Open Oregon joins leaders representing over 75 institutions from across the country at the first meeting of the Open Textbook Network (OTN), hosted by the University of Minnesota. The OTN is an alliance of schools committed to improving access, affordability and academic success through the use of open textbooks. Other members include Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, North Dakota University System, University of Arizona, Virginia Tech, Macalester College, and more.
Published under a Creative Commons license, open textbooks are available to students for free. Faculty can custom edit the textbooks to meet their needs, too. While open educational resources come in every format imaginable, the textbook remains a crucial piece of curriculum for many instructors.
The OTN was created and run by the leaders at the University of Minnesota who established the Open Textbook Library, the first searchable online catalog of open textbooks. Many of the textbooks in the Open Textbook Library are peer-reviewed by faculty at OTN institutions. Currently, more than 185 titles are available for use.
“As many institutions make a commitment to empower and engage their faculty in the potential of open textbooks, they’re also committing their organization’s talent to sustain open textbooks at their campuses or across their systems,” said David Ernst, director of the Center for Open Education at the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, executive director of the Open Textbook Network, and founder of the Open Textbook Library. “That’s good for students, and the institutions.”
The Summer Institute is being organized in cooperation with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), and is supported in part by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.