Textbook reviews by faculty, for faculty
We facilitate workshops that introduce faculty to open textbooks and the benefits they offer to pedagogical practice and student learning. Following the workshop, faculty are invited to write a brief review of an open textbook and decide if one could work for them and their students. 45% of faculty who attend our open textbook workshop indicate an intent to adopt an open textbook.
We take academic freedom seriously. Only faculty can decide what book is right for their students and their course.
The workshop strategy
Offers a comprehensive collection of open textbooks for faculty to consider.
Helps faculty understand what open textbooks are and addresses their concerns.
Asks faculty to evaluate an open textbook and decide if one could work for them.
Open Education Research & Textbook Adoption Guide
We asked the Open Education Group to create a Guidebook to Research on Open Educational Resources Adoption. It was developed to support local research initiatives on open textbook efficacy. Supplemental materials are available through the Open Education Group.
Meet the OTN presenters
Marilyn Billings is the Scholarly Communication & Special Initiatives Librarian at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a position she has held since 2006. She is the head of the Office of Scholarly Communication and provides oversight of UMass Amherst’s digital repository ScholarWorks. She was a founding member of the Open Textbook Network and has led the campus’ Open Education Initiative since 2011. Marilyn received her B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Bates College and her M.L.I.S. from the University of Rhode Island.
Josh is the Scholarly Communication Librarian in the University of Kansas’ Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright, where he leads the OER Working Group to advance open education at KU. He previously worked on open access and other scholarly communication issues at Florida State University Libraries. He received his undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy/Religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his M.L.I.S. at Florida State University.
Dr. Matt DeCarlo founded Open Social Work Education, a collaborative project dedicated to open publishing and capacity building. He is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Radford University. At Radford, he is the chair of the OER Committee and the campus leader for the Open Textbook Network. He is the author of Scientific Inquiry in Social Work, the first open textbook in social work education in the Open Textbook Library. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia with his wife, Emily, and son, Finn.
Abbey Dvorak, Ph.D., MT-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at the University of Kansas (KU). She is a member of the KU Textbook Working Group charged with exploring ways to support and encourage the use of open educational resources on campus. Dr. Dvorak became a presenter for the Open Textbook Network in 2016 after attending a faculty workshop facilitated by Dave Ernst, reviewing and adopting an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library, and realizing the impact that her choice of textbooks could have on student success. Dr. Dvorak received her B.A. in Music Education from Briar Cliff University in 1997, her M.A. and Equivalency in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2004, and her Ph.D. in Music Therapy from the University of Iowa in 2011.
Emily Frank is the Coordinator of Scholarship and Open Access for Louisiana State University Libraries. She leads the library’s affordable course materials projects, including an e-textbook initiative focused on aligning licensed e-books with courses and the OER program. She coordinates local projects under the Affordable Learning LOUISiana initiative spearheaded by LOUIS: The Louisiana Library Network, the state library consortium, and collaborates with librarians statewide to extend the scope of this initiative. She received her MLIS from the University of Kentucky and an International Master’s in Digital Library Learning from universities in Norway, Estonia, and Italy through a program funded by the European Union.
Steve is a Senior Instructional Designer and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator at the University of Akron. Prior to joining UA, Steve served as the Associate Director of Online Learning at Ashland University. Currently, he serves as one of the Ohio Quality Matters Consortium’s State Leads and is proud to be one of Ohio’s Affordable Learning Ambassadors and a trainer for the Open Textbook Network. Through his experience, he has been able to help grow online programs as well as provide insight and guidance into the course development process. He specializes in working one-on-one with faculty members to help them create dynamic, well-designed, objective-focused courses. His research interests include open education, gamification, metacognitive strategies, and student engagement.
JONATHAN LASHLEY, Ph.D.
Jonathan serves as the Associate Chief Academic Officer for the Idaho State Board of Education. Previously, he managed projects and coordinated communities of practice related to open, online, and technology-enhanced instruction at Boise State and Clemson University. Jonathan was one of the first OER Research and Designing with OER (DOER) fellows under the Open Education Group, and his scholarship continues to focus on institutional strategies for promoting awareness, collaboration, and support of open education at the postsecondary level. Recently, he co-edited and -authored OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians.
MEGGIE MAPES, Ph.D.
Meggie Mapes (Ph.D. Southern Illinois University Carbondale) is a faculty member and Introductory Course Director in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. Her research emerges at the intersections of pedagogy and critical/cultural studies. She is an open pedagogy advocate and the author of the open textbook, Speak Out, Call In: Public Speaking as Advocacy.
Merinda serves as one of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Leads in the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, where she is also the Health & Human Sciences Librarian and an Associate Professor. She was a 2016-2017 OER Research Fellow with the Open Education Group’s fellowship program. Previously, she served as the Open Educational Resources (OER) Librarian and Health and Human Sciences Librarian at Colorado State University. She joined the Open Textbook Network in 2015, after participating in the Network’s inaugural summer institute and organizing a successful Open Textbook Network visit for the Colorado State University community. Merinda received her M.L.I.S. in 2002 from The University of British Columbia.
Carla Myers serves as the Coordinator of Scholarly Communications for the Miami University Libraries. Her professional presentations and publications focus on US copyright law and affordable learning initiatives. She has a B.S. in Psychology form the University of Akron and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Kent State University.
Dr. Nowakowski is an Ohio Affordable Learning Ambassador and an Open Textbook Network faculty representative. He has led study abroad programs to Puerto Rico, France, Italy, Spain, England, and the first Muskingum study abroad program in the PRC.
Writer-turned-librarian, Michelle serves as the Director of Open Educational Resources at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. She leads OER initiatives, directs OER publishing, and manages a grant program to advance the use of open resources on campus. She is also active in statewide OER efforts, serving on the UT System Affordable Learning Accelerator Task Force, and collaborates with students on OER accessibility research as a site supervisor for UTA’s Disability Studies Program.
Jasmine Roberts is a strategic communication lecturer in the School of Communication at The Ohio State University. She teaches public relations writing and campaign courses. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and Spanish at the University of Michigan and her master’s degree in communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to pursuing an academic career, Jasmine worked as a marketing/public relations professional for non profit and entertainment industries. Jasmine is the author of “Writing of Strategic Communication industries,” an openly-licensed textbook and writing guide for those interested in the strategic communication field. She is also a 2017 – 2018 research fellow with the Open Education Group.
Dr. Esperanza Zenon is an Associate Professor of Physical Science at River Parishes Community College (RPCC). She is the current Division Coordinator for Math and Natural Sciences, the Chair of the Center for Teaching Excellence Committee, and she is a member of the Online Course Review Committee. She is very passionate about equity for girls in STEM, and serves as the Louisiana Team Leader for the LaSTEM Girls Collaborative Project and the LASTEM Equity Pipeline Project, two NSF-funded projects that work to promote positive equity outcomes for girls in STEM and Tech careers. She also serves as the Director of the BASF TECH Academy @ RPCC, a program which provides high school seniors the opportunity to get exposure to technical degree programs at RPCC and industries that use those degrees. Dr. Zenon is also very involved with several OER projects, including the Open Textbook Network, the Open Education Consortium, and the OER grant project at RPCC. Dr. Zenon has a Master of Arts degree in Physics from Wayne State University, and a Ph.D. in Science/Mathematics Education from Southern University.