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Alternative Textbooks (Open Educational Resources): Create Alt Textbooks

This guide provides an overview of alternative textbooks (open educational resources) and offers assistance with finding, adopting, and creating them. © 2016-2021 University of Kentucky Libraries. Licensed with CC BY-SA 4.0.

What to Consider Before Creating Open Textbooks

Even though an increasing number of openly licensed educational materials are available, some instructors prefer authoring their own open textbooks. A video series from the Rebus Community walks you through issues instructors may want to consider before embarking on the journey of creating new open educational resources. A companion publication, The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far), is also available.

University of Kentucky instructors who have questions about the production of an open textbook are welcome to contact the library.  We provide consultation and can put you in touch with relevant service points on campus as appropriate.  Additionally, the following resources may be helpful:

Discussion of Creating Open Educational Resources

OpenStax has created subject-related hubs for instructors to share teaching resources.  Similarly, the Rebus Community connects instructors, librarians, and students who wish to collaboratively create openly licensed educational materials.  It also hosts Webinars in which speakers share their insights and experiences of authoring and publishing open textbooks.  Below are some of such Webinars.

Resources for Creating Open Educational Resources

Thanks to community efforts, a variety of resources are available to guide instructors along the way to create openly licensed educational materials.  University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions are welcome to contact UK Libraries.

Authoring and Publishing Platforms

Some of the commonly used online platforms for creating open textbooks are as follows:

The University of Oklahoma Libraries has developed a markdown converter to enable open educational resources authors to turn well-structured documents into PDF, HTML, EPUB, and DOCX file formats.  The video below shows how the converter works.

Adapting and Authoring OER: Lessons Learned

In the Webinar below, a librarian from Central Oregon Community College discusses how she worked with faculty members on developing an alternative textbook for a technical writing course.  University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions are welcome to contact UK Libraries