As I have been recently informed, it is a good idea to consider free calculus textbooks for college and university courses.
However, this feels risky to me, because:
- I don't know anyone who is using one, so I don't have a core "users group" to chat with and I don't have any assurance of quality control.
- I want to be sure my course will transfer to other institutions (at a community college this concern is paramount).
- The distribution of the textbook sounds tricky; what about students who want a hard copy to read?
So, with these concerns in mind, which free calculus textbooks are the best? I know this is an opinion question at its core, but to make it more objective, my ideal free textbook would have:
- A users group, message board, or Github page, that allows discussion and shows a history of the authors fixing errors or issues with the text.
- A group of respectable colleges that have adopted the book for their calculus courses.
- A "printable version" of the textbook or some optional hard-copy version available.
Of course I am open to criticism of my assumptions, and I am also open to hearing about any other considerations I should have.