Publishing and Distribution
Open textbook authors should consider adding ancillary resources to their textbook whenever possible. Traditional textbooks often provide instructors with ancillary resources like slides, test banks, image banks and videos. A BC Faculty Survey on Open Educational Resources found that 12% of faculty wouldn’t adopt an open textbook that was not accompanied by ancillary resources, and 28% reported that they felt they didn’t have the time to experiment with OER in their classroom. After putting so much work into your open textbook, adding features that will make it easier for instructors to integrate your book into their teaching will increase the likelihood that it will be adopted or adapted.
Developing Ancillary Resources
One of the most important aspects of creating ancillary material is to make sure that you publish the material using open-source or free software so that anyone can use, reuse, and adapt the material without having to purchase proprietary software.
Slides are one of the easiest and most important ancillary materials you can create to support instructors looking to adopt your textbook. Think about creating and publishing these slides using open-source or freely available software such as Google Slides, LibreOffice, or OpenSlides.
Including test banks and assessments with your textbook will make it that much more attractive to potential adopters. To ensure academic integrity, assessment material is typically provided to users only upon request. This can be done by placing the materials within a password protected site, or by requiring requests to be made by email.
Creating Ancillary Resources with Development Sprints
If you have adopted an open textbook or are building one from scratch, consider using a development sprint to build ancillary resources. Development sprints allow a group of instructors to work together over a short period, usually one or two days, to develop open content. Grants that support the creation of ancillary resources are also becoming available. BCcampus sends out an annual call for proposals for their ancillary resources grants. Ontario may eventually have such a program.