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Open Educational Resources (OER)

An everevolving guide to assist faculty in finding and using OER

What is Adaption?

Adaption is used to describe the process of making changes to an existing work. You can also replace "adapt" with revise, modify, alter, customize, or other synonym that describes the act of making change. Instructors may already be doing textbook adaption if:

  • A textbook is presented in a different order.
  • Sections are left out.
  • Other information sources are used for instruction in addition to the textbook.
  • Remixing the textbook to improve learning, accessibility, and inclusivity. 

Adapting an Open Textbook

The adaption process can vary depending on how the textbook is going to be adapted, but it's important to establish a road map that will guide the timeline of the work, layout and styles of the work, and desired changes. 

Make a Plan:

  • Style

    • Use a Style Guide
  • Consistency

    • Assess language and tone of original text
    • Layout of text
    • Resources (photos, graphs, diagrams, multimedia content) used
    • References and Citation style 
  • Changes to Original Text

    • What is the scope the changes you plan to make?
    • Will you need help?
      • Technical
      • Subject Expert
      • Copy Editor
    • Keep Record of Changes and Additions Made
      • What changes?
        • Text, Images, Videos, etc. 
      • Why? 
        • Adaption, Attribution, and Copyright Statements
        • Example
  • Choose a License

    • Share-Alike resources must have the same attribute.
    • Creatives Commons has a tool to help authors determine the best license for them.

Before You Begin

Before you begin the adaption process you should do the following:

  • Find an OER Textbook
  • Evaluate the OER Textbook
  • Adoption vs. Adaption
  • Check the License
  • Check the File Format
  • Editing Tools (Pressbooks)

Reasons to Adapt

There are quite a few reasons why you would want to adapt and existing textbook:

  • Content Customization: Adding or removing content from the original open textbook to fit your instruction like adding a section on using spreadsheets for a statistics textbook.
  • Contextualization: Changing things as simple as measurements or spelling or more complex like adding examples relevant to the audience like changing a Sociology textbook from US context to Canadian context. 
  • Open Pedagogy: Engage students in the co-creation or co-adaption of a textbook.
  • Inclusion: Diversifying the voices on a subject like a Biological Anthropology textbook including a range of specialists with diverse backgrounds, experience, genders, ethnicities, and perspectives.