Adopt/Adapt vs Creation

5 Adaptation

For more complete information about and instructions on how to adapt an open textbook, please visit the BCcampus Open Education Adaptation Guide.


The term “adaptation” is commonly used to describe the process of making changes to an existing work. Though we can also replace “adapt” with revise, modify, alter, customize, or other synonym that describes the act of making a change. The example below refers to adapting an open textbook but any OER (assignments, videos, lecture notes, diagrams, etc) can be adapted.

In addition to cost savings to students, one of the biggest advantages of choosing an open textbook is it gives faculty the legal right to add to, adapt, or delete the content of the textbook to fit their specific course without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. This is possible because the copyright holder has already granted permission by releasing their work using an open — or Creative Commons — licence. This type of licence gives users permission to use and reuse, share, copy, retain and modify the textbook without consulting the author.

Below are some examples of how an open textbook can be adapted by adding in your own Learning Objectives, Exercises, and Key Takeaways.

Learning Objectives

Type your learning objectives here.

  • First
  • Second


Type your exercises here.

  • First
  • Second

Key Takeaways

Type your key takeaways here.

  • First
  • Second

Reasons to adapt an open textbook

One of the benefits of using an openly licensed textbook or other educational resource is that you are free to adapt it to fit your needs. In other words, you can adjust the educational resources to fit your course curriculum, not the other way around.

Below are 10 more reasons adapting an open textbook might be for you:

  1. Address a particular teaching style or learning style
  2. Adjust for a different grade or course level
  3. Address diversity needs
  4. Meet a cultural, regional, or national preference
  5. Make the material more accessible for people with disabilities
  6. Add material contributed by students or material suggested by students
  7. Translate the material into another language
  8. Correct errors or inaccuracies
  9. Update the book with current information
  10. Add more media or links to other resources


This chapter contains material from the BCcampus Open Education Adaptation Guide by BCcampus is used under a CC BY 4.0 International license. Download this book for free from

The “Reasons” above are adapted from WikiEducator, “Adapt” in OER Handbook for Educators and Why Remix Open Educational Resources?, created by Liam Green-Hughes, both used under a CC BY license.


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Faculty OER Toolkit Copyright © 2017 by Shannon Moist is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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