Tag Archives: policy

A Faculty Perspective on Open Textbooks

Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, a professor of psychology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and chair of the Provincial Psychology Articulation Committee, explores reasons why most faculty are not yet adopting open textbooks. These reasons include that open textbook may not be available for many disciplines and courses; some faculty are skeptical of open textbook quality and hold them to a higher standard than traditional textbooks; there is a need for additional learning materials, such as associated test banks; and finally that the choice of textbook is sometimes not an individual’s decision. Jhangiani summarizes the advantages of open resources and highlights that “there is some evidence to suggest that when an open textbook is carefully adapted to suit a particular program, student performance and retention is actually enhanced.” He concludes, “Ultimately, I believe that it is institutional culture that will need to shift. A university’s strategic priorities need to include moving towards open education. From the president’s office down, open education initiatives need to be supported for these to develop and mature. This includes time releases for faculty adapting/adopting open textbooks, institutional recognition of this work, practical and regularly offered professional development workshops, and the consideration of the development of open educational resources in the files of those on the tenure-track.”