8. Creating an open textbook

Over the last few decades, textbook prices have been increasing 3-4 times faster than the overall price level. Responding to this, many students choose to either not buy textbooks or delay purchasing them until the semester is well underway. In response, a growing number of faculty, departments, colleges, and universities have begun to create and use open educational resources that are freely available to students and faculty.

In this episode, we discuss the process of creating an open textbook with Kristen Munger, who, along with several collaborators, created Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice, as part of the SUNY Open Textbook project. We also discuss how and why faculty may wish to consider adopting or creating open educational resources.

Kristen Munger is an Associate Dean in the School of Education at SUNY-Oswego. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, she was a faculty member in the Counseling and Psychological Services department at SUNY-Oswego. Before beginning her doctoral work at Syracuse University, she practiced as a school psychologist in New York state schools for twelve years.

Show Notes

  • CENGAGE OER – CENGAGE’s OER initiative
  • Lepionka, M. E. (2008). Writing and developing your college textbook: a comprehensive guide to textbook authorship and higher education publishing. Atlantic Path Publishing.
  • Intellus Learning – MacMillan Publishing’s OER spinoff that bundles OER resources with ancillary materials
  • Lumen Learning – A site that bundles OER textbooks with ancillary materials and testing software.
  • Merlot II – The website of the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
  • Munger, K., Crandall, B. R., Cullen, K. A., Duffy, M. A., Dussling, T. M., Lewis, E., … & Stevens, E. Y. (2016). Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice. Open SUNY Textbooks at the State University of New York College at Geneseo.
  • OER Commons – A website that provides assistance in creating and locating OER materials
  • Open Educational Resources in SUNY – A website containing information about the SUNY Open textbooks project and other related programs.
  • OpenStax – A collection of OER textbooks
  • SUNY-Oswego Library’s OER guide – A guide to OER resources, provided by Laura Harris at SUNY-Oswego


John:Today our guest is Kristen Munger, an Associate Dean in the School of Education at SUNY-Oswego. Prior to becoming Associate Dean, she was a faculty member in the Counseling and Psychological Services department at SUNY-Oswego. Before beginning her doctoral work at Syracuse University, she practiced as a school psychologist in New York state schools for twelve years. Welcome, Kristen

Kristen: Thanks, John.

Rebecca: Today our teas are:

John:Pineapple ginger green tea

Kristen: Peach Tranquility

Rebecca: That sounds good. Afternoon tea.

John:So we invited you here to talk a little bit about your participation in the SUNY Open Textbook Project. Could you tell us a little bit about that project in a very broad sense.

Kristen: In 2014, there was a grant funded opportunity, a call for proposals for authors who might be interested in creating an open textbook, so the OpenSUNY, and it was a multi campus effort with SUNY libraries where people’s proposals were accepted then they would be provided with like copy editing services, consultation with instructional designers, and graphic design support. So I was interested and proposals came in, and then I happened to be one where the proposal was selected.

Rebecca: So what does it mean to be an open textbook?

Kristen: An open textbook is a textbook that conforms to different open criteria, and so maybe I should bring up right now the idea of the five Rs, which is a good signal of openness, and so the five R’s are a way of looking at permissions for how people are allowed to use materials and what they can do with that. Truly open or maximally open means users can retain, reuse, revise, remix or redistribute the learning materials. Open does not necessarily mean free, and free does not necessarily mean open. So an example of an open textbook would be a textbook where all of the materials would conform to those five Rs that I discussed. Something that’s free for example, if a faculty member made a course reader, or posted things in a learning management system, where the students didn’t have to pay for the materials but could access them for free. It wouldn’t necessarily be open, because the person wouldn’t be able to retain copies, redistribute them, or remix them, etc. An open text book conforms to those five R’s and includes the ability for people to remix, redistribute, all of those things that define openness.

Rebecca: So it sounds to me like an open textbook in this context, in the way that you’re talking about it, means that you kind of retain a copyright to it but you’re providing this open license for people to use in these ways.

Kristen: That’s exactly right, Rebecca.

John: And that’s a form of creative commons license, right?

Kristen: It’s actually for the OpenSUNY Textbook Project, the licenses that were used were Creative Commons sharealike, non commercial, means that other people can’t make money on it, but otherwise it can be shared at the same level.

John:What types of materials are created under this notion of the five Rs.

