Friday, January 14, 2011

Open access textbooks

I got to attend an Elluminate session on the Stitz-Zeager Open Access Precalculus Project on January 13. Dr. Stitz and Dr. Zeager worked on this open textbook project for no other reason than they wanted to have a better textbook that was also less expensive than those available from textbook publishers. They both got a sabbatical from their separate institutions to work on the project. Apparently their institutions did NOT ask for any rights to the material and it's available under a Creative Commons license. Right now their site is bare-bones It's under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons license. They've used the book themselves with WebAssign (an online homework and grading system) with good results. As yet there is no teachers solution manual and no quiz bank. The authors say they were not concerned at all about royalties. They said that they are getting paid enough on their job and were not concerned about making any additional money. What about tenure and promotion? Neither of them were counting on the textbook as a major part of their portfolio for tenure and promotion. Very nifty!

Note: David Nelson sent the direct link to the archive: and if that doesn't work, the session can be reached at: where you can search for it by title or date

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