OER textbook project page

First Set of UH OER Textbooks Shared into the Commons

We are proud to announce the release of a first wave of OER into the Commons! The work in this collection represents a round of projects funded by the UH Mānoa Outreach College to adopt, adapt, or build open textbooks and instructional tools for our students. These OER have helped offset hundreds of thousands of dollars in textbook costs for students, and the use of content that firmly places control in the hands of faculty so they can adapt them to suit their needs. Teams of faculty leads, graduate and undergraduate students, and instructors collaboratively developed content that offers unmatched relevance for our students. We plan to take what we have learned from these projects and offer the technical and human processes to enable OER broadly at UH.

Faculty and instructors were the initiators of these projects, in some cases already having curated and created supplementary content over years of teaching. The UHM Outreach College offered open source software, training, and consultation to the teams to build confidence in their ability to reuse and revise existing OER content that formed the base for many projects. We’re excited to highlight a few of them here.

Human Nutrition
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Food Science and Human Nutrition Program

Forward-thinking faculty and graduate students on this team developed a 100-level college textbook for introductory human nutrition for the HAP-designated (Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues) FSHN 185 course. Hundreds of students take this course at UHM alone each semester to prepare for majors such as nutrition, nursing, culinary arts, and a range of health sciences. Over eighteen months, the team audited content from existing open textbooks, designed their own ideal text to support their learning goals, and constructed 16-chapter open textbook that is endlessly customizable for their needs. Over 100 new figures and diagrams demonstrating concepts from the book have been added.

Human Nutrition textbook cover

Principles of Microeconomics: Hawaii Edition

John Lynham, Economics Department

Having already transitioned to using the OpenStax Principles of Microeconomics textbook for his sections of this high-enrollment ECON 131 course, John committed time to adapting the text for students in Hawaii. He replaced images and rewrote passages to support the understanding of concepts, covering them in local context. A set of assessment items were converted to H5P and embedded as interactive practice opportunities aligned with learning objectives for the course.

Mathematics for Elementary Teachers

Michelle Manes

Though her book had been available openly prior to this project, Michelle and a post-doc student converting her open textbook that had been created in iBooks Author into Pressbooks. Open content is limited by technology that makes it less adaptable and portable, and this project was an act of liberation from iBooks, the Apple publishing that requires the use of an OS X operating system. Formulas and equations in the content were converted to LaTeX for machine-readability and edibility. and the content was revised to be more accessible inside Pressbooks.

We will be rolling out releases of more books and OER content as they are ready for public sharing.

A Note about Cost

No content or proprietary software were purchased in the development of these projects. For high-enrollment courses (like those supported by these books), many OER options exist that can serve as a starting point and be tailored to instructor and student needs. Pressbooks was the primary software used to develop and publish these books, which is free and open source software that supports accessibility, interoperability, and makes it possible for any institution to participate in OER revision and creation.

Stay tuned as we prepare to release the next set of OER from our grant program!

Posted by Billy Meinke