The textbook is an enduring staple of higher education, occupying a key role in formal educational settings. Practices may vary greatly in educational settings as to how the costs of textbooks are borne by students. Moreover, the role and nature of the textbook are changing rapidly in a digital world. Large, often expensive, paper books exist alongside digital versions which may include rich media and interactivity. The interactive elements of digital textbooks may also comprise assessments that can be summative or formative. Publishers may charge rental subscriptions for books which may be passed directly onto students increasing the costs of their education. Moreover, these rentals are temporary. Students do not get to “Retain” access to the learning resource – the right to retain being one of the key five Rs of Open (Wiley, 2014). How can we help unpack these issues and explore alternatives such as more open approaches? To help “unbox” the book this panel seeks to explore students use (and non-use) of textbooks for learning in higher education; what alternatives might exists; and to try and envisage textbooks and educational resources in a more open future.
European Distance and E-learning Network
United Kingdom, Milton Keynes