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Suggested Criteria for Evaluating Open Textbooks
From the Open Textbook project at OER Commons and the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative.
Here's an alternative suggested by Joy Zhao at elcamino.edu
6. Cultural relevance: Appealing to a diverse audience; lasting value
7. Applicability to more than one academic discipline
8. Logical sequencing;
9. Flexible structure / Easiness of modification
10. Compatibility to a wide range of web platforms (e.g., Window, e-Readers) and physical tools (e.g., printer, cell phone, Ipod or other hand-held devices)
On http://collegeopentextbooks.org, there are reviews linked to titles have been submitted by educators and professionals in the field. "They are the opinions of the individual authors and do not represent an endorsement of any textbook by the Community College Open Textbook Collaborative"
EXAMPLE: Go to the Psychology and Sociology section. A few titles: Introduction to Sociology (2009), Psychology: A Student-Friendly Approach (2004), Psychology in the 21st Century and Starting with Psychology.
Clicking on the reviews for this subject area, you'll see that Psychology in the 21st Century was given good ratings. It is from the OpenLearn website at http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2902 However, it turns out that the printable material there is for a single unit taken from the introductory chapter to the course DSE212 Exploring Psychology. That might be useful, but it is not a complete textbook.
Another example: Try the link for Psychology: A Student Friendly Approach which was also favorably reviewed. That leads to a page that allows the download of 19 pdf files for a "complete" textbook by T.L. Brink, Ph.D., MBA.
Which of these criteria (taken from the longer list at the left) do you think would be your most important criteria in choosing an open textbook for use in your teaching? ONE VOTE