Kristen: Some examples of learning materials could include textbooks, like the textbook that I did, open source software or labs, open media, and even entire open courses like MOOCs or college courses that use openly licensed materials, even if they’re not open to the public to take, and then those materials address issues that we really have concerns about, when it comes to accessibility, and overpriced materials, and it also addresses the problem of restricted access to learning materials based on financial resources. Students may not purchase textbooks and they may not get access codes to be able to use the study guides that are included. So that can be a real problem of students… or just renting or borrowing things and they can’t keep them. It almost creates like an expiration date for the materials and we know that that’s not necessarily good pedagogical practice to have the knowledge come and then be inaccessible again.

Rebecca: Another way the faculty can contribute is, a lot of professional associations have education wings where they might be collecting materials, like assignments and things too that could be released in the same way. So, I would add to your list to provide the opportunity. I know that I’ve had the opportunity that a couple of times and it’s a nice low stakes way to get involved without it really being a lot of time commitment, but there’s no reason why I wasn’t willing to share some of the work that I had done.

Kristen: What a great contribution that would be.

John:So what is the name of your textbook?

Kristen: The textbook is titled Steps to Success: Crossing the Bridge Between Literacy Research and Practice. It’s available. It’s free and available on the OpenSUNY textbook and OER websites or you can just Google “steps to success: crossing” and it will be the first hit that comes up, and according to the website, it’s been downloaded so far over seven thousand times, but if half of the people downloading would have needed to purchase the book then the total cost savings would be over two hundred thousand dollars, considering maybe it would be a sixty dollars book.

John:And this was released about a year and a half ago, right?

Kristen: It was in 2016, yeah.

John:So that’s a remarkable savings just with that one project.

Kristen: What could students do with an additional two hundred thousand dollars?

John:So what prompted you to participate in the open textbooks project?

Kristen: The most obvious prompt was, when I received the call for proposals and that prompted me to start thinking about it. I hadn’t authored a textbook or a book yet. I had done some book chapters, so the request for proposals that came out was the initial prompt. I also was interested just because I had been worrying about the high cost of textbooks for my students, and other students and I began to read about the open movement and I just became very intrigued about the idea of authoring a textbook. I hadn’t authored a textbook or any book at that point in my professional career, and so it was also a milestone, the idea of being able to put together an entire book, rather than just book chapters, that was something professionally that I wanted to accomplish.

John:How did you find partners to work on this, because you do have number of collaborators.

Kristen: I ended up inviting ten co-authors to join in the book project with me, and these were all scholars who had been at Syracuse University with me. I knew their work. I knew them personally. I knew how they had contributed to both research and practice in education pertaining to literacy. I contacted them. I either wrote to them or called them, and said, there’s this really great opportunity and they were very excited. When I informed them about the openness of it, every one of them was as motivated as I was, and being able to contribute.

John:And it probably helped that you knew them in advance and you had worked with them before in some form.

Kristen: Yes. Yup.

John, I should also mention that three of my co-authors are from SUNY-Oswego in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Dr. Michelle Duffy, Dr. Maria Murray, and Dr. Joanne O’Toole. Their contributions, along with the contributions of other co-authors were really essential in the success of this book.

Initially I had looked through the different topics that I thought would be most pertinent to include in a research to practice literacy textbook and I matched up the topics with some of the folks I had gone to Syracuse with, and they were all relatively beginning scholars in the field, maybe some recently tenured or pre-tenured faculty and they really were the keepers of the most recent scholarly knowledge and literacy, because of having just completed dissertations, where they had completely exhausted knowledge on certain topics, so they would be great informants and authors. I had a really good bunch of people working with me.

Rebecca: How did you organize that collaboration. I mean, it can be a challenge to juggle a lot of different personalities, and different areas of expertise.

Kristen: That is correct. It was challenging, just because there were ten people and me, to try to pull together and I ended up doing a lot of work trying to teach myself about the editing process, and effective collaboration. At the time, I was working with another co-author on a chapter that was going to be released pretty recently, and it was in a commercially available textbook, and I ended up talking to an editor who was working on the chapter with me, and I just peppered her with questions about being an editor and pulling things together. I tried to get as much knowledge from her as I could. I also asked the SUNY-Oswego library to get a copy of a book called Writing and Developing Your College Textbook by Mary Ellen Lepionka, and that provided me with a lot of information about effective collaboration, and in some of the things that I was reading, I learned about a concept called a meta-voice. And so in a textbook or any kind of publication where there’s multiple authors, to ensure that there’s an overall structure and voice threaded throughout it. The concept of a meta-voice helped give me something concrete that I could try to achieve with the other co-authors. When it came to some of the structure, and getting people to work together, and pull everything together… I mean… the overused quip about herding cats might apply and not because there were any particular difficulties, but it was more my co-authors curiosity and independence, rather than any kind of negative cat behaviors. But pulling everyone together, keeping us on target, meeting deadlines, adhering to our timeline, those were all challenges, but those are the challenges that come with any effort like this.

