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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Future of the Textbook: A Special Issue


Introduction to Special Edition: The Future of the Textbook

A brief overview of the papers and commentaries in this special edition.

Statistical Thinking

The Course as Textbook: A Symbiotic Relationship in the Introductory Statistics Class

In the past several decades, the statistics textbook has evolved to include a variety of ancillary materials intended to supplement students’ learning and assist the teacher (e.g., workbooks, study guides, audio program, test banks, PowerPoint slides, links to applets and websites, etc.). Given the capabilities of modern technology and the need for change in content and pedagogy in the introductory statistics course, a new vision of a textbook is offered, one that exploits new technology, provides modern content, and is a more integral part of the course. Rather than serving as a supplement to a course, the modern textbook needs to embody the course. An example of such a text in the context of a unique, new introductory statistics course is provided.

OpenIntro Statistics: an Open-source Textbook

The traditional textbook is a familiar and useful tool that has served well for centuries.  Here, we discuss OpenIntro Statistics, a new textbook that seeks to retain the long-standing points of excellence among traditional textbooks, while overcoming what is potentially the most important traditional limitation: exclusivity.  OpenIntro Statistics is a completely open-source textbook, which can be downloaded for free and edited by anybody.  Its content meets the highest established standards, and is is written, edited, and reviewed by faculty from leading universities.  In this paper, we provide support for the assertion that OpenIntro Statistics retains as many of the advantages of a traditional textbook as possible, while empowering the largest possible audience to owna nd edit introductory content in statistics.  We also discuss how the open-source textbook model differs from other technologically enabled alternatives to the traditional textbook, and consider trends in the textbook over the coming years.

Textbooks 2.0

Technology allows us to offer great improvements on the traditional paper-bound textbook.  I describe reasons for why electronic textbooks will become the norm in the near future.

Comment: The Future of the Textbook

Commentary on The Future of the Textbook.

Comment: Focusing on Learning

Commentary on The Future of the Textbook.

Comment: Let's All Write and Teach with e-Books!

Commentary on The Future of the Textbook.

West: Response

Response to Commentaries.