Photograph of a diverse group of students.

Adopting, modifying, or creating an open textbook for your course is a big decision, requiring you to evaluate new resources often on your own. When you begin evaluating open textbooks, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the textbook comprehensive enough for your course?
    • Check the Table of Contents first to make sure that the content within the textbook largely matches the content you want to teach in your course.
    • If you would like to add or remove anything from an open textbook, you should be able to customize the textbook for your class.
  • Is the textbook current enough for your course?
    • While some content, such as a mathematical formula, does not change rapidly over time, textbooks involving current events or current research will need to be up-to-date.
    • Customizing a textbook would be very helpful in keeping the open textbook's material current.
  • Is the textbook organized in the same way your course is planned?
    • If you would like to re-order the content of an open textbook, the customization process will be simple and quick.
  • Is the textbook accessible to students with disabilities?
    • An open textbook should at least be compatible with freely-available screen-reading software, At minimum, you should be able to highlight and copy text on the page.
    • See the Accessibility page for more details.