John:We’ll share the citation for anything you share, such as that book, in the show notes. So that will be available afterwards.

Kristen: Great.

John:How did you actually manage that meta-voice? Was one person in charge of rewriting to match or was it a shared endeavor, where everyone strove to smooth out the edges so that it seemed like one voice?

Kristen: The answer is both, but it turns out that that’s an editor’s responsibility for sure, and being able to pull that together, but one of the things that I did, first structure both with meta-voice and to have consistency across the chapters, I created some different templates and guidelines, things like if we’re using a word that is sometimes hyphenated and sometimes not. We need to make sure that we picked a team, and then we’re consistent across chapters. We also… like one of the things that I did, as an editor was to make sure that the way we were defining terms was consistent across the chapter. Or if for some reason, we deviated from those terms, there was an explanation as to why.

John:Now you were using PressBooks I believe, right?

Kristen: That’s correct.

John:Ok. How did that work? Were people able to see what the other people were doing or was it done individually and then combined or – I’ve never worked with that… so….

Kristen: Ok, it became released on PressBooks but that was the end product. That wasn’t something…

John:So it was developed separately.

Kristen: Exactly. But what we ended up doing is we looked across each other’s chapters and did a lot of peer editing. We had two external reviewers, who also provided some really good suggestions for improving the quality of the chapters and making sure that there was consistency. One of the reviewers was really good at pointing out where there were inconsistencies or where we were losing that metavoice and it gave us a great opportunity to then weave it back together and make it stronger in that respect. PressBooks was the end product. We actually worked in Microsoft and –

John:Ok…. So it was written in Word and was uploaded into…

Kristen: Yeah. Where we overlapped in terms of scholarship, I shared chapters between authors. They shared with each other. We sometimes met, and through email we managed to pull everything together. We went through a lot of revisions and review and it really was to make sure that we were having the most current knowledge and that we were putting out a really high quality product.

Rebecca: So after spending some time editing, would you do that again?

Kristen: You know… I would… because it is in line with the kinds of problems I like to solve. I think when you’re doing work where it’s the kind of problems you like to solve, that even when it’s really difficult then you’re definitely willing to do it. So I have thought about additional projects like this, and also the idea of when would it make sense to revisit the work as it is and perhaps do a more thorough revision. One of the really nice things about open text books and particularly in PressBooks, which was what you were mentioning, John, it keeps the document alive. Changes can be made at any point. So your students don’t have to wait for a grand revision. If there’s an error in it or some bit of knowledge that needs to be added that’s critical, it can be done right away.

John:Now as I understand PressBooks, it’s based on the WordPress platform but it adds formatting capability and it also provides accessibility from pretty much any type of device. Is that correct?

Kristen: That’s correct.

John:So that it can be read in different formats easily.

Kristen: Um-hm.

John:OK. I believe you can also upload to Kindles. Or to export it into Kindle or other formats as well, if people want to read it on their own devices.

Kristen: I haven’t experimented with that, but it’s good for me to know.

John:At a cost. My understanding at least is that, if you pay for that, it’s a one time fee for each conversion, it will do conversion to other formats.

Rebecca: So you started mentioning the idea that students can get the most up to date version of the content, because the content is alive. Can you talk a little bit more about the benefits for students?

Kristen: There’s many benefits to students when it comes to accessing open educational resources, and not just open textbooks. This really does apply more broadly. The most obvious thing is the financial savings to them, which I think is a really important consideration. We know the stresses and the financial concerns that students have, so the idea that we’re trying to relieve some of that burden, I think is definitely to their benefit. It’s interesting that some community colleges are offering pathways to degree, using all open materials, so that there’s no additional cost to students at all, maybe a small fee to help pay for the services needed to make OER available, but that’s a really interesting pathway.

John:And community colleges often serve lower income households than are served by 4-year colleges and universities, and so that’s particularly important. My recollection is that the rate of increase of textbook prices is over twice a rate of inflation for prices overall.

