OpenStax American Government
OpenStax American Government has been designed for a one-semester American Government course, such as POLS 1101 in the University System of Georgia. An “Insider Perspective” feature focuses on the perspectives of one person or entity in relation to the topics discussed in the chapter, and the “Get Connected” module links current topics with ideas for political engagement.
The list of contributing authors to OpenStax American Government includes Dr. Christopher Lawrence from Middle Georgia State University, who adopted an open American Government textbook as part of a Round One project team in ALG Textbook Transformation Grants. By the end of the project, the team determined that the original text did not fully fit the needs of their course, so the team worked with OpenStax on the creation of this new and comprehensive open textbook.
A Spiral Workbook for Discrete Mathematics
A Spiral Workbook for Discrete Mathematics was written by Dr. Harris Kwong at SUNY Fredonia in order to develop mathematical problem-solving and writing skills in a novel way: content from each chapter “spirals” into other chapters, returning through different perspectives or higher levels of those particular topics.
The book explores the motivations behind the functions of mathematics, unwritten mathematical conventions, and how to create and revise a mathematical proof. Topics include number theory, logic, and combinatorics.
Successful College Composition
In 2015, Kathryn Crowther, Lauren Curtright, Nancy Gilbert, Barbara Hall, Tracienne Ravita, and Kirk Swenson were awarded a Round Two ALG Textbook Transformation Grant in order to create an adapted open textbook and implement it in the classroom at Georgia Perimeter College (which is now part of Georgia State University).
Successful College Composition 2016 is a great example of the revisability and flexibility of open educational resources - the text is a revision of a prior adaptation of the Saylor Foundation’s Writing for Success open textbook by Rosemary Cox, another Georgia Perimeter College faculty member. The text covers the writing process in-depth, focused on research paper composition and including sections on research skills.
Principles of Biology I & II Lab Manuals
Dalton State College’s biology instructors had implemented OpenStax Concepts of Biology in order to reduce the cost burden on their students. While this saved students a textbook cost of nearly $200, there was also a commercial lab manual that students needed to purchase at $84 each. Susan Burran and David DesRochers started a Textbook Transformation Grants project in Round Two to address this issue by creating new and open lab manuals for both Principles of Biology I (BIOL 1107) and II (BIOL 1108).
The results of this project were two full open lab manuals hosted through LibGuides. Topics covered include an introduction to the scientific method, taxonomy, cell function, biotechnology, basic anatomy and physiology, and a four-lab fetal pig dissection series.
These manuals are freely available and open-licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 4.0 license.
OpenStax Calculus Volumes 1, 2, and 3
Due to the large amount of information covered, along with the two-or-three-course structure of most Calculus courses, Rice University’s OpenStax College has released a new Calculus set of textbooks in three volumes. Dr. Gilbert Strang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Dr. Edwin Herman (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point) were the main contributing authors, along with 16 other subject matter experts from higher education institutions across the country.
Volume 1 covers functions, limits, derivatives, and integration; Volume 2 covers more integration, differential equations, sequences, and series; Volume 3 covers parametric equations and polar coordinates, vectors, functions of several variables, multiple integration, and second-order differential equations.
“[OpenStax] Calculus is designed for the typical two- or three-semester general calculus course, incorporating innovative features to enhance student learning. The book guides students through the core concepts of calculus and helps them understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them.”
Introduction to Environmental Science
As part of a Textbook Transformation Grants Round Two project, Caralyn Zehnder, Kalina Manoylov, Allison VanderVoort, Christine Mutiti, Samuel Mutiti, and Donna Bennett created a LibGuides-based Environmental Science textbook from multiple open educational resources, resulting in a prime example of adapting multiple high-quality OER to fit the course curriculum. OpenStax College does not have an Environmental Science textbook, but the teams were able to adapt OpenStax Biology chapters, remixing it with other public domain and open-licensed materials, such as government documents from the USGS and EPA, to make a customized textbook for the course.
The result is a well-organized and easy to use open textbook for ENSC 1000, Introduction to Environmental Science, one of the top-enrolled courses in the USG. Topics covered include population ecology, human demography, air pollution, and climate change.
“Our planet is facing unprecedented environmental challenges, from oil spills to global climate change. In ENSC 1000, you will learn about the science behind these problems; preparing you to make an informed, invaluable contribution to Earth’s future. I hope that each of you is engaged by the material presented and participates fully in the search for, acquisition of, and sharing of information within our class.”
Discover Psychology 2.0: A Brief Introductory Text
The NOBA Project is a growing collection of expert-authored, open-licensed modules in psychology, funded by the Diener Education Fund. From these modules, an arranged open textbook for an introductory psychology class was made: Discover Psychology.
The new version, 2.0, introduces three new modules in place of six modules in the original version, and the legacy 1.0 version is also available from the NOBA Project site. This modular design allows faculty to either use the textbook completely, or easily use only parts of the textbook. The textbooks are also available in a low-cost print version.
