OER and the Bookstore: Already planning to change your summer or fall courses to OER or other open access materials? It is important that you report this to the MSU Bookstore. The Bookstore highly supports faculty moving to OER or other more affordable options! They still need to know what materials you are adopting. Whatever you choose, they help students access them, digitally and physically. They are also anticipating faculty needing to change summer and/or fall book orders. If you make a change, just let them know. They will work with you to get that information out to students.
Digital AND Print: Yes, OER are free digital resources. However, their unique copyright allows the printing of these resources. In fact, some can even be purchased commercially, like through Amazon. The MSU Bookstore offers a fast print-on-demand service for faculty and students using OER texts. That’s right, you can get a print copy of your textbook for a very low cost. OER textbooks, color-printed and bound, typically range from $15 to $30 to print. This is an affordable and accessible option for faculty and students’ different learning needs.
As faculty, you assess textbooks against a set of criteria that reflects your long experience and knowledge of student needs. You do the same with Open Textbooks, but there are a few additional considerations.
o Accuracy of material
o Cultural context
o Writing quality and tone
o Reading level
o Visual presentation
o Hierarchy of information
o Collateral materials
* Accessibility online
o Are the web pages for the textbook accessible?
* Production options
o Is the book available in more than one format? Printed? Bound? PDF?
* Platform compatibility
o Is the textbook viewable and usable on both MAC's and PC's?
* Delivery options
o Is a bound copy available at a very low price? Will your bookstore be able to carry the printed version?
o If the online version includes interactive software or multi-media files, are they accessible and cross platform?
* Consistency between online and printed presentation
o Are the online and printed versions comparable in organization and basic appearance?
o Will you be able to identify locations in either with minimal confusion for students?
* Collateral material
o If there are test banks, interactives, or other enrichment materials, are they in a format you can use?
o Free or very inexpensive?