Adopt an open textbook

If you are an instructor looking for an open textbook to assign to your class, here are some suggested ways to go about using a textbook from the collection on this website.

You don’t have to be from Manitoba or British Columbia to use an open textbook. Open textbooks are not geographically limited. Anyone from Canada, the United States, or any other country in the world can use these resources because they have been released with an open license.

  1. Find the right textbook. Search the open textbook collection.
  2. Review and evaluate the text to see if it matches your criteria and based on content, presentation, online accessibility, production options, platform compatibility, delivery options, interactivity, consistency between online and printed versions, and available ancillary material (test banks, PowerPoints, etc.). You can also apply to formally review one of the textbooks.
  3. Decide if you want to use as is or modify it. One of the benefits of open textbooks is the flexibility to modify and customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the Creative Commons license allows for that (every CC license except the non-derivative license allows for modifications).
  4. Distribute to your students. There are a number of ways you can do this.
    • If you’re using a textbook from this website, provide the link to the textbook to your students. They will have the option to select which file type they would like to download, or they can purchase a low cost printed version from a printer of their choosing.
    • Alternatively, you can download copies of the book and put them on another site. Some examples of where you could put your own copies of the book files are:
      • Your institutional LMS (Learning Management System). Load the book files into your Moodle or Desire2Learn site and make the books available to your students via the LMS.
      • Use an online file sharing service like Dropbox or Google Docs. Upload a copy of the book files to Dropbox or Google Docs and send your students the link to that copy.
      • If you have a faculty website, put copies of the files on that website and send students to your website to download your copy of the textbook.
    • Approach your local institutional bookstore or print shop to see if they can make printed copies of the books available for your students. Many institutional print shops can create low cost printed versions of textbooks and make them available to students.  Keep in mind that textbooks that have a specific non-commercial clause (CC-BY-NC) cannot be sold with a markup or at a profit. However, charging a modest cost-recovery fee for physical textbooks is considered reasonable.
  5. Let us know. If you adopt an open textbook from this site, tell us about it. Faculty adoption information is important to the long term viability of the open textbook project.

(Adapted from 2014 BCcampus CC-BY.)

Faculty and instructors who are looking for more information and direction on adopting open textbooks may be interested in an online course devoted to the topic. In early 2015, BCcampus facilitated an in-depth, 4-week online course through P2PU. All content from this course, including webinars, discussions, and more, is archived and available under an open license at P2PU.

If you’re interest in learning about open education more broadly, this course is a good place to start: