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Overview of alternatives to textbooks.

Oer sources of public domain textbooks

Lesson components

  • Fast Fact
  • Skills/Objectives
  • Success Indicators
  • Introduction
  • Activity
  • Review questions
  • Resources

Fast fact

Project gutenberg has 20,000 free books in its online book catalog and is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the internet.


Learners will be able to:

  • Locate sources of public domain textbooks.
  • Establish criteria for selection of public domain textbooks.

Success indicators

  • Lesson plan developed that incorporates use of a public domain textbook.


Faculty often find the task of selecting reading materials or textbooks for a course daunting. Instructors can ease the selection process by establishing and following criteria such as quantity, quality, accuracy, currancy, reading level, relevance, and reliability. Whether due to passion for the course topic or simply hasty decision-making, some instructors make the mistake of selecting and assigning an overwhelming amount of reading for their students. Try estimating how many minutes students will need to complete each reading assignment and adjust your selection of learning materials accordingly. Another concern is that information provided to students, especially in printed textbooks, can quickly become outdated.

    Criteria/guidelines for selection of materials

  • Quality of content, literary merit and format
  • Timeliness
  • Favorable reviews
  • Permanence/lasting value
  • Authority: author
  • Scope
  • Physical quality
  • Format: print, CD-ROM, online, etc.
  • reading level

Two major efforts to promote the development and sharing of public domain textbooks are Connexions and Wikibooks . Free Textbook Search allows users to search for free textbooks in 113 sites in English, German, French, Dutch or Swedish.

Connexions is a project at Rice University supported by the Hewlett Foundation to promote collaborative development, free sharing, and rapid publishing of scholarly content on the Web. Content is organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger courses. All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons "attribution" license.

Wikibooks is a Wikimedia project started in 2003 with the mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks that anyone can edit.

Collections of books that are freely available include Project Gutenberg , Read Print , Bartleby , Online Books , Electronic Text Service , and the Open Book Project .

Project Gutenberg has 20,000 free books in its Online Book Catalog and is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet. The mission of Project Gutenberg is to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.  In an effort to promote intercultural understanding, the World Digital Library plans to make available significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, archi­tectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials.

The Assayer displays a list of textbooks that are freely available in many disciplines. For an example, see these introductory physics textbooks and Liberte , a first-year collegel French textbook. The Internet Public Library  provides a comprehensive list of books that are available on the internet.  A video tour of the site is available. Examples of free available eBooks from Bartleby :

Two sources of audio books in the public domain are LibriVox and Loudlit . LibriVox provides free audiobooks from the public domain with several options for listening. Loudlit provides a text of great literary masterpieces as well as high quality audio to help readers improve their spelling, punctuation and paragraph structure. Loudlit literature includes children's stories, poetry, short stories, and novels.

Other sources of textbook learning materials are digital collections of institutional repositories at universities and self-archiving by authors on the internet. Some of these include:



  • Identify some learning materials at Project Gutenberg .
  • Go to Wikibooks to identify textbooks in your teaching discipline.
  • Consider using Wikibooks for a class project ; read the guidelines.
  • Take a tour of Connexions to find out if it has resources of use to you in your teaching.



  • Distributed Proofreaders . Help create an eBook.
  • Contribute to Wikibooks by editing pages, creating new pages, publicizing Wikibooks, and many other ways, such as donating.

Review questions

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using public domain textbooks for teaching?
  • What are the most useful sources of public domain textbooks in your discipline and why?


Questions & Answers

explain and give four Example hyperbolic function
Lukman Reply
The denominator of a certain fraction is 9 more than the numerator. If 6 is added to both terms of the fraction, the value of the fraction becomes 2/3. Find the original fraction. 2. The sum of the least and greatest of 3 consecutive integers is 60. What are the valu
1. x + 6 2 -------------- = _ x + 9 + 6 3 x + 6 3 ----------- x -- (cross multiply) x + 15 2 3(x + 6) = 2(x + 15) 3x + 18 = 2x + 30 (-2x from both) x + 18 = 30 (-18 from both) x = 12 Test: 12 + 6 18 2 -------------- = --- = --- 12 + 9 + 6 27 3
2. (x) + (x + 2) = 60 2x + 2 = 60 2x = 58 x = 29 29, 30, & 31
on number 2 question How did you got 2x +2
combine like terms. x + x + 2 is same as 2x + 2
Mark and Don are planning to sell each of their marble collections at a garage sale. If Don has 1 more than 3 times the number of marbles Mark has, how many does each boy have to sell if the total number of marbles is 113?
mariel Reply
Mark = x,. Don = 3x + 1 x + 3x + 1 = 113 4x = 112, x = 28 Mark = 28, Don = 85, 28 + 85 = 113
how do I set up the problem?
Harshika Reply
what is a solution set?
find the subring of gaussian integers?
hello, I am happy to help!
Shirley Reply
please can go further on polynomials quadratic
hi mam
I need quadratic equation link to Alpa Beta
Abdullahi Reply
find the value of 2x=32
Felix Reply
divide by 2 on each side of the equal sign to solve for x
Want to review on complex number 1.What are complex number 2.How to solve complex number problems.
yes i wantt to review
use the y -intercept and slope to sketch the graph of the equation y=6x
Only Reply
how do we prove the quadratic formular
Seidu Reply
please help me prove quadratic formula
hello, if you have a question about Algebra 2. I may be able to help. I am an Algebra 2 Teacher
Shirley Reply
thank you help me with how to prove the quadratic equation
may God blessed u for that. Please I want u to help me in sets.
what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
can you teacch how to solve that🙏
Solve for the first variable in one of the equations, then substitute the result into the other equation. Point For: (6111,4111,−411)(6111,4111,-411) Equation Form: x=6111,y=4111,z=−411x=6111,y=4111,z=-411
x=61/11 y=41/11 z=−4/11 x=61/11 y=41/11 z=-4/11
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to open educational resources. OpenStax CNX. Apr 17, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10413/1.3
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