Adopting Open Textbooks banner

Note: This is not an active course. The course finished on February 6, 2015. The contents of the course and the archive of the weekly webinars will remain open and archived here on P2Pu.

Welcome to the Adopting Open Textbooks workshop, offered by BCcampus. While this workshop, or course, is aimed at faculty considering an open textbook adoption for their course, we know there are several participants, in other institutional roles, also registered. We hope you will find this course interesting and relevant as well.

Welcome to the Course

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will know how to:

  1. Find, evaluate and (if suitable) adopt an open textbook for a course you teach
  2. Build your network by finding and connecting with educators interested in open education and open textbooks
  3. Define and describe the following terms: open education, open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks
  4. Explain why open education is important
  5. Identify problems that open textbooks may address
  6. Correctly identify Creative Commons licenses and use them appropriately in the context of open textbooks
  7. Identify common challenges for faculty who want to use open textbooks and define strategies to help mitigate those challenges.
  8. Identify ways in which institutions can support faculty who want to adopt open textbooks

Important Online Spaces


You do not need to register to participate in this course. If you filled out the form at, this will be used to email you weekly course updates. If you did not sign up on the site, you can do this anytime to receive the weekly messages. However, you don't have to do this as the weekly course email will also be posted in the Course Announcements section of this website, and shared in the Google+ Community and Twitter using the #AdoptOTB hashtag.

You do not need to create an account here at P2PU (where this course is being hosted) to participate in this course unless you wish to receive the course badges. If you want to receive the course badges, then create an account at P2PU and enroll in this course.

Schedule and Topics

This course is self paced, meaning you can work on the content as your schedule allows. All the content and activities for all four weeks are available from day one. Feel free to work ahead and go through the content at your own speed. The only time sensitive activities are the live weekly webinars, and those are always recorded so you can view them anytime.

Weekly Topics

  • Week 1: Open Education and Open Textbooks, January 12, 2015
  • Week 2: Creative Commons Licenses, January 19, 2015
  • Week 3: Institutional Readiness, January 26, 2015
  • Week 4: Find, Evaluate and Modify Open Textbooks, February 2, 2015

Each week contains readings, videos, activities and prompts for participant conversations.

Weekly Webinars

Each week also contains a live (synchronous) session with a number of guests related to the topic of the week. These events happen each Wednesday at 11am PST (2pm EST/7pm GMT) and will occur in Blackboard Collaborate.

  • Wednesday, January 14, OpenStax College
  • Wednesday, January 21, Creative Commons
  • Wednesday, January 28, Tidewater Community College
  • Wednesday, February 4, MERLOT

These live events will be about 30 minutes long and will be recorded for later viewing for those who cannot participate. Recordings will be available by 5pm on the day of the event.

Course Philosophy

With hundreds of participants from around North America, we're calling this workshop a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). In open education, the most important letter in the MOOC acronym is the first O, which stands for open. This workshop is open in a number of important ways.

First, there is no need to register to participate. This workshop is open to anyone interested in the topic.

Second, all the content is publicly viewable. You do not need an account or login credentials to see the content. Anyone, whether part of this workshop or not, can access the content.

Third, all the content is openly licensed, which means that others can copy and reuse it providing the requirements of the Creative Commons license are adhered to. (We'll talk more about what those requirements are in week 2 when we cover Creative Commons licenses.) One of the reasons we decided to offer this workshop on P2PU is because the platform allows you to clone a course. We hope some of you do this in the future and use what we have created as a starting point for developing and offering your own open textbook workshop.

Finally, we encourage you to be open in this workshop by posting your thoughts and contributions on the open web. This gives others, both inside and outside the workshop, the opportunity to comment and converse with you about your work. It is during these discussions that connections are built and knowledge is created. But there is no requirement that you do this. For some of you, simply covering the content that interests you and ignoring the parts that don't will give you what you are looking for. In short - you are in control of how much or how little you wish to participate and/or contribute to the course.

Become a Mentor

One challenge we faced when designing this workshop is we don't know the level of prior knowledge of the participants, nor their level of digital literacy. We know that, for some of you, this may be your first experience not only with open education, but with MOOC's and learning online. Others, on the other hand, will be well versed in both the topics and learning method. We hope that this course strikes a balance for those at both ends of the spectrum.

If you are more experienced, we hope you will help support and share your knowledge and experiences with those who are new. Open education is, at its heart, about generosity and sharing, and we hope that you will fully embrace that ethos.

Course as Campfire

Whether you are new to open education, or have years of experience, everyone is encouraged to share their knowledge. One of the explicit learning outcomes of this course is that you leave with new connections and an expanded learning network. Connect with other participants, expand your network and keep the sharing about open textbooks long after this course ends.

David Wiley offers a useful metaphor for this type of course called the Course as Campfire.

Probably the most useful way to think about this course is as a campfire. A campfire does, of course, have important nonsocial functions (like providing heat) just like courses have important nonsocial functions (like conveying information). But the most important function of both a great campfire and a great course is the manner in which they draw people together. A good campfire is a thing around which storytelling, singing, and other social interactions happen. The same is true for the best courses – they draw people into arguments, explorations, discussions, relationships, and even friendships.

Without a campfire all you have is a bunch of tents setup and people wandering around disconnectedly. The campfire provides a place for people to congregate and interact. The campfire appears before the singing starts. Likewise, the proper way to view this course is as a "place" for people to congregate, tinker a bit and build some learning artifacts, share, critique, and improve each others' artifacts, and generally enter into relationships of sharing and learning.

Attribution: Introduction to Openness in Education by David Wiley released under CC-BY license.

What is a MOOC?

If you have never participated in a MOOC before, you may find the below video (4:27) by Dave Cormier, from the University of Prince Edward Island, helpful.

In this second video, Dave Cormier offers some tips on how to succeed as a MOOC learner.

Your facilitators

Clint Lalonde

Clint Lalonde Senior Manager, Open Education Blog: Twitter: @clintlalonde Google+: Profile Clint supports the development and sharing of open educational resources in BC. He manages SOL*R (the BC open learning repository), and is actively involved in the research of educational technologies that support both online and blended teaching and learning practice. Clint is also responsible for the technical development of open platforms that support the B.C. Open Textbook project.

Amanda Coolidge

Amanda Coolidge Manager, Open Education Twitter: @acoolidge Google+: Profile

Amanda supports the development and sharing of open educational resources in BC. She project manages the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER and provides technical and instructional design support for the B.C. Open Textbook Project.

Lauri Aesoph

Lauri Aesoph Manager, Open Education

Lauri supports the development and sharing of open educational resources in BC. She project manages the adoption, adaptation, and creation of OER and provides technical and instructional design support for the B.C. Open Textbook Project.

How to contact us

Email: Twitter: #AdoptOTB