We had a great conversation last Friday at the faculty panel on eTextbooks. Paul Salitsky, lecturer in the Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior departments, spoke about his experiences with using etextbooks over the last several years; Paul works with McGraw-Hill to create a custom etext by drawing from material in two physical textbooks. One drawback to this approach is that students only have access to the etext during the quarter, and there does not seem to be a way to buy a permanent copy on account of copyright concerns.
Amy Kautzman, librarian, shared that, among other things, the library has found that students tend to not write in the books because they want to sell them at the end of the quarter, which goes against the argument that students prefer physical books to electronic ones because they can write in them. Amy also told us about UC3, the California Curation Center, which has a repository that faculty can use to manage and share content. This means there is a viable option for faculty who wish to create their own materials in lieu of a textbook.
Our final panelist is a great example of faculty who create their own content. Delmar Larsen, chair of CCFIT-Educational Technology Subcommittee and professor in the Chemistry department, talked about his experiences with developing and maintaining the ChemWiki, which I wrote about in detail last year.
For more details about the interesting conversation at this panel, I invite you to check out the 2.22.13 Faculty Panel Notes.