Kristen: Maybe even more so in some discipline, yes.

John:Especially technical fields.

Kristen: Definitely. So another benefit to students is that open educational resources can be accessed because they’re publicly available before a course begins. So students don’t have to wait for the course to have things posted. They can have the resources before a course even begins. There’s no waiting for shipping. There’s no waiting to get paid… waiting for financial aid.


Kristen: So just let that sink in for a moment. That they have what they need, right at the start of the course and perhaps even before that. So for open educational resources, the availability is a huge advantage.

John:Because a lot of students were either not buying books, or waiting until they got some financial aid check to come in, or they were waiting until they were sure they actually needed it, and the people who were often waiting the longest were the students who sometimes had the weakest backgrounds, and most needed the resources available. So it can help I think to improve equity somewhat too, right?

Kristen: Definitely. Open educational resources, there’s a value system that underlies it and it does have to do with equity, inclusion, access and some other value systems that… it’s not just about the materials, it’s really about the movement and what we’re trying to do on a more global scale. I’d like to mention a couple other benefits to students, if I can do that from a humanistic side, I think it’s really good when faculty can show that they understand some of the stresses that students face and so by offering open educational resources, you’re showing that you have an understanding and an awareness of the stresses they face financially, being able to access materials, and I think that’s a really positive message to share with students. I think that more scholars are going to join in to the open educational resource movement, and that will probably make it so that higher and higher quality resources become available… more people will be contributing. I expect over time that our students will be involved in creating and helping with the distribution of open educational resources, and when there’s a pipeline of quality resources I also suspect that students will begin asking their instructors whether it’s an option, and so it’s going to put pressure on publishers to have to change some of the things that they may be doing also to be additive in a marketplace where we can often find what we need, perhaps without them.

John:And we’ve already seen that a bit, where both MacMillan and CENGAGE have started bundling open educational resources with some add ons, at a fairly nominal cost, which isn’t much different from the costs that Lumen Learning and other distributors of OER materials is providing already for materials plus some ancillary resource.

Kristen: Yes. So some publishing companies are trying to get in on where they can add to what’s happening, and that that’s probably a good place for people to be thinking of what to do.

Rebecca: How would you recommend faculty get started in using these open resources for teaching.

Kristen: For faculty to contribute, if this is something that they’re interested in, the series of things I would want them to think about, include first looking to see if there are fully open materials that are already available that will help meet course objectives, and meet quality standards for use. So to me that’s the first priority. What’s out there and actually taking a look. If no open educational resources are available for a course, then you would potentially consider free or low-cost options; that would be a second priority. If neither exist, then if faculty can go with the best commercially available materials for the least cost, then that would be the last priority. If faculty members find that there are no open resources, then I would like them to consider creating some, because that really shows that there’s a gap. There’s a place where their knowledge could fit in, and then they could share that with a Creative Commons license and give people access all over the world to the knowledge that they have. I think that does have to do with the value system underlying open educational resources – the idea of sharing knowledge, working together to make knowledge accessible in ways that are of minimal or no cost to others. That’s kind of the big picture. Another part of the value system that I think about is, let’s say that there’s dozens and dozens of open textbooks in a particular discipline, then it doesn’t make sense to me to create competition there and just author dozens and dozens more. It might be better to look at what kind of resources, perhaps ancillary resources or tests banks or other things that could be done to help those resources that are already in existence become better, rather than just continue to saturate the market.

Rebecca: So to kind follow up on the value system, I think creating with these values, you know, certainly there’s a history to this throughout education, but also in other disciplines but academic institutions haven’t always treated open materials the same as other sort of published materials, if you’re thinking about tenure and review and that sort of thing and so I’m wondering if you’re seeing – you sit an administration role, are you seeing a change in and that perception at all?

Kristen: Some of the conferences and workshops and work groups that I’ve been a part of at the SUNY level, here at SUNY-Oswego, it seems like that often comes up where people are wondering how that fits into the idea of scholarship. I think that if faculty are interested in joining the open movement and contributing, it is possible to highlight scholarly and creative activities here. My advice to people would be to educate people who review your work about your accomplishments related to open educational resources, for all the ways that these efforts have value academically, economically and socially. So people may not know how to value your work in this context if they don’t understand the true scope of what you’re doing. If you can remember yourself and also help others remember that open educational resources, aren’t just about scholarly contributions, but also about equity and accessibility.

