News & Events

CRADLE Seminar: Open Textbooks in Australia: updated, localised, inclusive

Event Details
Online Seminar
5 October 2021

The CRADLE team will present a panel discussion on 5 October, drawing on NCSEHE-funded research by Dr Sarah Lambert from Deakin University.


Open textbooks are a recent innovation in free, digital texts that can be:

  • distributed at no cost;
  •  printed at cost-price;
  • and modified for local needs, such as to correct gender, socio-cultural and indigenous under-representations and mis-representation in the curriculum.

Open textbooks are a kind of Open Educational Resource (OER) and are designed to be shared with appropriate attribution of authors.

A National Scoping study has recently been completed by Dr Sarah Lambert at Deakin University, funded by the NCSEHE. The research investigated if open textbooks could be useful social justice initiatives in Australia, as they have been overseas. The staff and student data suggest that open textbooks and diverse open reading lists have potential in the Australian context for reducing inequalities of learning experiences and outcomes.

While the international literature suggests cost savings to students have positive benefits for both students and institutions, the Australian findings suggest that open textbooks are also valuable to:

  • reduce the inequalities, workarounds and compromises of restrictive digital access to commercial texts that restrict access (time or number of chapters)
  • provide seamless integration of whole resources into the University’s LMS rather than rely on external platforms
  • encourage local authorship of more of up-to-date local materials (inclusive of Indigenous and diverse cultural knowledges) so that students graduate better prepared for their professions.

Interest in content diversification is particularly on the rise to address under-representation of women in leadership, STEM and the professions and embedding Indigenous and different cultural knowledges in the curriculum. More inclusive texts can create a sense of belonging for under-represented students, and enhance graduate knowledge and attributes for all students. See for more information on the project and findings.

A summary of the key findings of the research will be presented followed by a panel discussion of the subsequent opportunities and implications. This will be a highly interactive event so please bring your questions for the Panel.

More information and registration

For more information on this seminar and how to register visit the website.

Posted 24 September 2021