The open educational resources model, including textbooks, has emerged as a response to rising text prices, a need for greater access to high-quality learning materials, the proliferation of e-reader devices, and a trend in publishing toward electronic media. Many contend that educational resources should be open and that instructional models increasingly depend on open content. Open textbooks can be offered by commercial publishers or found in open repositories. Open resources can promote active learning through student interaction with the text, particularly when they contribute to authorship. Although open textbooks face questions about the accuracy and reliability of their content, they allow higher education instructors to design content for their courses on an as-needed basis, choosing from an array of books, articles, videos, audio recordings, and readings.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.