorry let me back up a second. When we started our repository project
we focused on our primary stakeholders and we hadn’t really thought
we needed so much support from the green row there, but
we soon recognized that we did. Now if you look at the executive and
legislative leaders, these are people who are not intimately involved with
the day-to-day operations on a campus, and yet when they make a discussion
it has an impact that cascades throughout our state and I
suspect your states as well. So it really important that they’re
informed and they see support for open textbooks if you’re going after
the governor’s support or you’re going after legislative support for funding. Not as important, but it can also be
a critical piece here are the citizens because if we have a more informed
citizenry they will support the initiatives of open textbooks
and they become parents and they become grandparents
of students at institutions and they can also impact
our education leaders and the legislative leaders as well. You never know when one of them might
become a, an advocate for open textbooks or open educational resources. So all of these people are really
critical and you have to be able to be able to have a message
that targets each of them. Are there any questions about
this or any suggestions? [Inaudible]>>Susie: I’m sorry I didn’t here that>>Carl: What about the
textbook industry.>>Susie: Oh, thanks, Carl. Well,>>Carl: No thanks, Hans.>>Susie: You know, I didn’t put that
in there because we were thinking more about open textbooks and we
don’t necessarily need them but we’d certainly be
willing to partner with them. So maybe that’s something
we need to add in there. Thanks, good point. We have had conversations with them, but
at the end of the day the challenge was that they wanted to restrict access
to content that they had developed, and so when he looked at the model of including publisher
textbook material, we weren’t quite sure
how that would work. So I think they’re going to have to work on their model in order
to fit into ours. But the good news is that we are
significantly having an impact on the publishers because
they are realizing that the model that they have right
now is not going to work, and I think they are rethinking it. Any other questions? Okay we’ll move… yes okay>>Carl: We have question about
tenure and promotion, the effect of open textbooks production
of these kinds of materials, a faculty member’s tenure and promotion.>>Susie: We are going to get to
that, that is, he’s right on. That’s just a huge issue that
we’re beginning to deal with, it’s so important, so tell
him to save that thought and we’ll get to there in just a bit. Are we ready to move on do you think?>>Carl: One more question>>Susie: Okay. [ Inaudible Question ]>>Carl: So we have a question about
the nature of the textbook or definition of the textbook, because
in foreign languages, multimedia the additional
components are actually more important than the print printed
textbook, the traditional, the concept of the traditional textbook.>>Susie: I think you’re right
especially for foreign languages. Well all of that could be stored
in a repository and shared. And I think you’re absolutely right the
definition of what a book is or textbook or what the required
instructional resources are to support foreign languages
has really significantly changed and probably for the best. Having been a French minor in college I
remember how I just wished we could have had a real person there talking to us. So, yes I think you’re absolutely right, the value of a textbook
has really changed, but you could amass, store those resource
in repository and then put them together into a digital textbook which
I think would be most powerful and I think I should send you
a link to Chronicle article where they were talking about this e-pub
software were you could put together very quickly an e-book with
all the digital resources and publish it yourself. So I can send you that at the end but
that I think would be really helpful for all of you in foreign languages. I think you could been well
on your way very quickly. Anything else? Okay, all right we’ll move on. Okay, I thought this might be a
little interesting to all because some of you maybe faculty, you maybe
administrators, but we did a survey, I was looking at open access textbooks
because way had some legislation in Florida to recommend some policies
and so I’m one who I like to hear from who it’s going to impact before
we make any legislative recommendations. So we conducted this study of faculty
and you can see it was a majority of the respondents were university
and most of them were faculty and almost about almost 10%
were administrators over all. Not surprisingly in terms in terms
of textbooks at the universities the faculty member has
the major decision and the department at the college level. And when I talk about colleges these
are community collages who are now, the majority of them have a few four
year degrees that they’re offering. This I thought was pretty interesting
and I thought this reflects, perhaps when you raised you hands
earlier in the presentation, when we asked if you were
using open textbooks, this reflects probably what you’re
seeing in a room there as well. We found that one of the barriers
is to using open textbooks or even open educational resources
half of them you look here under all institutions, 52.1%
of them didn’t have a clue as to what open textbooks were and
that number was just slightly less at colleges but over all, when you
look down here under Very familiar with open textbooks there are
only a 197 or 7.3% overall that knew anything about it. So what this tells me is that in
terms of open education resources and open textbooks we have along
ways to go to educate people. And I think a lot of traction has
been made since the fall of 2009 when we conducted this survey. So in terms of who had ever
even used any kind of open access materials it was
hovering around 11 to 13% and most of them had only used
supplementary materials, but interestingly most
administrators reported higher rates of the use of open access materials. Here is a ranking of the factors that would influence the faculty members
discussion to use open access materials. I’m going to just run
through this real quick. So you can see the bookstore
is on the very low end. And time, time was very
important, knowledge about, and then here’s academic
