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Earth and Environmental Sciences: Adopt Alt Textbooks

A guide providing suggested resources and other information for research on the topics and subtopics of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Why Adopt 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 OER 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 directory of what open textbooks have been adopted for courses in different disciplines.  The OER Starter Kit offers an introductory overview of important topics concerning the use of OER.  For attribution issues related to reusing material that is made available under a Creative Commons license or is in the public domain, the Open Attribution Builder comes in handy.

University of Kentucky faculty members who have questions about adopting OER are welcome to contact the Affordable Course Content Librarian.

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