Best Practices for Developing OER Ancillary Resources for Open Textbooks

What are the best practices for developing OER ancillary materials? And does a lack of ancillary resources impact open textbook adoption? 

At the 2016 Festival of Learning, the BCcampus Open Education Faculty Fellows came together to compare notes on this topic. Our own Arthur Gill Green (UBC), Jennifer Kirkey (Douglas College) and Rod Lidstone (Camouson College) compared their experiences developing OER and came up with five basic principles to keep in mind while working on ancillary resources for open textbooks. Their presentation materials are OER and can be found below. Check it out (and download it, remix it, and make it your own!).


In this session, we present several case studies of ancillary resource development for open textbooks in British Columbia. Through these case studies we explore an emerging framework for best practices and the often unrecognized challenges that ancillary resource development poses for open educational resources (OER).

There is increasing evidence that lack of ancillary resources impact OER adoption. Over 40% of the respondents to a 2016 survey of 2,902 faculty members at 29 higher education institutions ranked instructor supplements and student supplements (ancillary resources) as important or very important factors in textbook adoption (Green 2016).

Indeed, the lack of ancillary resources for open textbooks negatively impacts faculty perceptions and adoption rates (Jhangiani et al. 2016). While ancillary resources are often expected by overworked instructors in need of teaching aids, the development of ancillary resources for open textbooks poses several challenges that can be both logistic and fundamental to open education.

For example, ancillary resources may not be shared in the same locations as the associated open textbook, may not be adequately updated with new textbook versions, may not be openly licensed, and may actually undermine the opportunity that open textbooks provide to improve pedagogical approaches.

Moreover, the types of ancillary resources required and the way ancillary resources are developed in different disciplinary settings may require different strategic approaches. In this presentation, we overview these challenges, introduce some applied examples of ancillary resource development, and provide the first steps towards best practices for ancillary resource development.

Arthur Gill Green,Teaching and Learning Fellow, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow University of British Columbia and College Professor, Okanagan College
Jennifer Kirkey, Instructor of Physics and Astronomy, Douglas College
Rod Lidstone, Instructor, Plumbing, Pipe and Refridgeration Trades, Camosun College

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