Introduction – Why Pressbooks?

Pressbooks is a wonderful tool to build published or in-the-works materials that can be shared. Pressbooks is based on the WordPress platform and allows you to build a user-friendly and adaptable web book. Also, anyone can easily export the materials in files such as .epub, or .pdf. In times like these, which for most of us are unprecedented, it can be challenging to consider how to re-think a course or how to do things differently. This is not just a challenge, but a great opportunity to re-evaluate and test the methods, tools, and the meaning behind your pedagogy.

Open systems, such as OER (open educational resources) can also help students persist through courses and their academic life. During the current pandemic, it’s even more important to explore how to make your courses more adaptable, affordable, and accessible. We can also consider thinking about compassion, care, and kindness. I think Pressbooks and OER, in general, can help us expand our compassion, care, and kindness in unexpected ways – OER lowers the cost of education for our students, can involve them in collaborative processes, and help us learn and help us express our own humanity and perspectives in this unique time. Provided below are my favorite guides for Pressbooks and open publishing, and I’m going to bring you through a tour of some materials that faculty have built here at Plymouth State University.

But first, a few quotes from Plymouth State University users of Pressbooks.

“I used Pressbooks because I wanted a professional publication platform that was easy to use and would allow open access.  I received great advice from Cathie LeBlanc who used Pressbooks.”

“It is fantastic that PSU is developing Pressbooks as a tool for instruction and student publishing. We need a platform like this to promote learning, showcase student work, and connect with our communities.”

In the next section, you’ll find a list of resources, and following that in the final section of this Pressbook, I will include ideas for building out your Pressbook and a video tour through some Pressbooks I really appreciate that were and continue to be built here at Plymouth State University.


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