A Faculty Perspective on Open Textbooks

Rajiv Jhangiani, Ignatia, Lost Remote, Apr 24, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Thanks to a comment from Clint Lalonde on the previous item, I am alerted to this item, which addresses the reasons professors do not use open textbooks. Here is the list, quoted from the article:

  • for many disciplines and courses, there is no open textbook available
  • concerns about quality (e.g., comprehensiveness, clarity, currency, etc.)
  • no illustrations, charts, or graphics to aid comprehension. No questions or critical thinking exercises embedded. No online learning management system available that students can rely on for formative feedback. And, crucially for many faculty, no testbank
  • choice of textbook is sometimes not an individual one

To me, this is a bit sad. The arguments summed up amount to, "it's easier." Oh my, what did professors do when there weren't publishing companies to do all their work for them. No testbank? Seriously?

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