quality, the majority all felt that academic quality was so important. And that’s why we found it so important
to partner with the University Press of Florida because they
brought instant credibility with their publisher set skills and
their ability to review for quality. Here we go, tenure and promotion. This was identified as probably
the most major faculty barrier to develop open educational materials,
because it’s new, and the decisions for tenure and promotions are
often at the department level. And the people who are making
these decisions they don’t lot about open access materials. They don’t maybe haven’t used
them and so as you could see here, the highest percentage of open
access materials considered for tenure and promotion are the
peer-reviewed journal articles, but almost 41% in the first bullet
there just don’t consider open access materials in determining
promotion in tenure, and then if few consider
open educational materials. But I hope that will change and I think
it will as more and more people start to consider the value of these
resources and start to use them in their classrooms, but do you all
have any ideas on how to change this? I mean this is a huge culture change. [Inaudible speaker ]>>Carl: The point is
raised that it’s not just about open textbooks
it’s about textbooks.>>Susie: Ah.>>Carl: So it’s about
pedagogical materials in general. [Inaudible speaker ]>>Carl: And a related issue
then is peer-reviewed journals, but the idea of e-journals.>>Susie: Right,right. [Inaudible speaker ]>>Carl: Oh boy we’ve opened up a can
of worms [Laughter] he’s asking about the very nature of tenure,
and whether it’s real or not. [ Inaudible speaker ]>>Carl: So the comment
was made that even with textbooks we do need a peer
review process to vet quality.>>Susie: Right. I totally agree with you, and
that is why the University Press of Florida brings power of the
peer review and has a skill set that really is valued by
promotion and tenure committees.>>Carl: There’s one more comment.>>Susie: Okay. [ Inaudible speaker ]>>Carl: All right. Can you hear this comment?>>Susie: I can, yes, thank you. [ Inaudible Speaker ]>>Susie: It’s a comment, right. Okay. Well any other comments about
this or we can discuss this more at the end if we have some time.>>Carl: Yes, yes. Let’s keep going.>>Susie: Okay, here we go. Okay. So, I just want to run through
this go through this real quick too. A lot of people have seen this data
and thought it was very powerful. We did a survey of students
because, as I said I really like talk about what it is that they need because
were trying to provide a resource for what we think are they needs. So I thought it was incredibly
important that we hear from them. I think the big thing was out of these
big fourteen thousand plus students is that wanted choice as
to how they interact with their instructional materials and that probably get back
to how they learn best. And here’s where they said they wanted that opportunity to buy
a print textbook. That’s probably just their learned
behavior and what their used to using but in terms of their
behavior, as I pointed it out earlier they were not buying the
print textbook which caused a problem for us in terms of sustainability,
and we’ll talk about that in a minute. Here’s some other, just, we ask them, “How did you reduce you’re
textbook cost? What are you doing?” And as you can see most of them
had to do with print books. Buying new or used, buying used copies,
selling used books, sharing books, but all of this had to
do with a print textbook. Some of them rented, there
weren’t many using the e-version because they are still
quite expensive in relation to buying a print textbook
and selling it back. We did ask what are the most important
features of a digital or an e-textbook and I thought this was quite telling, the search obviously
was the most important. One of the things they said they didn’t
like the e-textbooks from the publishers because they loose access
to those textbooks after about one-hundred-eighty
days in most schools and instances. They wanted the ability to self-print
sections of them, at least, or possibly the whole
book and if it’s they like the open textbook because of that. Highlighting, they wanted a commercial
book, they wanted the ability to copy and paste and add notes. One of the problems with the publisher
e-books is that when they add notes to an e-textbook those notes are
stored on the publisher’s website and they disappear as well
after a hundred and eighty days. So they are some challenges that
we still need to, we need to solve if we’re going to work
with the publishers, but they like the open textbooks
because they can add their own notes, they can do a lot of these things so
right now the open textbook in even in any version is a prefered way to
interact with any of their materials. This was really interesting to me. We asked them, and I hope this is
accurate material…you know accurate information, but the cost of a required
textbook has caused me a student to, and look at the numbers for
not registering for a course, because they’re shopping around they
know what the cost of a textbooks is. They’re withdrawing from
a course, look at that, the number is reported almost you know
10.5% are withdrawing from a course and the numbers of failing a course,
well they’re not really high the cost to a state to an institution when someone fails a course
this is a huge number. And if you look down here the numbers
of students not purchasing a textbook or frequently or occasionally
is over half. So textbook cost has a major
impact on students, on our economy, and our ability to educate our students. And here’s where our students
indicated what makes them successful. Here are those practice question like
Web Assignment, I pointed out earlier, the PowerPoints that you all create,
the interactive activities, and videos. They love having your videos so that
they can have their professor available on YouTube, or on a DVD or whatever
so that they can interact with you. Now we asked a question of the students. ‘Would you would you be willing to
pay a small fee of five to ten dollars for every open textbook you use?’ And overwhelmingly they said ‘yes.” I think, there were very
few that weren’t supported only at 10.9% said ‘no’ and in the
maybes of some of them said, ‘Well, I need to know a little
bit more about it but sure it looks like
a great thing to do.’ So what are the challenges here? There are many challenges because we
