|Frustrated with the ever-increasing cost and stagnant quality of most introductory French textbooks, I chose to adopt Français interactif for use in our introductory courses (FREN 101 & FREN 102) at Minnesota State University, Mankato (http://www.mnsu.edu) in 2013.|
Student feedback regarding the instructional value of the textbook and other open resources has been overwhelmingly positive, and many appreciate the ability to store/access the textbook as they choose, rather than being forced to purchase a textbook in one format when they would prefer to access it in another.
Thanks in part to all the ancillary materials made available along with the FI textbook, the first year of adoption was relatively smooth, much more so than with many commercial textbooks. In the past few years, I have made an effort -- in conjunction with my teaching assistants who actually use the textbook on a daily basis -- to further supplement and customize our implementation of it with our own pedagogical materials, as well as other OER, including websites such as FLE Video (http://www.flevideo.com/) and ISL Collective (https://fr.islcollective.com/), both of which offer ready-made resources and a platform to which instructors may upload their own contributions.
This turned out to be a rather fortuitous decision for myself and the French program, as reduction of textbook costs through the adoption of OER and other strategies became a "hot topic" in the Minnesota State legislature and within our university system later that year. As a result, I served on a workgroup in 2014 and 2015 that, among other things, studied how we might best encourage adoption and creation of OER system-wide (http://www.minnstate.edu/). As part of the group's final report and presentation to the legislature, the MSU-Mankato French program's use of Français interactif was featured as an example of a pedagogically effective and financially beneficial (for our students) OER implementation.
While some of our ideas ultimately fizzled out at the legislative level, I am encouraged by the fact that OER and open textbook adoption has increased on our campuses and that funding is now available for faculty at state colleges and universities who are interested in creating their own open educational resources. Given my success and satisfaction with Français interactif as well as other OER that I use in my intermediate and advanced-level courses, I intend to take advantage of such grants in the very near future, and look forward to sharing them with you, my colleagues.