Chemwiki Organic Chemistry
The University of California at Davis hosts a National Science Foundation-funded ventured titled the STEMWiki HyperLibrary, described by the creators as “a multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access E-texts to improve STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at all levels of higher learning.”
A well-known central hub of the STEMWiki HyperLibrary is ChemWiki, a collection of accessible and digital open educational resources covering six core modules (or subjects): Analytical, Theoretical, Biological, Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry. Professors can make customized and remixed open textbooks from the ChemWiki material, which is all under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
The Organic Chemistry core module is full of ChemWiki-specific resources categorized by subject, and it also includes case studies, videos, and a glossary. Open textbooks created with this material are available using the Organic Chemistry Open Textbook Map.
Principles of Logic and Argumentation
Principles of Logic and Argumentation is an open textbook in the form of a LibGuide, created for a Round One Textbook Transformation Grants project by Dr. Christine James, Professor of Philosophy and Undergraduate Scholarship Coordinator, and Michael Holt, Assistant Professor and Reference Librarian, both within Valdosta State University.
The course materials for the class are largely created and organized by Dr. James, and Mr. Holt created the open-access LibGuide for the course, linking to many of Dr. James’ created materials that he hosted in VSU’s open-access institutional repository, Vtext.
“At first I was skeptical of a class without a hard copy of a textbook because of my learning style, but the class was great! It saved me money and I could access material without carrying a bulky book.” - Student of Dr. James, PHIL 2020
Saylor Foundation: Criminal Law
Criminal Justice and Criminology are both courses that made the recently-updated Top 100 Enrolled Undergraduate Courses List in the USG. The Saylor Foundation has a well-reviewed and accessible open textbook on Criminal Law, approved to be included in UMN’s Open Textbook Library, which may help with no-cost implementations in either of these courses. The textbook includes a breakdown of crimes and defenses by category and components, along with actual and fictional case studies.
“It’s hard to write a textbook about any legal topic that would be appropriate for undergraduates. from my experience, most existing textbooks are either too detailed (for law students) or too simplistic (almost as if thety’re written for high school students). [Saylor’s Criminal Law] strikes the right balance. It’s as good as any other text on criminal law that I’ve encountered so far.” -Dr. Ronald Den Otter, California Polytechnic State University.
The Information Literacy User’s Guide: An Open, Online Textbook
OpenSUNY Textbooks is an initiative of the libraries of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The initiative is funded by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants, which focus on open educational resources, MOOCs, collaborative pedagogy, and using new technology in the classroom.
The Information Literacy User’s Guide, an OpenSUNY Textbook, focuses on student research methods through two models in information literacy: The SCONUL Seven Pillars model and metaliteracy. The result is a textbook which serves students very well as an introduction to research methods by fostering a deeper understanding of the nature of information.
“The Information Literacy User’s Guide introduces students to critical concepts of information literacy as defined for the information-infused and technology-rich environment in which they find themselves. This book helps students examine their roles as information creators and sharers and enables them to more effectively deploy related skills. This textbook includes relatable case studies and scenarios, many hands-on exercises, and interactive quizzes.”
Arts Integration in Elementary Curriculum: EDUC 3214 Open Textbook
Molly Zhou and David Brown
Round 2 of Affordable Learning Georgia’s Textbook Transformation Grants includes a variety of potential final semesters for each project, including Summer 2015 as the earliest semester possible. Dr. Molly Zhou and David Brown brought their knowledge of open resources from their Round 1 project and both produced and implemented a new open textbook for EDUC 3214, Arts Integration in Elementary Curriculum, in Round 2, with a release date of Summer 2015.
The new textbook includes adapted openly-licensed readings, further reading lists for each topic, and a list of books and resources available at the Dalton State College Roberts Library, bringing together open and affordable resources specifically for Dalton State College students.
“I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the magic change in my classroom during the implementation of the learning materials. Students came to class with smiles on their faces, they inquired about their learning in class, they actively inquired about tests, and they creatively showcased their talents in using arts to enrich their teaching in the classroom. This is the type of learning environment that fosters true learning.”
Instructor’s Guide to Concepts of Biology, Chapters 12-21
Molly Smith and Sara Selby
Molly Smith and Sara Selby were recipients of a USG Innovation Grant for a flipped-classroom implementation and a Round 1 Textbook Transformation Grant to expand the use of OER in BIOL 1020K, Introductory Biology II.
As part of the Textbook Transformation Grant project, Smith and Selby created a new supplementary guide to chapters 12-21 of OpenStax Concepts of Biology. This guide was made to address a major deterrent in OER adoption: the lack of ancillaries to well-written open textbooks.
The Instructor’s Guide contains content outlines, study guides, teaching tips, and even a suggested course calendar for using OpenStax Concepts of Biology.
“With this project, we embarked on a months-long journey of exploration in realms of copyright and fair use, open licensing, accessibility, flipping techniques, blended learning, and student engagement. Even though we are not instructional designers, we have learned a lot about instructional design through the process. The end result for us is that we are both much more knowledgeable and our students are better served.”
