Key research topics and question to be addressed:
The research question guiding this project is: to what extent do open textbooks have the potential to act as social justice initiatives in the Australian context as they do overseas?
- Sub-questions of interest include:
To what extent are Australian academics ready to embrace open textbooks as widening participation initiatives as seen in the USA, Canada and the UK?
- Can a social justice approach to open textbook initiatives in Australia deliver financial and motivational study benefits to students and a stronger sense of belonging for under-represented and disadvantaged students?
- How can Australian higher education institutions use open textbooks to redress educational injustices for indigenous students?
Student and staff interviews at 5 Australian Universities 43 staff from a broad range of areas and disciplines from five universities were interviewed as part of the research: Deakin, La Trobe, RMIT, Charles Darwin and QUT. 19 students were also interviewed enrolled in either a post-graduate business program or an undergraduate arts and education foundation unit.
Survey of teaching academics The study replicated the UK Open Textbook national academic readiness survey with 2 additional questions related to the social justice focus of this study (Pitt et al., 2019). 131 participants completed the online survey which was open to any Australian University staff member with teaching responsibilities. Results were compared with the literature on Open Textbook adoption in the UK and US, and Canada (Antoine, Mason, Mason, Palahicky, & Rodrigeuz de France, 2018).