Q. What are the disadvantages to using open textbooks?
Some disadvantages of OER include:
Quality of available OER materials is inconsistent. However, this is also true of commercial textbooks, which vary widely in quality. As the number of open textbooks increases, there will be a concomitant increase in overall quality.
Materials may not meet Section 508 ADA accessibility requirements and must be modify to bring into compliance. In fact, this is true of many commercial textbooks. Open textbooks will ultimately meet and exceed Section ADA accessibility requirements, as currently fulfilled on commercially available textbooks.
Faculty need to check for accuracy of content of open content, just as they do with commercially available content.
Customization may be necessary to match departmental and/or college curriculum requirements. However, customization of content will ultimately be more flexible in open content than it currently is in commercially available content.
Technical requirements to access the content vary. Interoperability standards that permit transportability across many technology platforms are now in the making.