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Thursday, October 21 • 3:00pm - 3:25pm
The OpenStax Astronomy Book: Reaching Half a Million Readers, Creating a Community of Adopters

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As the lead author on the OpenStax Astronomy textbook: http://openstax.org/details/astronomy, I will describe our efforts to:
  1. produce and regularly update an accessible and beautiful non-science majors textbook, provided free and open-source, on several platforms, and even including occasional touches of humor;
  2. to publicize the book among astronomy instructors (and see it become the leading textbook in the field);
  3. to develop an Open Education Resources Hub with 40 different free resources produced by the authors and by adopters from around the country);
  4. to work with an OpenStax partner to put together almost 3000 textbook related questions for a Learning Management System.

OpenStax estimates that about half a million readers have now used the astronomy book and we have saved astronomy students in the U.S. at least $40 million in textbook costs. I have been collecting email addresses for our adopters (we estimate about 1100 or so) and sending them news about the textbook and its ancillaries several times a year, with the hope of creating a bit of a sense of community among them.

The OER Hub includes a list of short videos to go with each book chapter, a guide to "Black Lives in Astronomy," PowerPoint slides, chapter summary videos from an adopter, a primer for new astronomy instructors, a guide to free lab activities on the Web, and dozens of other resources.

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Hear from an OpenStax author about the experience of creating a free, open-source textbook and then working to make it better known
  • Learn how a community of authors and adopters created a set of usable, free, ancillary resources to go with the textbook

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Andrew Fraknoi

Astronomy Professor, Fromm Institute, U of San Francisco
I am the lead author of the OpenStax Astronomy textbook, a free, on-line, open-source introductory text that has now been used by over 1100 adopters and half a million students. There is also an Open Education Resources Hub associated with the book, with 40 free resources provided... Read More →

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Thursday October 21, 2021 3:00pm - 3:25pm EDT
Room F