CoverI. Intellectual Property1. James Boyle, “The Why of Intellectual Property”2. James Boyle, “Thomas Jefferson Writes a Letter”II. Free Software3. Richard Stallman, “What is Free Software?”4. Richard Stallman, “The GNU Project”III. Open Source5. Eric Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”6. Eric Raymond, “Homesteading the Noosphere”IV. Open Content7. David Wiley, “About the Open Publication License”8. David Wiley, “Open Content: The First Decade”V. Defining Free9. Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The Four Freedoms Speech”10. Richard Stallman, “Four Freedoms”11. Erik Moller, “Freedom Defined”12. Bruce Perens, “Debian Free Software Guidelines”VI. Defining Open13. Bruce Perens, “The Open Source Definition”14. David Wiley, “Open Content”15. OKFN, “Open Definition”16. David Wiley, “The Access Compromise and the 5th R”17. David Wiley, “Open Definitions, Specificity, and Avoiding Bright Lines”VII. Open Source Software Licenses18. GNU General Public License19. BSD License20. MIT License21. Apache License22. Comparison of Open Source LicensesVIII. Open Content Licenses23. Creative Commons Licenses24. GNU Free Documentation License25. Open Publication LicenseIX. Open CourseWare26. Charles Vest, “Disturbing the Educational Universe: Universities in the Digital Age — Dinosaurs or Prometheans?”27. History of MIT OCW28. MIT OCW Evaluation Report (2005)29. MIT Reaches OCW Milestone30. David Wiley, “OpenCourseWars”X. Open Educational Resources31. UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing32. Cape Town Open Education Declaration33. UNESCO, “2012 Paris OER Declaration”34. Wiley, Bliss, and McEwen, “Open Educational Resources: OER Literature Review”35. Boston Consulting Group, “Open Educational Resources: The OER Ecosystem”XI. Open Textbooks36. Nicole Allen, “Open Textbooks: A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Affordability”37. Frydenberg and Matkin, “Open Textbooks: Why? What? How? When?”XII. Research in Open Education38. OER Research Hub39. Open Education Group40. Marshall Smith, “Ruminations on Research on OER”XIII. The Economics of Open41. Yochai Benkler, “Coases Penguin, or Linux and The Nature of the Firm”42. Yochai Benkler, “Common Wisdom: Peer Production of Educational Materials”43. Yochai Benkler, “‘Sharing Nicely’: On shareable goods and the emergence of sharing as a modality of economic production”XIV. Open Business Models44. Eric Raymond, “The Magic Cauldron”45. OSI, “Open Source Case for Business”46. Various, “A Summer 2014 Conversation on Business Models in Open Education”
An Open Education Reader

Frydenberg and Matkin, “Open Textbooks: Why? What? How? When?”

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Educators, authors, administrators of open-source based organizations, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in the open textbook movement, gathered in Newport Beach, CA in 2007 to explore four basic research questions:

  1. Why do we need open textbooks?
  2. What are open textbooks (how are they defined)?
  3. How will open textbooks be produced and then used?
  4. And finally, when will open textbooks be available in sufficient quantity and quality to have a positive impact?

Key Points

  1. Why open textbooks? College textbook costs are skyrocketing and open textbooks are one solution on how to make college more affordable. The K-12 textbook process is fraught with politics and bureaucracy, so it is not addressed in the same manner, although open textbooks can save public schools money as well. In developing countries the key is access to high quality materials, which open textbooks provide.
  2. What are open textbooks (how are they defined)? The discussion revealed several pairs of new dimensions to consider:

Additionally, barriers to the use of OER, include initial cost and sustaining resources, inertia, technology, distribution and discoverability, lack of quality standards, intellectual property and digital rights management and politics, which must be considered in the broader context of adoption of OER.

Next steps: Aside from additional funding, these five activities are essential in moving forward:

Minor improvements can be made that will help the movement make significant strides.

Discussion Questions

  1. How can openness fit into the proprietary textbook model appropriately?
  2. What are the benefits and drawbacks of viewing OER through the lens of the new dimensions above?
  3. What are your top three ideas for overcoming the barriers of OER use?

Additional Resources 

CK-12 Foundation

OpenStax College


Open Textbook Library

College Open Textbooks


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