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Open and Affordable Course Materials

1. Draft Your Project Plan

Before you delve into creating your new open textbook, invest a little time at the start preparing your game plan.  This will pay dividends later.  Consider:

  1. Your project team members (see below), also identify the project lead (the person who may keep everyone else on track)
  2. Draft a project plan.  See example template
  3. Identify and familiarize yourself with the range of cross campus support units who may be able to help you at various points during your project.  

Do you wish to solicit co-authors for your new textbook? 

2. Identify Available Support Services

Queen’s Open Education Support Services

Role Support Unit
  • Find openly licensed content and other Library subscription resources for your textbook e.g. journal articles, eBooks, images etc.

Your departmental Liaison Librarian

  • Guidance on ensuring your textbook meets accessibility standards

Adaptive Technology Centre

Accessibility Hub

  • Using technology to support the pedagogical features of your textbook
  • Structuring your textbook content

Instructional Designer

Centre for Teaching and Learning

  • Distributing / Adopting your textbook at Queen's

Campus Bookstore

Other Ancillary Resources

Role Resources 
  • Copyeditors
  • Peer Reviewers
  • Illustrators


3. Conceptualize and Structure Your Textbook

TIP: The way that you select and organize your content will determine how useful the book will be as an instructional tool, both for yourself and for others who may wish to adapt it later.

  • Identify keywords based on your course objectives or student learning outcomes.
  • Decide on a consistent organizational structure for your textbook e.g. chapter topics and within that, section or parts
  • Next, consider the elements of each chapter. 

For example:

  • Opening (front matter): Overview, introduction, preface, objectives etc.
  • Integrated pedagogical devices: e.g. summary tables, graphs, study and review questions
  • Features: case studies, profiles, models etc.
  • Closers (back matter): conclusion, summaries, reference lists, lists of definitions, exercises etc.

TIP: Plan ahead - Pressbooks, Queen’s Open Textbook editing and publishing platform, provides a set of pre-made box features that you can use to structure your chapters (see below)