are changing the paradigm of textbooks, we’re changing in some ways what a
textbook is, how it’s delivered, and so let’s take a look
at some of those. The sustainability model is huge. Open textbooks are maybe billed as
free but they are not free, really, because there are some costs
to sustain them you need to pay faculty members’ salaries
to develop open textbooks, to work with the presses to have a quality book. So we came up with an idea of
charging this fee for open textbooks when one is used in a classroom. And right now we are having a few
problems because there’s some question as to whether we can
charge that fee or not. The University of Florida is charging a
fee because they have found a way to do that through the fee structure. The colleges that are
the two year colleges with some four year degrees
are not able to do that because they don’t have
the authorization to do it. So sustainability is really key here. There has to be some dollars and you
don’t want them to be grant dollars because the grant funds after
a while they disappear as Carl and I both know on our FIPSE Grants. They only last for so long, and we need to make this a long term
solution, so sustainability is key. We need to have faculty
incentives to develop and use. I think the University of Florida
has again put together a great model for that where the Provost has
showed showed his support and has hired departments
to develop textbooks. We had a faculty member come to
us and say “You know my students in theater appreciation have a
hundred and forty dollar textbook. And I have six hundred
and fifty students, and I would like to reduce that cost.” So he is currently developing an
open textbook for theater appreciation. And so we’re starting to get people to
come forward and offer to develop textbooks. We got American History
that’s been developed. Florida International University,
and I’ve got another solution for you that we’ll talk about in just a minute. We need that simple customization
tool the Sigil that I mentioned in the Chronicle article sound likes
it maybe that customization tool that we need that works with e-pub, and
so I think things are beginning to come down the pike that are technology
that can provide that easy interface to customize and bring together all
those open educational resourses or publisher content if you had you
had it and wanted to pay for that and put it together and then we
realized from the survey that we did that we really have to do we
really have to do marketing and informing both our leadership
and the faculty and the legislature. That is absolutely key and when you
have a very small staff like we had, which was two people and a part
time programmer, plus the resources of the press, you know that’s
a little challenging to do. And here again it’s tenure promotion
we, that is an issue, it is important when I worked with the Florida State
University Medical school their comment was you know we’d be delighted
to do this we see the value of it but we’re still trying to get tenure. And maybe tenure will go away. I certainly hope not because I like
the academic freedom that it supports, but we are where we are right now. And I still see that as a barrier here. So let’s take a quick
look at new directions. This to me is very, very exciting. Meredith Babb at the
University Press put together a call to all the university presses
throughout the United States and some foreign ones as well. And she has gotten commitments from
these presses, as well as sounds like there maybe some
more coming down the pike. And we are looking for
additional partners but we have probably got
I guess we’re going to be about twenty-three university presses
throughout the world that are committed to doing open educational resourses
and textbooks for students. And so I think there
is power in numbers. When I talked to Meredith the other
day, who is the Executive Director of the University Press of Florida,
I said, “Meredith, what does it take, do you think for one take away from what
we’ve learned in the last two years?” And her comment was, “Look it
takes a village to do this,” and I said, “Really just a village?” And she said, “Oh no, it takes, it
takes a, it takes a whole nation. It takes a whole large group of
people to pull together to do this.” And so, we are looking
for additional partners. We’d love for you to join us. But I would like to encourage you to
become your own small group and work with university presses to create those
digital resourses and those e-textbooks, because we know that is the future. I wanted to share with you a comment from Eric Christiansen
who’s a good friend of mine, and a very talented professor. He is convinced that the future of
the textbook includes open textbooks and e-textbooks and whatever kind of
textbook works best for you students. He teaches physics. He has reduced the cost of his physics
class from I think over two hundred and twenty five dollars down to
about twenty five dollars, total, and that includes the
lab book and the book. And he updates it every semester. And he’s had tremendous success
with his students and more of his students become physics
majors than they ever did and more of his students are successful. So it’s a very intrusting and new
time in education than I think. So I wanted to encourage you to
consider the future of the open textbook and your involvement in it. It’s going to take every one
of us to be a part of this, it, and it depends on you as well. So your involvement, your commitment, your leadership and your
creative support. So if you want more information,
here’s where you can go. I’ve had two FIPSE Grants
over the last five years. The first one Oncore
Blueprint is about setting up repositories and it’s
lessons learned. The openaccesstexbooks.org is
the one Carl referred to earlier. What would you say, Carl, they were
supposed to be textbook as you say, textbook rentals, but we were,
we were a little mavericks there and went off after something different. And that’s where you can
learn all our lessons learned about open access textbooks. I would encourage you to
talk with Meredith Babb who is the Executive Director of
the University Press of Florida. If you want to become involved
she can help publish e-books, print books or a combination. She can bring you in contact with a
university press that might be near you, and I am always a resource as well. And so that’s kind of what I have.

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