My open textbook: Pedagogy and practice

Posted on June 23rd, 2016

Robin Derosa, a professor at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, discusses how she created an open textbook with her students and reflects on how the experience affected her pedagogy. Derosa hired a team of undergraduate students and recent alums to create a textbook for an American literature survey course. Using Pressbooks, a WordPress-based platform, Derosa and her team built the initial skeleton of the textbook over a summer. When Derosa introduced the book in the fall to her new students, the students continued to help build it by creating introductions and performing editorial work. Students also produced short films, discussion questions, and assignments. Derosa describes the value of involving students in the creation process, stating that “textbooks are primarily designed to be accessible to students…students are the perfect people to create textbooks, since they are the most keenly tuned in to what other students will need in order to engage with the materials in meaningful ways.”