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Open TextBook Adoptions

Tracking adoptions has helped our team to connect with and support faculty and staff interested in open education


One of the side benefits of publishing an open textbook is an automatic membership in the open education community for which it is written. As the authors of open textbooks, we are in a unique position that not only allows us to pinpoint members of this community — by tracking instructors who use or adopt our book in the classroom — but also establishes us as an OER contributor. Capturing and recording open textbook adoptions in Second Languages education is a key task for Books4Languages. We ask faculty using open textbooks to fill out our Adoption of an Open Textbook form by providing us with their name and institution, the course for which the textbook is used, the number of students enrolled in each section of the course, the cost of the displaced textbook, the terms in which the adoption occurs, and whether the adoption will be ongoing. We also ask adopters if we may share their information with other interested faculty.

Surprisingly, this work has proven to be more than just about numbers. Tracking adoptions has helped our team to connect with and support faculty and staff interested in open education. Paying attention to who is using open textbooks has revealed open education trends in colleges, institutes, and universities, and has given us the ability to connect the dots — and make introductions — between like-minded colleagues.

Remind colleagues who are using the textbook — or potential adopters — that they are free to customize it to fit the requirements of their curriculum, students, and teaching style. (See the BCcampus Open Education Adaptation Guide) We will ask adopters for comments about what they like about the book and if they have suggestions for changes or additions that might improve the book, items we will take note of our next editions. These individuals might even agree to writing a review or assisting with an update. (See Maintain the Book and Textbook Reviews.)

Like reviews, posting adoption statistics will encourage other instructors to look at our textbooks. The amount of information we share and post by our textbooks will depend on the permissions granted by current adopters who have contacted us. We might choose to present anonymized numbers that show the total number of instructors, institutions, savings, and students affected.

At Books4Languages, we will display adoption statistics in two views. On our website’s, a space containing aggregated numbers on student savings, total adoptions, and the number of participating institutions.


The definitions for the various terms used to describe adoption statistics:


The number of individual instructors who have adopted one or more open textbooks for one or more course sections. A faculty member is only counted once.


Each adoption refers to a course section within a specific term and year for which an open textbook has replaced a primary textbook or educational resource that must be purchased.


The total number of students in a course section within which an open textbook is used as the primary educational resource.


Savings include a range. The number at the lower end is calculated as follows: number of students (see “Students”) times $100 (This number was derived by OpenStax College based on a formula that takes into account used textbook purchases and rental costs as well as new textbook costs.) The number at the upper end is calculated as follows: number of students (see “Students”) times the actual cost of the textbook being replaced if purchased as hard copy and new.


Tracking adoptions has helped the open education team connect with and support faculty and staff interested in open education. If you have adopted, or are planning to adopt our TextBooks, please let us know by using the Open TextBook adoption form.

Adoption Guide – 2nd Edition  are used under a CC BY 4.0 International Licence.