Work is underway to adapt more open textbooks for use by students and instructors in British Columbia with today’s open call for proposals to begin the second phase of the project, which will ultimately see 40 open textbooks available for students and instructors in highly enrolled first- and second-year subject areas. The first phase involved faculty reviews of 15 open textbooks, in subject areas ranging from math and chemistry to marketing, psychology, and business. Those 15 open textbooks and the reviews are now available free online for students and instructors.
“Open textbooks make education even more affordable,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “As we keep our promise to bring open textbooks to B.C. classrooms, I would encourage instructors, professors and our post-secondary institutions to take advantage of this tremendous resource.”
“The rise of open textbooks is a new dynamic with the potential not only to reduce costs for students, but also to create communities of education professionals who work together to maintain quality open resources,” said BCcampus executive director David Porter.
Now that the first phase is complete, work is beginning on the second phase, where existing open textbooks will be reviewed, adapted and remixed for use in British Columbia. The open call for proposals will cover reviews and adaptations of open textbooks in subject areas such as criminology, accounting, commerce, history and computer science.
One year ago, the B.C. government announced an intention to become the first province in Canada to offer students free online open textbooks for the 40 most popular post-secondary subjects. When fully implemented, up to 200,000 students each year could benefit from B.C.’s open textbook program.
The open textbook project is being co-ordinated on the government’s behalf by BCcampus, a publicly funded organization that aims to make higher education available to everyone through the smart use of collaborative information technology services.