Open e-Textbook Use Case

This open e-textbook usecase was produced as a contribution to the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC36 Study Period on e-Textbooks by Phil Barker, R. John Robertson and myself. We’d be interested to know if this is an area that others are interested and whether anyone has any comments.


A teacher wants to collate open educational resources to create an open e-textbook


A teacher collates a range of open educational resources from different sources with different Creative Commons licences and creates an open e-textbook.

The source content may include assessment items, video, images, sound, text. This content may contain embedded licence information (e.g. in the exif or id3 file information for images and audio respectively), or licence information included as images or text in the content, or associated licence information in lmetadata records linked to or packaged with the content.

Level of participant(s) addressed

Applies to all participants.

Description or list of the technologies used

A wide range of technologies may be used. These include repositories, content management systems, web 2.0 tools, content-authoring systems, virtual learning environments, course management systems, search engines, licence embedding or attribution tools.

Scenario Sequence

  • Determine topic, curricula, textbook scope, learner requirements
  • Search for stuff
  • Find stuff
  • Evaluate stuff
  • Check licence
  • Select stuff
  • Assemble collection of stuff
  • Edit stuff
  • Format e-textbook
  • Create e-textbook
  • Disseminate e-textbook
  • Revise textbook

Primary Actor(s) and Role(s)

Teacher (content editor/ assembler)

End goal of activity

Students are provided with an open e-textbook tailored to their requirements by their teacher.

Trigger(s) / Pre-condition(s)

The teacher must be able to find sufficient clearly licensed open educational resources that meet their requirements

What issues or challenges have been encountered during the implementation and use of the e-Textbooks?

  • Content interoperability
  • Display of different media formats
  • Handling interactive content
  • Clear licensing
  • Licence compatibility
  • Maintaining granular licence information

Who is using what is described in this use case?

Widely used by learners, other teachers, and learning technologists.

Additional Information Relevant to Understanding the Use Case

A similar use case could be constructed for an e-textbook which did not use OER. However, the licensing implications and rights management implications would be very different.

3 thoughts on “Open e-Textbook Use Case

  1. Pingback: JISC OER Rapid Innovation Call November 2011: Project Areas Extract « Open Education Resources Rapid Innovation Call

  2. Pingback: Digital Infrastructure to Support Open Content for Education : Digital Infrastructure Team

  3. Pingback: The JISC ebooks universe : Digital Infrastructure Team

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