Let’s be honest; most of us judge a book by its cover.
The use of open-access resources is a growing trend in education. Open Educational Resources (OER) include any teaching material (i.e. syllabi, lesson plans, worksheets, videos, games, readings, textbooks, applications, etc.) that is available free of charge to anyone with permission to reuse, revise or redistribute.
I have been using an OER as the textbook in my General Psychology face-to-face classes for 5 years, and when I started teaching on-line just over a year ago, it seemed a natural fit to continue using the same resource. The textbook that I use is a part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI). It is an interactive textbook, which means it incorporates text, videos, experiential activities and comprehension questions. It is accessed through a web page, so students are required to have internet access to complete the assignments, but all students can access the textbook free of charge.