Open Textbooks


An Open Textbook is:

A textbook licensed under an open copyright license and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers, and members of the public. They are available for free as online versions and in a variety of file formats (like for eReaders, editable XML & HTML files), and as low-cost printed versions; should students or faculty opt for these. Open Textbooks are a way to significantly reduce student textbook costs, while giving instructors the flexibility to reformat and customize their course material. They are an affordable, flexible alternative to traditionallypublished textbooks (BCcampus, 2019).

For addressing the current high cost of prescribed textbooks, Dr Glenda Cox from UCT says Open approaches to authoring and publishing digital textbooks will not only provide free access to resources, but also enable new participatory ways of lecturers and students working together. Within this context, Dr Cox states that students can be involved in “writing and working with textbooks and have their voices heard … (meaning that) other cultural and political dimensions will be accommodated in the textbooks” (University of Pretoria, 2018).

Open Textbooks are important for the higher education system, they

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