John:On a related note, this is a little tangential, but there’s also an open journal movement out there for open scholarly research. One finding that people have noted is that when articles are published in open resources, they end up with far more citations because people are much more likely to find them and they’re more likely to cite resources that are available freely, so they don’t have to go through a paywall. So there are some advantages even in terms of more formal scholarly work of engaging in open scholarship, because there are still peer review systems for most of these journals as well, and in terms of textbook publication you could cite the number of adoptions and reviews of the work, in the same way you could with anything else.

Kristen: Yes, those are really good indexes for those contributions.

Rebecca: There is other platforms to you where openness has come out, you know I come from a field where open source is the jam, right? [laughter] So, you know there’s certainly tools and resources that are available to make those things out there, and then you can watch downloads and shares and variations of the things that have been released, so I think that it’s – I mean I certainly buy into the value system, but I think it’s always been a struggle to have to always educate the people around you about what you’re doing, because not everyone necessarily understands… especially if you’re outside of a discipline where it’s not as common, you know, especially if you’re the one that’s identified like there’s not that open resource and maybe I could make it, then there’s a lot of education that has to go around to the people around you, and that can feel a little burdensome. Especially if you are not getting compensated for the things too, so I think finding a way to balance that and juggle that in academia is an interesting thing that’s starting to evolve.

John:Going back just a little bit, how can faculty find resources in the field. One advantage that publishers have is they come to your door, give you brochures and they work very hard to sell you on these books, and they’ll send you emails and sometimes they’ll pay stipends for you to attend workshops at conferences, and focus groups. OER providers tend not to do that, so it does put a little more burden on the faculty to actually actively seek this material. What are good places to start looking for these resource?

Kristen: I think that this is evolving and it is one of the frustrations as the field widens and more resources become available. There’s the challenge of indexing them and making sure that everything is able to be found with relative ease. Right now, there are many sites where resources can be found, and there’s tricks to finding them, based on what you’re seeking – so it may depend on what your discipline is or what you’re seeking. At SUNY-Oswego we’ve actually put in a lot of effort to help faculty find open educational resources, and so there’s a SUNY-Oswego open educational resource page and that allows people to browse by subjects and it’s at libraryguides.oswego.edu/oer. There are links to external sites and you can go directly to external sites, like OpenStax, MERLOT, Lumen Learning and OER Commons just to name a few. I think an important thing in higher education is to try to identify local champions, and we have some local champions at SUNY-Oswego who are motivated, just like textbook publishers but in a different way, to help faculty with OER adoption. So, Laura Harris, a librarian here at SUNY-Oswego… she’s an online learning librarian at Pe nfield and she is very motivated to amass and share resources to help faculty find what they need. Like at other SUNYs, we have some grant money to provide incentives and compensation for faculty who want to propose ways that they will create, adopte, adapt to open educational resources for their courses, so that’s another way to get involved. It creates a community, a learning community and a scholarly community, where when we start to look at where our work is featured, we start to look more broadly and more widely, then we also become resources for faculty and others about how to find the best stuff.

John:You mention OpenStax and they have a pretty large collection of open textbooks and then you mention Lumen Learning. What does Lumen Learning provide, since they rely mostly on the OpenStax textbook, that’s not available from that textbook itself?

Kristen: That’s a great question. And I’m not sure that I know the answer. I know of Lumen Learning and the platforms they’re creating, but I can’t describe them in any kind of detail, but John, would you like to talk about some of the differences between Openstax and Lumen Learning and what they’re featuring?

John:Lumen Learning bundles open textbooks with some ancillary materials. They provide a testing interface. It’s available as Blackboard and Canvas and other plug in modules, so they provide a lot of the ancillary resources that publishers do. On a much smaller scale than publishers, but at least it’s a start in that direction, because one of the concerns that many of us have had about adopting OER materials is that we know that low-stakes testing is really helpful, and we know that pretty much any tests that have been used end up on the Web really quickly and one problem is if you’re using materials, let’s say in a class of several hundred students, they’re going to be Googling those answers and with many of the textbooks that provide some small test banks, all the questions and all the answers are there, and Lumen Learning at least is providing a platform that provides some variety, so that students can do some retrieval practice with repeated testing in a way that doesn’t require the instructor to create thousands of new questions every semester, but on the other hand they generally only provide a limited number of questions per chapter, at this point. But they’re building the libraries. If I recall correctly they also provide PowerPoints and some notes on presentations and other materials of the same sort that instructors are getting used to using from the publishers, and they charge a fee that varies a little bit depending on the mix of services they provide.