In Fall 2014, Savannah State University replaced a $70 textbook for its First Year Experience course with an open textbook. That open textbook was College Success, a book from the Saylor Foundation intended to help incoming college students achieve their goals. Topics in the book include listening and taking notes, managing finances, managing health, and socialization.
“College Success has a student-friendly format arranged to help you develop the essential skills and provide the information you need to succeed in college. This is not a textbook full of theory and extensive detail that merely discusses student success; rather, this is a how-to manual for succeeding in college. The book provides realistic, practical guidance ranging from study skills to personal health, from test taking to managing time and money. Furthermore, College Success is accessible—information is presented concisely and as simply as possible.”
OpenStax Introduction to Sociology 2E
Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Heather Griffiths, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, 2nd Edition Contributors
Rice University’s OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization focusing on improving student access to learning materials by the creation of high-quality open textbooks in high-enrollment courses.Their 2012 Introduction to Sociology textbook was one of the first textbooks they produced, and due to the quickly-changing relevant content in a sociology course, OpenStax College selected it for its first-ever second edition update. Updated topics include health care legislation, social stratification, marriage and pay equality, cyberbulling, and net neutrality.
“Introduction to Sociology 2e adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical, one-semester introductory sociology course. It offers comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories, which are supported by a wealth of engaging learning materials. The textbook presents detailed section reviews with rich questions, discussions that help students apply their knowledge, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways. The second edition retains the book’s conceptual organization, aligning to most courses, and has been significantly updated to reflect the latest research and provide examples most relevant to today’s students.”
The American Yawp
The American Yawp is an open US History collaborative textbook, founded and edited by Joseph Locke and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College professor Ben Wright.The textbook won a 2014 Digital Humanities Award for Best Use of Digital Humanities for Public Engagement.
It is currently being used in courses within the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, University of Florida, University of Texas at Dallas, Rice University, Central New Mexico Community College, Bronx Community College, and others. It was also featured in Inside Higher Ed in an interview with Locke and Wright.
“…The American Yawp offers a free and online, collaboratively built, open American history textbook designed for college-level history courses. Unchecked by profit motives or business models, and free from for-profit educational organizations, The American Yawp is by scholars, for scholars. All contributors—experienced college-level instructors—volunteer their expertise to help democratize the American past for twenty-first century classrooms.”
University of Georgia Concepts of Biology
Original Concepts of Biology Textbook Authors:
- Samantha Fowler, Clayton State University
- Rebecca Roush, Sandhills Community College
- James Wise, Hampton University
Open License: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY)
In the Fall 2013 semester, Dr. Peggy Brickman, Professor of Biology at the University of Georgia, along with the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) under Dr. Eddie Watson, modified the OpenStax College Concepts of Biology Open Textbook for use in her Concepts of Biology classes.
In just one year, Dr. Brickman and the CTL saved students over $100,000 total, and will continue to use the Open Textbook in the coming years.
“When students were told they wouldn’t have to purchase a new $97 textbook, they actually applauded.”
-Dr. Eddie Watson, UGA Center for Teaching and Learning
History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877
- Catherine Locks
- Sarah K. Mergel, PhD
- Pamela Thomas Roseman, PhD
- Tamara Spike, PhD
Open License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC BY-SA)
Electronic versions of History in the Making: A History of the People of the United States of America to 1877 are free to download, read, and use in instruction in both PDF and EPUB format, as well as individual chapter PDF’s.
This textbook examines U.S. History from before European Contact through Reconstruction, while focusing on the people and their history. Prior to its publication, History in the Making underwent a rigorous double blind peer review, a process that involved over thirty scholars who reviewed the materially carefully, objectively, and candidly in order to ensure not only its scholarly integrity but also its high standard of quality.
This book provides a strong emphasis on critical thinking about US History by providing several key features in each chapter. Learning Objectives at the beginning of each chapter help students to understand what they will learn in each chapter. Before You Move On sections at the end of each main section are designed to encourage students to reflect on important concepts and test their knowledge as they read. In addition, each chapter includes Critical Thinking Exercises that ask the student to deeply explore chapter content, Key Terms, and a Chronology of events.
History in the Making is the University System of Georgia’s first original open textbook and can also be found indexed in MERLOT. Estimated to have a replacement value of $100 per student, the textbook has already had a great success.
- History in the Making was first adopted for use in USG’s eCore History I (HIST2111) classes over the Summer and Fall 2013 semesters, saving students more than $44,000.
- Savings for students in eCore History 1 are expected to exceed $290,000 by June 2016.
- In Spring 2013, prior to open text implementation: 88% of the students in eCore HIST2111 competed the course.
- In Summer 2013, the first semester with the Open Textbook, retention increased to 94%. Completion rose from 56% in the spring to 84% in the summer with the open textbook.