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Open Educational Resources: Open Textbooks


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While there are many different types of Open Educational Resources, open textbooks are often the focus of many faculty in higher education. Traditional textbooks can cost students up to hundreds of dollars. In community colleges courses, this means that sometimes the textbook is almost as expensive as the course itself. Open textbooks provide students with a free alternative. 

Open textbooks are freely available online and can be found in a number of a places (see Find Open Textbooks). If you need assistance locating the right open textbook for your course, or if you simply don't have the time to search through all the repositories, Library Staff are happy to assist you.

Using Open Textbooks

Finding and adopting an open textbook can be daunting. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to help you out. In addition to the Wake Tech Faculty and Staff that are here to assist you, there are plenty of online resources that will help walk you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

The topic of Open Educational Resources always brings up a lot of questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, Contact Us.

  • How can open textbooks be high quality if they're free? Only faculty can judge whether or not a textbook meets their standards. However, many of the textbooks in the repositories are authored by faculty. Some of the textbooks have even been reviewed by other faculty. It all depends on the textbook and where it came from.  
  • My students don't want to use ebooks. Can they print the open textbooks? Yes. Open textbooks are often in PDF format, so students can easily print what they need.
  • Textbook publishers often provide test banks, presentation slides, and other materials with the textbooks. How would I get all those with an open textbook? Some authors and platforms provide ancillary materials with the textbook. 
  • Traditional textbooks get updated when newer editions come out. Are open textbooks up-to-date? Some of the textbooks get updated by the authors. For those that don't, you can check the license to see if you can update the textbook yourself. 

Want Help Locating Open Textbooks?

If  you need assistance locating the right open textbook for your course, or if you simply don't have the time to search through all the repositories, Library Staff are happy to assist you. 

Picture of Megan Rudolph, RTP Campus Librarian

Megan Rudolph, MSLS

RTP Campus Librarian