Kristen: That’s a really good point, because of the idea of “open” meaning “free.” It’s a good example of where would these efforts by like Lumen Learning an even CENGAGE that you have mentioned, that there’s going to be some sort of fee attached for students that will be well below some of the high-cost textbooks, but if we don’t create an infrastructure to provide what’s needed to make all those materials, then it won’t be sustainable.

John:The usual quote, in terms of both open source software and OER materials is that they’re free as in…

Kristen: Puppies.


Kristen: Or kittens.

John:Either way, yes. So there are some support costs and there’s some maintenance and infrastructure cost. One of the topic that you mentioned, that it might be worth going back to just a little bit is having students work in creating materials. I know we’ve had a few projects here, but could you talk a little bit about how students perhaps might be involved in creating materials or archives that become OER?

Kristen: This notion first came to me when I attended an open education conference, and there were some presenters that were talking about using ideas where students would be involved in adapting or revising some of the resources that others had produced and one of the people who was presenting talked about, over the course of different semesters, having students make the resources better and better until it reached a certain point in which the resources could be released and the students could also be involved, and having attribution as co-authors or co-producers of some of the resources. And the idea of authentic learning, I mean that’s part of the School of Education here at SUNY-Oswego. The idea of authentic learning really underlying so much of what we do. Having students contribute in that way, rather than having assignments just get done and put away or saved on a jump drive, but having assignments that include the production and review of open educational resources. I mean that’s pretty exciting, and I think students would be excited by that as well.

Rebecca: I think we’ve had other episodes where we’ve talked about when something’s going to live in the world, how much more motivating that is for students and that they buy in a lot more quickly and they get more excited about the topic and material too. So I see how that would be a great motivator and something that students would love to jump in on.

John:An example is Episode 7 which was released in the middle of December, where we talked about a project involving student podcasts and working with other classes to create a project that is then shared publicly.

Kristen: See that’s great. So the idea of setting knowledge free, that’s another thing that’s connected, I think, with the open educational resources movement. That really knowledge is exceeding the normal boundaries because of financial or accessibility issues, and that’s really exciting. I mean that’s why I’m involved and that’s why I would love SUNY-Oswego to really be on the forefront of some of these efforts.

Rebecca: Is open education resources something that you talk to your students in education about? Given that they’re going to be teachers in K-12, are those things we’re trying to motivate and motivate those people to do too?

Kristen: I talk to everyone about open educational resources. [laughter]

John:Which is how you got invited for this podcast

Kristen: There we go. So I mean I’m an associate dean now, so I’m not currently teaching, but any opportunity that I have to talk to students, I give presentations that the students attend. I’ve done presentations related to writing and I’ve been asked to speak in other classes so this is something that I love to bring up, because I think it’s something people should be aware of and be prepared to contribute to.

John:Kristen is on a steering committee for OER here on campus and helped initiate a grant request for OER funding on campus just this past year.

Kristen: These are exciting times.

John:Another interesting approach for OER materials is, just yesterday I was talking to a historian friend who was thinking about using a Wikipedia education project for her classes and in that projects they have a process for creating class accounts, where students can create materials and subject to peer review and then it’s all published, which is another form of… not sure if it’s quite OER materials but… is it still OER?

Rebecca: I know that Wikimedia uses the Creative Commons licenses but I’m not sure about the Wikipedia portion of it.

John:Ok. That’s another way of doing it, if you have some topic you want your students to develop materials on and they do have a nice editing platform. It’s good for collaborative editing and review.

Kristen: What you were saying, John, it reminds me of just how with this kind of movement, it brings forth a lot of creativity and a lot of expansive thinking, which is really great when a different disciplines start to get jiggled around to think more creatively, about how we teach, looking at pedagogy and content and this is a really interesting way of jiggling things around a little bit.

John:The textbook had been around in its current form for several centuries and it was seen as this fixed document that just delivered to students, and that was mostly because of technological constraints. Those constraints are disappearing, and it opens up a lot more possibility to remix things and recombine things to make them more valuable.

Well, thank you Kristen.

Rebecca: Yeah, it was really great to hear about your book and about the work that you’ve been doing, and I’m glad that you’re our evangelist.

Kristen: Thanks. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences.