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Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources): Adopt Alt Textbooks

This guide is about UK Libraries' Alternative Textbook Program. It also provides an overview of free online peer-reviewed textbooks and offers assistance with finding and adapting them for courses.

Why Adopt Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources)?

UK Libraries hosted a panel discussion about how instructors found and adopted free learning materials for their courses.  Click the video below to view the discussion. 

Some forward-looking faculty members have also switched to using alternative textbooks for their courses.  These videos fill you in on the reasons for the change and the resulting benefits.

What to Consider before Adopting or Adapting Open Educational Resources

Educators may want to take into account certain factors when considering the adoption or adaptation of alternative textbooks for their courses.  The Open Textbook Library at the University of Minnesota has offered this review rubric for instructors:

  • Comprehensiveness
  • Content accuracy
  • Relevance longevity
  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Modularity
  • Organization structure flow
  • Interface
  • Grammatical errors
  • Cultural relevance

Other rubrics are also available for reference:

The California State University-MERLOT program provides a gallery of how instructors in different disciplines have adopted and used open textbooks.  Also, the Open Textbook Network has created a guide that illuminates what instructors need to know when modifying openly licensed textbooks. 

Accessibility is an important issue to consider.  This toolkit from BCCampus and CAPER-BC discusses how to create a truly open and accessible textbook.

University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions about adapting alternative textbooks or would like to create alternative textbooks are welcome to contact UK Libraries.

Common Questions and Concerns about Open Textbook Adoption

The Rebus Community Webinar below addresses common arguments for and against using open textbooks and discusses ways to overcome the objections in the higher education landscape.  University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions are welcome to contact UK Libraries.

Library Resources as Course Materials

Open Oregon has created a video about how to use library-licensed resources as course materials.  University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions or would like to use UK Libraries-licensed resources for their courses are welcome to contact UK Libraries' academic liaisons