Teaching note: Creating open textbooks for social work education

Abstract:  Open educational resources (OER) and the open education movement have blossomed over the past decade, yet their demonstrated impact on social work is in its infancy. This teaching note describes the process of creating the first two open textbooks for social work education about undergraduate and graduate research methods. In the first year post-publication, the undergraduate open textbook was used by over 1,100 students across 35 campuses and accrued an estimated savings of $150,000 for students. Despite these clear benefits, the process of resource creation for faculty can be challenging, and this note offers practical guidance for faculty considering both small or large-scale open textbook projects. As universities, states, and international bodies increase funding for the creation and adoption of OER, the field of Social Work should demonstrate its commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice by leading these efforts within our classrooms, discipline, and institutions.