Saturday, October 16, 2010

Next OER discussion from Commonwealth of Learning

The next OER online discussion forum from the Commonwealth of Learning starts October 20. This discussion will center on moving to practice. After attending an academic conference recently and listening to faculty who are active textbook publishers, I am discouraged. There were many complaints about working with publishers. The turn-over of editors is high. Editors are not always very experienced. Last minute changes are requested by editors dragging projects out. Publishers do not always follow marketing suggestions made by faculty. Complain, complain, complain! So why isn't open access textbook publishing considered an option for these textbook authors? The faculty appreciate the imprimateur bestowed by publishing with a well-known publisher: more respect from colleagues (even though textbooks tend to be undervalued when it comes to tenure and promotion); royalty checks even when the checks don't amount to much. I'm currently involved in a small way in two projects right now. In one case, the faculty member backed off working with an OER publisher after her dean told her that going with a mega-textbook publisher would be more prestigious. In the other case I don't know that OER was ever discussed. How disappointing!

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