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Changing Your Textbook [VIDEO]

David Wiley and students republish an online textbook to fit their needs.

9 April 2012 0 Comments

At the McKay School, David Wiley and a group of IP&T students have added valuable information to an existing textbook and published the new version online—for free. Not only did each participating student serve their industry, but they left the class with a citable publication.

Flatworld Knowledge is a company that makes free online textbooks available to be downloaded and edited by anyone. Wiley and his students started with an online project management for business text and adapted it to fit their need for a text on project management for instructional design. “It’s very different to have someone talk at you for a semester about project management versus actually having a project to manage,” said Wiley. “These students got first-hand experience instead of being lectured at.”

The students collaborated in removing parts of the textbook involving business, commerce, etc., and replaced them with real-life examples and interviews with professionals working in project management as well as interactive assessments. What started as a business textbook became an education textbook.

"These students got first-hand experience instead of being lectured at."

Maya Amado, a student who worked on the text with Wiley, said that the project was “a really good experience. It was a very hands-on thing to do.”  She explained, “It wasn’t just theory; it was really applied effort.” The project provided the opportunity for a level of student involvement that’s hard to find elsewhere. “It’s been good for me,” said Amado. “And we’ve added value to the original book.”

At the end of this project, all students involved can say that they’ve co-authored a book. “Everyone on board was great,” said Wiley. “I wish more students could have more opportunities like this.”

The online textbook can be seen here.

9 April 2012

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