an open textbook system to tackle hong kong`s textbook

An Open Textbook System
to tackle Hong Kong’s
textbook problem
Dr K S Yuen and Dr K C Li
Outgrowths of OER
 OER Universities
 Open Textbooks
Hong Kong’s textbooks problem
The government’s solutions
Our proposed solution
 An online open textbook platform
 Online textbooks and teaching materials
 Quality assurance
 Community and capacity building
1. Online courses based on open courseware:
Coursera; Udacity: MITx, edX, OERu
2. Open textbooks projects:
College Open Textbooks; Connexions;
California Free Digital Textbooks Initiative;
Open Access Textbooks; Flat World
Problems of Textbooks in Hong Kong
Problems of printed textbooks
There was a heated debate about textbooks in
Hong Kong in the past months. The focus was
on the high price.
Problems of printed textbooks
Is it all about money?
Problems of printed textbooks
Not flexible for specific needs
Vetting process too rigid: meeting deadlines
Heavy upfront investment; specialized
development teams; lengthy production
Teachers developing own materials are lone
Publishers do not wish to go online
Problems of printed textbooks
The government’s solution
In 2008, a Working Group on Textbooks and eLearning Resources was set up to work on
possible solutions.
The government’s solution
2009 solution:
Grants to encourage schools and publishers
to develop e-learning resources;
HKEdCity to set up an e-commerce platform
to sell e-learning resources
Push for debundling of textbooks and teaching
and learning materials
The government’s solution
More e-learning resources are used in
classrooms, but they do not replace the
Textbook prices still on the rise in 2010-11;
Resistance by publishers on debundling of
textbooks and teaching and learning materials.
The government’s solution
A Task Force to review learning and teaching
materials was formed in early 2011.
A report was produced in December 2011.
The government’s solution
2012 solution:
e-Textbook Market Development Scheme
(EMADS) which facilitates, through subsidy,
the development of a new, healthy, rich and
sustainable e-textbook market.
The government’s solution
Can EMADS solve Hong Kong problems?
We have to wait and see.
Debundling does not lead to drop in textbook
EMADS’s view of e-textbooks is more on the
enhanced e-book versions.
It does not place emphasis on the
printed versions.
The government’s solution
E-textbooks will take a long time to replace
the printed books.
Infrastructure and individual equipment
have to be in place for extensive use of
Inexpensive e-textbooks cannot be
guaranteed when government subsidy is
Our proposal
An open textbook system
Based on the concept and
practice of open textbooks
The aim is to produce open
source textbooks which
are free, flexible, and
current, for use by schools
and universities
An open textbook system
The textbooks provided:
are less expensive
allow fast revision and updates
allow transparent peer and user quality
allow easy adaptation
and modification
An open textbook system
The textbooks provided:
are digitized for online and mobile
Available for use along with multimedia
and online materials
An open textbook system
An online open textbook
Online (printable)
textbooks and teaching
Quality assurance
Community and capacity
An open textbook platform
A repository for hosting
textbooks and associated
learning resources
Users can browse,
download, revise, remix,
re-create and upload
Users can download and
print the
(customized textbooks)
Open textbooks and teaching materials
12 open textbooks on English
language in accordance to
EDB syllabuses at the school
Over 100 university level open
Course materials for the new
Yijin programme
OUHK courseware
Modus operandi
Selecting existing open
textbooks from the Internet,
and modifying them to suit
Hong Kong needs
Enlisting the support of
Employing professionals and
Joint development with others
Quality assurance: internal
A team of editors and
technologists to
monitor the
development process
Subject experts to
review items
Quality assurance: external
Peer review
Vetting by Review
Panels of EDB
Open review and rating
by users: teachers,
parents and students
Systematic evaluation
and research
Community and capacity building
A consortium made up
of beneficiary
educational institutions
to monitor development
Contributors and users
form a community to
share experience
Individuals will be
invited to join the team
of contributors
In the long run, the project will become a
public platform, for enthusiasts to
contribute freely, and for use by teachers
and students.
The expanding community and capacity
thus generated will determine the
project’s future quality standards and
requirements, and in turn will lead to the
continuous maintenance and
improvement of the contents.

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