Textbook Champion

Lisa Chilton

Course Number: 
History 1010: Canada Pre-Confederation
Approximate Student Savings per Semester: 
What has the impact of the change been (for students and you/the teaching team)?: 
The free access to the textbook is obviously a very significant gain for students. By the time I switched, the book I was using had risen to almost $100. The fact that the book is built for online reading also has some extra utility in terms of students’ navigation of its contents.
What would you say to other faculty members who are considering switching to OER?: 
I am a big supporter of open textbooks. Where open textbooks exist that work well for a course, I think they should be considered first. That having been said, I still like hard-copy texts and I know that a substantial percentage of our students feel likewise. I also feel that the quality of a text’s contents should be an essential consideration for determining what textbook is chosen for a course. I look forward to a time when there is a large variety of course texts available through the open textbook system!
Why did you want to switch to an open textbook/OER?: 
I was concerned about the ever-increasing costs of education for students. When I learned about John Belshaw’s open-textbook project for Canadian history, I decided to switch texts for this course.