The textbooks in the Jisc project have been produced in a variety of business models, some open access and some for purchase, and the projects explore questions of marketing and distribution to both local and international courses. The project ends in July 2018 and, as well as the textbooks themselves, one of its planned outputs is a toolkit to help other HEIs who are considering developing their own textbook publishing.
The toolkit will address both strategic and practical questions such as: how to persuade your institution to take up such a venture, how textbook provision and OER strategies can complement each other, how to assess learner success, resources required, how to find authors to write the books, what skills existing staff will need, what is involved in the editing and production process, pros and cons of different business models i.e. open access or priced, and practical considerations for disseminating the textbooks both locally and internationally, in open access or in print for sale. Many lessons are being drawn from the US context in particular, where production of textbooks by HEIs is already well advanced in many institutions, for example Open SUNY Textbooks, the Open Textbook Network and Library, and Open Stax from Rice University.
This workshop will present the initial plans for the toolkit, and seeks to involve key stakeholders in the final output. Through structured discussions with delegates, presentations, and practical exercises,this engaging workshop will offer participants an opportunity to contribute to the shaping and development of a toolkit that could help HEIs throughout the UK to start their own textbook production alongside their OER provision, and ultimately benefit the student experience and the institution as a whole. While the toolkit is focused on the UK context in particular, many aspects of textbook production are universal and could be applied in a range of countries.
The final toolkit is due to publish in summer 2018 and will be made available via the Jisc Institution as E-textbook Publisher website under a CC-BY licence, but will also be disseminated more widely bythe participating institutions so that it is freely available to download or read online worldwide. In addition, the project will run workshops in the UK aimed at HEI stakeholders to present the final toolkit.
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