The purpose of this phenomenological study was to attempt to understand through interpretation and reflection, the reasoning, and the lived experiences of educators who have implemented open textbooks. The research was also attempting to understand the conception of open education held by each participant.
Despite many initiatives to provide open textbooks to colleges and universities, the implementation of these projects has not been widespread. While there is a growing body of work on open textbooks, there is a gap in the literature about educators describing their own experiences with open textbooks.
In order to explore this gap, the study was conducted using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to approach the investigation holistically, with the belief that a person is both embedded and embodied within a wider world. The results of the study indicate there is diversity of opinion regarding open textbooks, that personal learning networks or communities play a large role in the adoption of open textbooks, and there remains confusion or variation in interpretation about what “openness” means.