Open Access Textbooks

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Combining Openly Licensed Resources

The 2012 Promise of Open Access Textbooks:
A Model for Success

Creative Commons License

The 2012 Promise of Open Access Textbooks: A Model for Success (Revised Edition) by Florida Virtual Campus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This revised edition draws from the 2011 edition, authored by Susie Henderson and David Nelson of the Florida Distance Learning Consortium.

Open Access Textbooks Project

About the Open Access Textbooks Project - A FIPSE grant project

The Open Access Textbooks Grant Project worked with others involved in open content to create a sustainable model for Florida and other states to discover, produce, and disseminate open textbooks. This three-year initiative was funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). The project built on efforts in Florida and across the U.S. to create a sustainable open textbook model and a collaborative community to further implementation of open textbooks.

Generally, open textbooks allow users to:

  • use the textbook without compensating the author
  • copy the textbook, with appropriate credit to the author
  • distribute the textbook non-commercially
Some open textbook licenses provide even more freedom, while others allow users to read them online for free but have restrictions on modifying, printing, or distributing.

HTML The Model

The model can be accessed from the column to the left, either as a PDF download or by referencing the sections listed under "Contents."


Student Surveys

These surveys were conducted to assess Florida postsecondary students’ experiences and perceptions of textbooks, digital resources, and open educational resources (OER).

PDF 2012 Executive Summary

PDF 2012 Survey Report

PDF 2010 Survey Report


Faculty and Administrator Surveys

These surveys were conducted to assess Florida postsecondary faculty and staff awareness of open educational resources (OER), open textbooks, and open courseware, and respondents’ experience with open materials.

PDF 2012 Executive Summary

PDF 2012 Survey Report

PDF 2009 Survey Report


HTML Open License Training

A guide to licensing open educational resources (OER) and combining resources with various open licenses, including an animated video presentation and an interactive license generator.



Orange Grove Texts Plus (OGT+) wins NUTN Award

This video celebrates the 2011 NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award from the National University Technology Network (NUTN) awarded to OGT+ . Orange Grove Textbooks Plus is a partnership between the Florida Virtual Campus (formerly Florida Distance Learning Consortium), University Press of Florida, and WebAssign. The nomination for the award called for answers to seven specific questions. Access the OGT+ nomination, which describes the OGT+ innovation with answers to these questions.


Symposium: Developing a Digital Textbook Strategy for Your Campus

At this one-day symposium on institution and state level digital textbook initiatives held February 8, 2012 in Lake Mary, Florida, faculty, policymakers, pulishers, and experts from across the country described their digital textbook programs, policies, results, and best practices.

Archive of the Symposium


HTML Webinars

Archives of webinars on various topics related to open textbooks and OERs that we have conducted and collaborated with others in conducting during the project.


Our Work Team

Robin Donaldson

The project director and principal investigator is Robin Donaldson. As the Instructional Design Specialist for the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Robin’s main duties are those of Project Director for The Orange Grove, Florida’s Digital Repository, and the Project Director of the Open Access Textbook project. Dr. Donaldson provides management oversight and leadership in the maintenance and continued development and deployment of The Orange Grove. She directed the Open Access Textbook grant project activities and administrative operations. Robin came to us from Tallahassee Community College in January 2010 where she worked with faculty in the design, development, implementation, and review of distance learning courses. She has also assisted in the research and development of Navy guidelines for online instructor competencies, ratios, interactions, and evaluation. Robin holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Library and Information Studies and a B.A. in Art Education from Florida State University. Her research interest is mobile learning and distance learning.

David Nelson

As project manager of a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FISPE), Dr. Nelson coordinated the research and development effort to construct a guide that other states can follow to facilitate the creation and adoption of open textbooks in colleges and universities. He also disseminated news and information about open textbooks though the Consortium’s series of webinars and through other media.

David came to us from the Florida State University’s Learning Systems Institute where he designed and developed online instruction and conducted research on instructional strategies.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematography, David completed a Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in Instructional Systems, all from Florida State University. His research interests involve the progression of mental models for the acquisition, retention, and transfer of complex cognitive skills.


Funded by Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)