"Open Textbook" is a term used for textbooks that are typically:
Free to access online
Low cost to get a print copy
Licensed by the author/creator with rights that are less restrictive than copyright (i.e. all rights reserved). This license typically (though not always) includes the right of any user to copy (digitally) & print the text as well as the right to adapt it as desired for use in a course, as long as authorship is attributed and use is non-commercial.
These sites and videos will give you an idea of some of the main issues to think about in adopting an open textbook. In this video Professor Richard Lennox of Lane Community College in Oregon shares the reasons he chose to use OERs for his classes and "will never switch back".
"AMSER is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use. AMSER is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the National Science Digital Library, and is being created by a team of project partners led by Internet Scout."
"The COERLL is one of 15 National Foreign Language Resource Centers funded by the US Department of Education. The overall mission of these federally-funded centers is to improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages by producing resources (materials and best practices) that can be profitably employed in a variety of settings."
Similar to MERLOT, "a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc." Will also host your original content.
Collects and organizes in one place a huge variety and number of resources produced by different U.S. government departments that could be used for educational purposes. Search, or browse by subject or format: Animations, Videos, Primary Documents, Photos. Nicely done!
The Open Course Library is a project to design and share 81 high enrollment, general education, and pre-college *courses*. These materials can be used for face-to-face, hybrid and online delivery. Their goals are: Lower textbook costs for students; Improve course completion rates; Provide new resources for faculty.
The Digital Repository is an "online library of free instructional resources for Florida's educators." Texts Plus focuses specifically on textbooks: "OGT+ delivers access to a wide range of free, online, open textbooks in a choice of bound book formats."
Feedbooks sells e-books but also has and links to a variety of free books in the public domain. They describe themselves as "a cloud publishing and distribution service, connected to a large ecosystem of reading systems and social networks." Find the free books by clicking "Public Domain" at the top of the page, or browse the "Original Books" link for more unique titles.
Resources for Creating & Hosting Your Own Textbook
In addition to the resources below, don't forget that library resources are high quality and either free or already paid for! Content on these LibGuides pages can be embedded or linked to, and electronic resources such as magazine and journal articles may be linked to directly from ANGEL or your course website. Email email@example.com for help with using the following alternatives:
Kirkwood's ANGEL Course Management System could conceivably be used to host any type of content you create, including what amounts to a textbook, although it doesn't have near the specific functionality for a "book" format that the above sites give you.
Google Sites has a little more functionality than ANGEL does in formatting a site to look the way you want it too. It also has a function to make the site private so that only your students can access it. It doesn't however allow each individual student to access personal information such as grades. The automatic Table of Contents function would be a nice way to organize lots of chunks of information you collected from different sources.
Engrade is a free and secure online gradebook. It has a few course management system-type features, including an assignment calendar and an attendance tracker. Why include it here? It could round out the course management-type functions you might miss by moving your content to another format, such as Google Sites or Kirkwood's Website Manager.
Getting to Know a Digital Textbook Article written by Dr. Terence Cavanaugh, professor at the Univeristy of North Florida detailing ways to make your open digital textbook more familiar and helpful to students by showing students how they can use free online programs to create their own audio textbooks, create study notes from their text and more